Sometimes, the key question isn't whether you break cover, it's when. A little dance at the windward mark plays out as well as could be expected for the trailing boat.
Sunday was a fairly forgettable day of frostbiting for yours truly. Actually, that’s probably the wrong way to look at it. As much as I’d like to forget about it, there was quite a few lessons to be learned from my mistakes, which ranged from drysuit zipper issues, which caused me to miss a race, to flipping twice, once because I hooked my mainsheet on a winter mooring stick. So perhaps forgettable is the wrong word. Regrettable might be better.
Ironically enough, however, the lesson that stuck with me the most comes from something that went right.
Every point does count, except when trying too hard to win that point costs you a few more in the long run.
I always thought that the worst way to start a race is by being called OCS. But on Sunday, during an otherwise glorious day of Laser frostbiting on Newport Harbor, I discovered a potentially more disastrous opening act: believing that you’ve been called over early when in fact you were clear.
The Melges 32 is all it's cracked up to be: fast, fun, and extremely challenging.
Even though I’m a words-first journalist, I’ve never questioned the 1:1,000 ratio colloquially applied to words and pictures. If anything, it might be a touch low. Sometimes, however, it’s hard to know exactly which words apply. Such is the case with the rather ordinary photo at right, which I took on Sunday, the final day of the 2010 Melges 32 Gold Cup in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. It actually says a lot about the event and the class.
A good first impression can mean the difference between having a "cup of coffee" with a dream program, and latching on for the long haul.
Fortunately for all involved (in this case: you, me, and anyone else who will read this), the subject of this piece is how to make a good first impression, specifically how do to so as a new member of a big-boat team. Were this blog to cover generally how to make bad first impression, this would likely be the first page of a something quite a bit longer. Now that’s a subject I know quite a bit about. I could probably qualify for a PhD in that department.
For this sailor, the 2010 Melges 32 Gold Cup represents an opportunity to return to the intensity, pressure, and excitement of grand-prix one-design racing.
Crash Davis spent three weeks in The Show once. For the better part of a month, the fictional hero of the Bull Durham hit white balls for batting practice, did his windsprints in modern-day cathedrals of concrete, sifted sand, and precision-cut grass, had someone else carry his bags, ordered room service whenever he was hungry, and made long-legged, brainy women swoon.
On the last Wednesday night of summer, we finally scored our bullet in Shields Fleet Nine.
It's been a long summer in Shields Fleet Nine in Newport, R.I. Aboard Earle Stubbs' Lisa, we began the season with new sails, a tune-up session with North's Chuck Allen, and a string of top-five finishes. As the water warmed, the days lengthened, and the breeze lightened, our scores took a turn for the worse. But we never gave up, and we never stopped enjoying ourselves. Or Stubby's Budweisers.
After eight nail-biting races in windy conditions, I'm sure of one thing, I need to be in better shape.
When it comes to buoy racing, today was my longest day. I refrained from using that for the headline out of respect for all the Allied soldiers (my grandfather included) who participated in the Normandy Invasion. That title is, in my book, retired. No day will ever be longer.
To understand his inconsistency on the racecourse, SW's Michael Lovett turns to his spiritual advisors, Britney Spears and Happy Gilmore.
"You think you know, but you have no idea."
That's the slogan to "Diary," a short-lived MTV series that gave viewers an inside look at the lives of pop stars like Britney Spears. When Britney uttered the line in promotions for her episode, I remember thinking, "You're right, Britney, I do think I know what goes on in your daily life. But I'd rather not stick around to find out....click."
Skipper Bill Porter and bowman Joe Lauver sail Conundrum out to the racing area on Day 2 of the 2010 J/22 North American Championship.
One of the most useful things about traveling to the J/22 North Americans, says SW's Michael Lovett, was seeing some of the tricks other racers used when packing up their boats.
For many competitors, the final day of the 2010 J/22 North American Championship was a disappointment. A lack of wind prevented racing—though it didn't prevent the RC from towing the 51-boat fleet several miles out into Lake Erie, where we spent the next few hours bobbing around in a wavy, though windless, sea.
When the committee abandoned racing at 1:30 p.m., the real race began: the race to pack up and go home. Aboard Bill Porter's Conundrum, we were lucky enough to pick up the first tow, which put us near the front of the line for the hoist.
The wind settled down for Day 2 of the J/22 North American Championship, and SW's Michael Lovett learned to make the best of the situation.
Not every day can be like yesterday. And today—Day 2 of the J/22 North American Championship in Buffalo—was nothing like yesterday. Gone were the big wind and big waves, replaced by little wind and little wavelets.