and I knew it was supposed to be switched on and that you should feed your mainsheet through in the “clicky direction” when rigging. But I didn’t really know the why of all those things. Well, this is why! When it’s on, the wheel spins, and makes the clicking sound when you pull your mainsheet in, but it won’t spin in the opposite direction. That means you only have to apply a little pressure to the line to keep the sail trimmed against strong wind and the block does most of the work for you. When it’s off, like mine was, the wheel spins freely in both directions, giving you very little mechanical advantage. I switched it on with great relief. Not only was I not that tired after all, I was not going to have to endure another leg of cramping hand muscles! I frolicked upwind with my now-controllable sail and picked off another four boats before the finish! Boats beaten: Five. Best moment: Hearing the sweet, sweet sound of the ratchet block Race 4 What a great start would feel like, and what UFD means. My biggest, most embarrassing bonehead moment happened with the entire fleet lined up to see it! I couldn’t get my watch synched to the start sequence. So I thought, it’s okay, no big deal. Just listen for the horn and be ready to go. I went and got a Regatta Chair Lynne Randall (81022), Susan Tillman Berg (81018) and Emily Wagner great spot on the line. Everyone was creep- (43909), trying hard to keep up! ing forward. I could tell the start horn was But I was asking the wrong question. The right question is: coming. The anticipation was intense. BEEEEP! I sheeted in What do the top sailors have that I CAN’T have? And the and shot across that line like never before. I felt how a cleananswer to that is: NOTHING. Physically speaking, we have air start feels. I felt like a pro! I felt…alone. No one else had the exact same wind, waves, currents and boat. We are just started. I had cued on the one-minute horn, NOT the start using them differently. And nothing is stopping anyone horn. I turned a remarkable shade of red, camouflaged from figuring out how to use them better! This realization handily by my sunburn. I dived back below the line but the got me really excited about sailing. If I were, let’s say, a damage was done. We were starting under the Uniform sprinter, I could practice and improve and compete against flag, meaning anyone over the line during the final minute my personal best. But I could never hope to beat Usain Bolt. prior to the gun is automatically UFD; Uniform Flag He has physical mechanics that I will never ever have. But Disqualified. This is to discourage boats from being OCS in sailing, we all start with the same mechanics. There is no and prevent general recalls, not specifically for idiots that limit on how well we can learn to use those mechanics. And go on the wrong horn. Caroline Young and Amy Linton no limit on becoming a better sailor! laughed at me and then gave me a pep talk. Everyone is Boats beaten: Five over early once in a while. Best moment: Looking forward to the next race! Boats beaten: 0 Best moment: Laughing about it! Is it time to sail again yet? Flappy side up! Race 5 What the top sailors have that you don’t. Our final race was in lighter air. I struggled to find the right Novice sailor Emily Wagner began sailing last fall at age 36. She angle, the right tack, the right everything. The leaders flew races Sunfish with the Dinghy Dames of Davis Island Yacht right around the course as I tried desperately to find someClub, crews on the 36-foot racer/cruiser Chamamé and feels thing to put in my poor empty sail. As I watched them lucky to have found a welcoming sailing family at DIYC. You round the windward mark (tiny triangles far away from might currently find her near the back of the pack, but Emily is me!) I wondered: What do they have that I don’t have? Well, having a great time back there! She’s looking forward to more racyears of experience, wind-reading bordering on clairvoying—and working her way up the leaderboard. ance, and they feel developed with tons and tons of practice. Cruising & Sailing Florida, The Southeast & The Bahamas
A free, printed sailing magazine reporting on sailing in the southeast U.S: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missi...