Fort Walton Trimaran Nationals 2003
Rolling in to Leeside Park on Sunday was great. The weather was fine, the bay already had a bunch of trimarans sitting or sailing. My blood pressure dropped 10 points as soon as I got on Brooks Bridge and could see the Gulf of Mexico. We parked the boat, checked out who was there already. Russ, Rick and Allison, Forbes, Pete, and a couple of Bobs and Mikes were dug in already.
Denise and I dropped off the boat and went to the Old Bay Steamer to start working on our seafood satiation. Monday was spent doing the weigh in thing. My hat is off to Bob Harkrider for his determination to get the 31’s weighed. There are still some questions about a certain boat from Missouribut as a rule it went well and there is some information about boat weights now for F31s. I knew my boat was empty because the last time it was out we were racing. It is always empty when we are racing right? So I started removing some of those little things that were still on board and found out that the Suburban wasn’t big enough to hold all the crap that came off my “empty” boat. I think my boat came in at #3620 and the range was about from #3570 to #4100 but I am sure the actuals will be posted somewhere. After the obligatory stop at every marine store in the county, we got the boat in the water Monday evening. Tuesday I spent some time sanding globs of Marine Tex off my rudder and attended Randy’s seminar in the afternoon. I have listened to Randy tell me to steer by the lower jib tell tales, and get the top leeward tell on the main to work for three years now. I cannot believe how much I get from having him tell me the same stuff every year. I do know that except for some very special people that I get to see again each April, the seminar is probably the most valuable part of the week.
We almost cartwheeled on the return leg of Monday’s distance race. After the first mark we had the screecher up making eighteen knots on what felt like a comfortable reach. Four of us were huddled up on the windward hull behind the cap shroud. No problem, sailing flat and fast, having a great time, when the boat tripped I still don’t understand it. The waves were small, we were flat. Without warning the boat stopped, dead, and in slow motion the stern began to rise. The four of us slid from the rear windward corner of the port side net into a glob of human bodies in the forward leeward corner of the port net. At some point before it went all the way over, the boat settled back down on it’s butt and took off again. We laughed and hypothesized. Later at the yacht club that someone that had been behind us remarked that since they could see most of the daggerboard out of the water at one point they were really surprised that we hadn’t gone on over. Randy Smyth says you might as well get it over with but personally I intend to hold off as long as possible.