Rags shreaded her competition in the Laser 28 fleet on the third day of the 2001 Sailing World Marblehead NOOD regatta, earning two bullets and one second-place finish. Despite having set their spinnaker sideways on the first run of the first race, Rags managed to finish second, thereby rising to top honors after having finished second overall the day before. With an overall of 14 points so far, Rags left Jet in second place by five points. “It was a terrific set of races,” said skipper Judy Button. “Our boat handling got cleaner and our speed got faster as the day progressed.”
By the last race of the day, Rags had established herself as the mother duck of the fleet, leading her competition around the course. She soon began to vie against the back of the J-80 Fleet, which had started long before the Laser 28s. The wind picked up as the day went on, and continued to clock left. Heavy chop continued to choke the downwind legs, although the powerful current was less monstrous thanks to the building breeze.
Crew members fought the pain caused by a sharp toe rail and hiked through their last upwind leg to make up for not flying their heavy air jib. Rags’ foredeck crew said they enjoyed yet another unique day of humor on the rail. Trimmer Allan Proos says that reprimands for the rowdy rail riders were fewer than the day before. “It’s a lot easier to get a long in the front,” said jib-grinder Ed Botterell, with a chuckle. “Nothing can ease tension like five boat lengths on the competition can.”
But the self-proclaimed peanut gallery on the foredeck maintains that laughing away nervous energy at the expense of pop culture media and occasionally at the recollection of their own comedic moments gave them the winning edge. “When it came time to call the laylines, I was right on the ball,” said Proos. “I didn’t scrutinize over it from the start. We don’t like to bang the corners, so that puts us in a good position for an easy call. You have to relax and play things moment-by-moment.” Proos noted the biggest irony of the day: Rags’ engine had failed, requiring her to be towed out to the race course by fellow competitors in order to make it to the line in time for a good start.
Although several Laser 28s turned on their engines after the races, Rags sailed to her mooring in the lead.