Yes, Lazy Sheet took a bath. Â Calmly, I mentioned to Bob that I was experiencing a tad of weather helm, and calmly he eased the traveler. Â And in that interval, the low side of the boat plunged happily beneath the surface, smothering our foresail trimmer in a cozy blanket of baywater. Â Glancing casually at the sole of the cockpit, I observed four inches of water merrily draining away, and simply return my focus to steering.
And such was our adventure tonight. Â Somehow, despite big wind, the big genoa, plenty of hanging on for dear life…somehow, we just stayed calm and rocketed around the bay, laughing at all the gusts.
Yes, we bent a stanchion. Â Yes we nearly launched Four Hands (again), yes, the spinnaker pole hit the forestay (again), and yes weÂ washed both sides of the deck. Â And yes, IT WAS A BLAST!!!! Â Did we make the right choice at the dock (installing the big jib)? Â Maybe not, but it was so much fun! Â Besides, although the wind was blowing and the gusts were strong, nature wasn’t nearly as angry as on Tuesday night — and there is only one way to find out: Â try!
Not only was the wind intense, but the course was intense too. Â Before the start, we had to go back to the committee boat for a second look to make sure we had it correct. Â Yes, we did: three upwind legs, two downwind legs and a reach to boot. Â Game on. Â Ready. Set. Go!
[Check out the duel with battlewagon, here in square brackets]
We timed our start well, and got clear air around the middle of the line, charging away with just Sabotage (who else?) crossing our bow. Â Up we went, heeling like crazy in the mad gusts, crossing the other boats until the windward mark. Â Once again, we rounded last in our fleet, just astern of Sandpiper. [180m behind Battlewagon]
But once again our spinnaker made all the difference. Â Tonight we were the only ones in our fleet brave (crazy) enough to fly our kite, cresting over 9.1 knots on the downwind leg, passing everyone. Â We were the thirdÂ to the leeward mark [35m ahead of Battlewagon]. Â The next tack was made especially for us: Â a reach to mark number 7. Â Lazy Sheet put into practice everything he learned on the weekend, and we added another 150m to our lead on Battlewagon [180m behind us].
Upwind again, we lost ground [now 120m behind Battlewagon], but this leg was exhilerating — check out the footage!
Hoist again for a longer run back to mark 12 and we surged ahead once more [now 110m ahead of Battlewagon]. Â Was it enough to cover them to upwind finish? Â We were getting optimistic, especially when the had to dip us before the approach to the finish line, but the fickle wind in the home stretch was not on our side, and we were 60m behind Battelwagon when they finished. Â Just six boat lengths. Â Just ten seconds!
But never mind! Â What a fantastic ride to remember — better than anything they offer at Canada’s Wonderland 🙂
(and we all know what Lazy Sheet is getting for a gag gift: Â Soap on a rope, for his next bath onboard!