SpinSheet September 2009

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Page 90

current now. Bob looks ahead and asks, “Is that a beach?” I say, “No. It’s just debris.” He says, “No Way!” I say, “Way!” Trying to choose a spot with breeze and less debris is challenging. Bob and I are discussing this when Bob has his first Aha! moment. All those hours listening to his dad about sailing here for 40 years were going to pay off. He asks, “What time is it?” The current is changing. It will stop for 20 minutes and roar the other way. It’s that time. He remembers this. We opt to stay on the channel side of the debris instead of crossing... We cross the line, and the race committee guy says, “Star 7986 over, second place.” Bob’s first Star race, and he scores second. Race Two. The breeze and current have now switched, and so has the course. Bob asks me what the yellow light means. What yellow light? I’m just listening to the horns. Out comes the chart—navigating on a very short race, who-da-thunkit? I don’t remember all the details about this race. Bob and I spend some time working on the pointing and trimming of sails. I tell some Uncle Trap stories about “keeping it on the edge,” which will mainly come into play later on. We end up fourth in that race. You gotta love it.

After a Good Rain, Party, and Sleep...


unday morning we’re all a little slower out of the beds, and we wake up to dark skies. There is much more breeze than Saturday. The forecast is for the front to come through and the breeze to build throughout the day. The breeze is coming from across the river straight at the club. Now this may sound okay, but I’m a little confused. We start between the flagpole on the porch on the clubhouse and a mark in the river. How are they going to do this starting line? And there’s really no weather leg. Hm. Meanwhile it’s gusty, about 14-18 knots. It may be a little much for day two in a Star sailing career. We have some time to see how this plays out. Mark Oberg is not sailing. He tells all of us the forecast. It’s just day two for Bob and Laura, and I don’t want them to be nervous about this boat. I want them to always come back to this class. 90 September 2009 SpinSheet

Kris and Laura opt out of the first race. Bob is really itching to go but will sit ashore if I say so. I did notice that the gusts were fewer and farther between, and Bob’s dad Richard is being the voice of reason saying, “Just try it, you can always come in!” Bob and I dress quickly, launch, and go. We get out in time to start the race. Of course, we don’t really “get” the course. We make the first mark and then the rest is kind of a blur. Up, then down, then across, and something, something to the finish. No problem. We figure we’ll just deal with it. Well, that’s all well and good until you find yourself leading the race. Now what? Keith makes it easy after one mark and asks, “Aren’t we supposed to go to D again?” Then we get closer to D, and Bob and I look at each other. Now what? I yell over and ask. Back to A and then the finish. “Thank you!” Bob goes on to win his first Star race.


The Girls Are Back

ace two, the girls come out. Bob is very excited about this. We get the course this time. We’re in sequence. Our timing is off a little due to current, and we get to the pin too early. Laura is all over us. Up, down, darn! She nails the start. We’re spinning to get back to the proper side of the line. We play catch up the rest of the race. The breeze is up and down and shifty. The poles are up, they’re down; the rig is forward, it’s back. There is a lot of changing gears. We take fourth place. The best news: Laura and Kris win. Sadly, we are too far back to notice. For race three, a good start is yet again out of our reach. Kris is helping Laura with her starts. Laura finally says to her, “Thanks, but I’ve got it.” A gybe, a tack, and she is off to nail another start. Bob and I play catch up again, but to no avail. Oh well. I’m sure that he’s never had so much fun getting last in a race before. Back to the dock to haul, pack up, and watch the awards ceremony. We’re busy taking the boats apart. Bob is eager to be a part of the whole thing. He’s up in the boat scrubbing away. I say, “Bob, you can sail my boat anytime if you keep that up.” He just smiles, but I see those wheels turning in his head. Richard comes by and says to wrap it up for trophies. I’m thinking we blew it. We’re just going up to cheer everyone else on. No—we’re second! Keith is first, Bob second, and Laura third. Wow! How great is that? First weekend in Stars, and they both come home with trophies. I think they might be hooked. spinsheet.com