08/17/2010 by Willie Blevins
Today is a race, it starts at noon. To get there, to be on time, to be ready,
I hope you started last week because I did.
I cleaned the boat, I checked the rigging, I dried out the floats,
I inspected the flares and tested the horn.
I practiced. I have dedicated crew that helps me clean and prepare.
We practice everyday for six hours, rain or shine, windy or not.
When we pull the boat out, we have done it so many times, we don’t even need to speak.
Even when someone spots a problem, we are so in tune, the solution is immediate.
There is nothing that can stop the flawless efficiency of this team.
Time to go. I know that the trailer is in excellent condition,
bearings are new or nearly new, never more than six months old
because that is the maintenance schedule.
Plenty of high quality marine grease in the hubs and the tire pressure is optimum
in every tire on the truck, and the trailer, and the spares.
The trailer brakes work perfectly, my rig stops quicker with the trailer than without,
and it stops on the proverbial dime without the trailer.
Sailing bag is freshly repacked, gloves, chart, electronics, clothes, fowlies, first aid,
sunscreen, sun glasses, dry bags, emergency food, knife, radio, and it weighs less than nothing.
When you throw it up it really does not come down.
Fresh oil change, full of fuel, both in the truck and just exactly the right amount for the boat.
Everyone is here on time, ready to go, excited, having a blast already, weather is perfect.
Straight to the regatta with no traffic, no delays, parking is easy, launching is effortless.
Each time we put the boat together it is faster and better.
On to the race course, 10 tacks, ten jibes, ten sets, ten dowses, constant continuous improvement.
Every maneuver is better than the last and the first one was better than any we have ever done.
The Race committee sets a perfect course and line, the strategy is start left, go right, stay clear, go fast.
Start first, don’t let anybody pass. Everybody is focused totally on racing right now.
One Crew calling the puffs and another calling the waves,
another feeding the helm a constant stream of data about the competition.
Where are they, why are they there and where do they wish they were.
Instruments working flawlessly, sails trimmed perfectly,
knot meter is showing a continuous increase.
Our lead widens. -wb-