The first race for the new year and we are feeling refreshed, happy and ready to be back on the water. Skies are clear, slight breeze, five crew on board, should be a fab day. Our numbers were bolstered by the addition of Scott, an experienced sailor who had made Emma’s new head sail, main sail and her beautiful purple spinnaker. It was great to have him on-board so we could learn new skills and he could check out how the sails performed.
The wind was from the north west at about 9 kts. All is well and going fine, we are approaching the start line head on and looking likely to be first boat across and to head for the first buoy. We are getting kinda too close to the start line with a minute to go for the start and so bare away to head in a more horizontal direction. We then tack to cross the start line, the start signal blows, all good…..until race control calls on the radio..’Emma Ward, you have crossed the start too early’. We reckon we crossed about 5 seconds too early. This means we have to turn around and re cross over the start line. As we do, all of the other boats pass us going towards the first buoy, the wind is behind us and drops to about 5 kts relative so it seems to take a long time to re cross that line. As we finally cross the start line for the second time all the other yachts are just shy of the first buoy and we all felt a bit deflated.
Making the most of the situation and on Captain Pete’s orders, we’ve refocused from winning to catching up with the rest of the field. I reckon we were catching up by the time we reached the second buoy. Crew was on the ready at all times. This time, under Scott”s expert instruction we put the spinnaker up before furling in the head sail, and it worked a treat. We kept forward momentum, kept those sails rightly trimmed and before we knew it, we had made up ground. Emma Ward was like a racehorse at the final turn. She sensed the open water ahead of her. She surged forward leaving the other boats in her wake, and sliced through the water with all hands feeling elated. For the rest of the race we maintained the gap on the field and crossed the finish line in first position. Well done to the crew who never gave up despite the overwhelming odds. It just goes to show that even if you have a bad start, you can make up ground by concentrating and not giving up. A great attitude to encapsulate into one’s daily life.
To view race results click on this link. https://www.dbcya.com.au/wp-content/uploads/Results-Race-5-13-Jan-2018.pdf