Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Racing Rules

So as I mentioned yesterday, tonight was the Sebago Sailing Committee's first meeting of January.

Started with Thai food and scheduling of cruise days, racing & a couple of special events & then quickly moved on to the evening's main course - a racing rules review.

Well, for me it was an introduction.

I do actually know your basic rules of the road, starboard tack vs. port, windward vs. leeward, etc.

Racing Rules - well, I know what they are like I know what a Plain Bob Minor is. So tonight was really the first overview.

Generally, on the whiteboard & the little kit that Holly has to demonstrate scenarios, stuff made sense. But as we moved on, things got a bit complicated from time to time because a lot of the people there are experienced & started talking fine points.

I guess some of us newbies were getting a little deer-in-the-headlights looking because at one point one of the older hands interrupted a debate to assure us that with the level of sailing and number of boats involved at Sebago races, as long as you know the basics, you can still have fun.

Actually the same guy produced another moment that was oddly reassuring. In the middle of talking about racing on the Bay, he let out a lovely, sonorous "Boooooooooonnnng".

That being, he explained, what the channel markers they'll use as one or more of their race course markers sound like when you goof up and run your boat into one. "And then everyone in the bay looks to see what happened".

Now why do I find this reassuring?

Because I just know that if I can actually make it to any of the races (they're on Fridays now, could possibly happen) I am gonna screw up.

And what that Boooooonnng said was, so do the older hands. And they can laugh about it afterwards.

Good to know, huh?

Now that doesn't mean that I'm going out there thinking it's OK to hit a nun with a dinghy.

But in the quite possible event that I do, I won't be quite as mortified. However, I do think I'll be trying to put in a little time on this site. Holly sent that out. Looks like fun.

Shortly after that, before any beginner heads actually exploded and scared the cats, the review was wrapped up and we finished with a little Australian skiff racing. Wooohoo.

I think the biggest problem I'm going to face this summer will once again be not having anywhere near enough time to do everything I want to do.

I'm pretty used to that by now, though.

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