Big Day At NAs
Big breeze saw the gold qualifier done and gold fleet race one done- That’s the good news- Bad news is a few masts gave up and a few boats need a little patching up!
Personally I had an interesting race…. Off the line from spot #18, good acceleration and clear air. Boat felt good and was going well. Tacked over to port as soon as I could.
Big lifting puffs from the left were a gift from above- I left the darling mark to port and tacked over, rounded the top mark with a decent lead.
Took off like a shot down the run and of course over stood the layline by a mile and was passed by Matt Struble, Ron Sherry, and Jost Kolb. Oops….
Passed Jost at the mark rounding, sneaked past Ron on the beat and got back into second. The CSI sled was wicked up and tuned in! Breeze was way up, easing sheet upwind was necessary to keep the mast off the ice…. Radical.
Next leg over stood again but by less- held onto second.
Next beat was able to stay to windward of Ron to the port layline then tacked for the mark. One leg to go, reminded myself aloud not to do anything stupid….
Downwind breeze was up, over stood by a bit again, boat was bouncing all over and really twitchy- here’s where it gets interesting…..
About 100 yards from the finish- Neck and neck w Ron Sherry, second place on the line. I said aloud to myself “don’t do anything dumb, second is as good as first”. I should have dropped the sheet and coasted over the line but NOOOOO, I just had to push it and haul the sheet a little- heading up to cross the line and suddenly the world was spinning- Rapidly.
Long story short I did at least a 360, maybe a 720. It happened fast. When the rotation stopped I could see orange out of my left eye- I figured that was the mark so all good there. Out of my right eye I could see a checkered flag being held by a rapidly back-pedaling John Atkins. So I was pointed the right way and had actually crossed the line (possibly stern first) to take third.
I did notice in the middle of all this that the entire silver fleet was watching along with every boat behind me, so I get points or maximum public self-humiliation. I didn’t even think about trying to play it cool about this one! The chop-busting started immediately- jokes about showing off, grandstanding for the cameras, needing a tutu for the boat since it pirouettes like a ballet dancer etc… What the hell, I still got a third!
Stay tuned for more- the second part of the day was pretty cool too…. Trust me.
James “T” Thieler12 Channing St.
Newport, RI. 02840
401 258 6230