Saturday, November 1, 2014
This weekend, our team traveled to Santa Barbara for the Central Coast Challenge, which was our first away regatta this year. This regatta was a “fun” competition, with mostly JV teams participating, and our goal in attending was to have our less experienced members get a feel for real racing, rather than solely to do well. We rotated crews and skippers to maximize everyone’s sailing time and so that different crews could learn from different skippers. This was my first regatta as a skipper, and I was incredibly nervous, especially with the wind forecasted to be up to 15 knots for the first day! Also, Mission Bay generally doesn’t have huge waves with white caps, so adjusting to sailing through ocean waves was a challenge, in addition to the strong wind. When the waves were oncoming, I learned to briefly turn my boat in the direction where they would have the least impact on my boat speed and motion, depending on the direction of the waves and my point of sail. There were many boats that capsized this weekend because of the conditions, and luckily I was not one of them! I went into this regatta with the goal NOT to capsize, so I think that helped me maintain my position in the fleet, because even though I was not roll tacking that hard or taking as many risks, since I did not capsize I was able to pass boats that did. Eventually though, I hope to have good enough boat handling skills so that I won’t have to worry so much about capsizing. Overall, my starts were less than excellent, and I often got to the line too early and had to go back around the fleet and the start line. However, I had Brett Farrell as my crew, and since he is already a great skipper, he was able to advise me though my rough moments on the water.
As a second year, it was also really important to me that all of our new members were getting enough sail time and were having a good time overall, so I felt myself having to step up in terms of leading the team. Even though we were all “JV” and younger sailors, I was very proud of the returning members of the team who also stepped up to be responsible, organized, and inclusive. I enjoyed sailing at Santa Barbara especially because the sailors who are off the water get to sit right by the beach, watch the races going on, and bond with each other.
I ended up usually finishing between 8-13th of an 18 boat fleet, which was a nice surprise for me because going into the weekend, I thought I would be last place every race! I now know that practicing techniques, such as mark roundings and accelerations, are really important, but just as important is having the ability to think quickly during starts and to be observant in general to pick out the best pathway through the course.
Oct 25 - Men’s Singlehanded Champs October 25-26, 2014
Oct 18 - Stoney Burke Regatta
Oct 11 - UCSD Sailing Debut