Don't worry, I don't narrate the whole thing!
A little light-air "action" at Race 5 of the 6-race Fall Dinghy. The race committee had deliberately set a very short course and we were doing very short races on that very short course, mostly simple 3-leg windward-leeward-windward things. However, despite all of that, one of those races took us a full half-hour 'cause the wind just died almost completely and I think that it was during that race that I got a little silly with the camera & started not just taking pictures (which I'd figured I could do with the forecast calling for winds of 5 kts or less), but videotaping. Of course then once the wind picked up I felt duty-bound to get a little of the better action, too, and then I think the last race I put the camera away & focused on sailing.
For all I'm making a little fun of conditions here, I was actually glad I went - it was actually a lot more interesting than I ever imagined trying to figure out how to get the boat to go in such light air. Like, I figured out pretty fast that the standard seating arrangement where you sit on one side of the cockpit and the boom sticks out over the other side wasn't going to work because the wind wasn't strong enough to beat out gravity and the sail would just flop over to the side you were sitting on. I ended sailing most of the races kneeling or crouching in the cockpit (and boy are my legs sore today). The wind was also ridiculously shifty, "W-L-W" was a purely theoretical conjecture, one single leg could be w-l-w-l-w-l-w with the shifts only detectable through a lazy spin of your wind indicator, which you had to watch like a hawk. Our poor race committee carefully set up the course based on their observations only to watch it go all to heck on the first leg of the first race (we were all able to sail pretty much straight to the windward mark); they attempted a reset for Race 2 & then after that they just gave up 'cause there just wasn't any point, the wind was just all over the place all afternoon.
There was a Flying Fickle Finger of Fate effect that was definitely in play, really funny to watch - you'd have everybody basically drifting and then suddenly, with no apparent commotion of the water to give away where it was coming from, an errant microzephyr would suddenly start one boat gently into motion while the rest continued. There was one point (not recorded because I was actually paying attention to my sailing at that moment) when there was a group of 3 sunfish driftng together - Oscar, me, and Chris, in that order. Suddenly Chris started moving. Passed me & a minute later I started moving too. Oscar said "Hey!" as I sailed past him chasing Chris & I said "Oh, this'll get to you in a minute", but it never did. Weird stuff!
Anyways, it was all much more interesting than I'd expected, albeit with a few moments where we were all laughing at the moments of complete stillness - and I'm glad to report that the end result of the day was that this was my best day of dinghy racing yet - of course it's not too hard to raise the bar when it was lying on the ground in the first place, but I was SO terrible last year, I couldn't watch the better sailors to see what they were doing because they would be at the far end of the course. All I wanted out of this year's racing was to at least be more or less up with the pack. Well, we had a fleet of 5 sunfish and I came in
Looking forward to next Sunday - will be interesting to see what the Wind Gods send, the series this year has tended towards extremes - this weekend was no wind, weekend before was gusts to 25. I'd love to see if my "improvement" holds up in a LITTLE more wind, will be keeping my fingers crossed for good conditions.
And yes, of COURSE I took some pictures.
Start of the day - Race Committee drops off a tow. It's something of a point of pride among the Sebago sailors that we like to get ourselves under the bridge, but on a day where it's going to take up racing time, the RC boat was offering tows & most of us were taking them, just in the interest of getting going. We actually got in 6 races, but if the wind hadn't picked up as nicely as it did halfway through Race 5, that probably would've been it.
Kaki sailing Lark. I am a total sucker for the blue-sky-with-peppermint-sail shot.
Downwind leg, in theory if not in actuality.
Upwind leg, again, at least that was what it was supposed to be although the sails would say otherwise, right? Kaki & Oscar finishing.
Gorgeous day to be on the race committee - especially once they gave up on worrying about the course and those theoretical concepts of "upwind" and "downwind" & just settled down to enjoy the day. And our Principal Race Officer made us scones!
OK, so still not quite midfleet - when you have a fleet of 5 I think "midfleet" is 3rd place. But I was definitely not whimpering in everyone else's dust like I was last year (and I might even have done better if I hadn't distracted myself with trying to tape).