You know how you meet people with T-shirts or bumper stickers that say XXXYYY race Finisher. Maybe a marathon, or some mountain climb competition, or I even heard about a guy who runs a marathon in deep mud. Whatever the competion, clearly, it was a big deal for them to be there and to just complete the task.
Today, we deserve a T-shirt like that. Can you imagine what a hot conversation piece that would be? “2017 GHYRA Day THREE Finisher!”
Why do we get a T-shirt? After 7.5 hours, we crossed the line 22 minutes before curfew! Most of the boats, including most of our fleet abandoned hope, abandoned the race, and turned on their motors. But not PERSPECTIVE! We persisted and were rewarded with a gradually building breeze in the last hour to make it to the line with a good 5 knots of boat speed.
Sure, at one point we were over 6 knots, but that was not the case for most of the day. Indeed after two hours, we could still see our starting port!
Twice we wallowed in holes with zero wind speed, trying desperately to escape. The first escape came when we hoisted our spinnaker to catch a whisper of wind at the mast-head, even though it took us in the wrong direction. Never mind, it brought us to a place where the wind was a roaring 1.8 knots! The second time, we also hoisted the spinnaker only to discover that the ‘wind’ at the mast-head was flowing in the opposite direction to the ‘wind’ below the spreaders. Eventually, it turned astern, filled and we drifted along.
And then, a welcome site — ripples on the surface ahead. In no time, we had to douse in a hurry, filled the genoa and accelerated to 3-ish knots. It felt almost as fast to us as our 10.1 knot record the day before!
And who appeared alongside us at this time, just catching the next whisper of wind a bit ahead of us? BATTLEWAGON, of course 🙂
In fact, the got away from us. We tacked toward shore. They tacked to cover us. The wind built, and then softened, we tacked back out to sea, and they didn’t cover us — it was our chance. A few tacks more and we couldn’t see them any more. Had they gone through the rifle range (again)? When we spotted them, they were at least a mile ahead of us. How did that happen? (We learned later they abandoned the race, fired up the engine and motored through the rifle range).
So it was a sweet moral victory to finish before the curfew. A hard won moral victory!
Here are a few shots, courtesy Lazy Sheet: