Rum Race 10/10/12
There was WIND! Enough for twelve boats even, but not too much. Northeast wind is great for a spinnaker reach down and tight reach back. We started right under Free Spirit. The Catalina 27 has a surprisingly large bow from an overtaken position. Little did I know…
I sailed with Matt Homan and John North on Millihelen (Catalina 22). We started well but the wind was just far enough back to keep reaching from being effective, so we headed up. The Kraken (SJ-21) had headed up to get a better line to practice with the spinnaker. We were staying even with Fisk and Paulie (Ole Yeller SJ-21) for a while as they were using the genoa. Black Jack (SJ-21) Pete and Susan had launched their chute in a timely manner and started out in front of everybody. We got above Free Spirit, trying for clear air, but they followed us up and I thought we were going to Deltona. We bore off, set a whisker/boat pole and went behind them on a course that was lower and faster for a while. Patrick’s Viper started toward the end of the window and snuffed us out for a second as they blew by with the big A-sail. Andy was racing Matt’s Laser in preparation for the coming big event in the Virgin Islands. That is another story and I will get to it a little later. Maryann was driving the 29er so fast we did not even see them go down wind. However as they returned we crossed bow to bow, as starboard tack stand-on vessel I held my course. She dipped, avoided the Catalina bow eye, and continued upwind. The Laser, Laser 2, and all the San Juans, had rounded and were headed east. To make the mark we had to remove the pole and come up, which cost all of the gains we made on the Catalina 27. Free Spirit completed the starboard rounding ahead, tacked immediately and sheeted in. We went to windward on starboard a couple of extra boat lengths and followed suit. Most everyone was well ahead of us by now. Free Spirit was not pointing with us but she was making good time. I may have been pinching a little (imagine that) but we would not have to tack to make the mark. We caught the Laser 2 taking a nap, but that didn’t last long. Free Spirit tacked just before making a dent in the sea wall and headed out toward us on starboard. As the gap narrowed John and I both made regular observations, she is bow down and making hull speed. Decreasing range, without a doubt, constant bearing? Not quite, can we cross? Get a little closer. How about now?, increasing bearing definitely, we can cross, not going to be a big gap though. One boat length apart, and that big freaking bow was directly amidships, we got this. Free Spirit headed up. WHAT? Just as quickly the big boat turned down to a non-combative course and we headed to the finish line. Matt and I did have conversation about my “not my boat” comment, I think we are OK. Just another happening Wednesday night on Lake Monroe. Brent and Maryann won the Rum.