Saturday, January 7, 2017

Good While It Lasted

After several days of thick fog lasting until late morning - yes we get that in Abu Dhabi - it was a clear day on Friday, with winds predicted at close to 20 knots. They didn't get quite that high, but it was a good breeze.  A nice day for the first race of the New Year.

The race started well - I had a good spot midline and relatively clear air. I worked hard the first couple of minutes and found an opportunity to tack away.  Then, I realized our top Kiwi sailor was not ahead of me - how was that possible?  After the race he said he thought he was OCS and so had gone back.  Oh well, during the race, I was happy to indulge in the fantasy I was just sailing well.  I was first around the windward mark and had lengthened my lead to at least 5 or 6 boat-lengths at the gybe mark.

Then my luck ran out.  Concentrating on a smooth rounding with a gybe, I did a great job until my boom gently kissed the mark.  I thought I still had time to do a quick 360 before the others rounded the mark. I tacked and the others were just at the mark, I started to gybe when the first one was rounding the mark and I realized I would have to complete the gybe very quickly or I would be interfering with him. Haste then quickly made waste - or, more accurately, a swim.

And that was it - I capsized to windward, so that meant a second capsize to leeward (no California roll).  A good part of the fleet passed me and I managed to catch several boats but it was all over.  Just spent the rest of the race practicing.
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