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State of flow

Race Details

  • Wind: 10 knots NE, oscillating
  • Course: 14S-11-1-14F
Course Map

In positive psychology, flow,  is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.

Tonight, all five of us were in a state of flow.  David, Mark, Bert, Skootch and I put on a clinic of tactics, strategy, sail trim, and maneuvers with 100% concentration, crystal clear communication and seamless teamwork.  It was pure joy.  And it paid!

Our objective was to finish ahead of Battlewagon and Sandpiper to secure (I believe) third place overall for the summer series.  Sandpiper was away, so we focused on a match race with Battlewagon.  Strategically, that meant we ignored the rest of the fleet, and didn’t give a fig about putting in a good start, so long as we were ahead of our rival.  That’s exactly what we did, ensuring that we were well in front of Battlewagon as we headed to the line.  We were about 20 seconds late, and they were 15 seconds behind us.  When they tacked, we tacked to cover.

With this approach we were able to stay ahead of them to the windward mark.  They had neither gained, nor lost ground on the first beat.  Our hoist was like honey on toast, and we gained precious boat-lengths.  By this time, Top Gun and Remarkable were quite far ahead, Sabotage was in Dundas, and Legacy was doing great.  With one eye on Battlewagon astern, and another eye on the iPad, we trimmed and trimmed and trimmed and rode each oscillation in the wind to maximize speed and VMG to the leeward mark.  Check out the video to see Lazy Sheet the Jedi master of spinnaker trim.  When Battlewagon jibed, we jibed to cover, and we gained with each maneuver. Again, they jibed and we covered.  But the third time, we chose not to cover.  By now we were abreast Remarkable with the inside lane, and the wind had shifted so that we could soak down to the leeward mark — a little slow, perhaps, but a great tactical position vis-a-vis Remarkable.  With the downwind gains we had made, we were starting to set our eyes on an even bigger prize!

Sure enough, Battlewagon jibed back onto our line, dead astern and well back. And we were inside Remarkable, soaking deeply toward the douse.  David dropped the pole, Bert and I flew the spinnaker sans pole, Skootch went into the hole and down came the kite.  We hardened up quickly, and kept an eye on Remarkable astern.  When they tacked, we tacked to cover.  Then the wind shifted 20 degrees, giving us a big knock.  We tacked immediately, converting the knock into a lift that put us on track for the finish.  Just before the line, we had to duck Pandora, but there was room to do that and finish ahead of Remarkable.  Top Gun was in our sites, but we didn’t quite get them.

What a rush!  Mission accomplished, and some 🙂

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