North Americans – Day 1 – Wrap Up
I am sure everyone has seen the sail wave results, but here is the Rest of the Story…(Say it like Paul Harvey)
I am tired, so I am just going to write this in list style.
- We got to the reservoir. It was snowing and breezy and the drifts were still out there and only getting more hidden by the new snow fall.
- Yesterday, Joerg Boehn who had flown in from Germany that same day to some midwestern airport and then rented a car to drive to this place then decided to rent a small plane from the local airport and do recon mission to find better ice on the reservoir. He found a clean plate about 8 miles from the launch site.
- At this morning’s skippers meeting the race committee announced it was debating whether to have us all either sail or be towed to the area Joerg had found. They had sent another group out to check the Joerg ice and we had to wait to get a better real time report.
- The group came back from the ice investigation and the committee decided to instead stay put and try and get some races in closer to the launch location.
- The committee set the course and many of us did our best to sail it. I personally dove through a very deep drift at the windward mark. Others found drifts and some large puddles.
- The good new is the snow stopped, but then it started to sleet a bit which made the drifts super wet, heavy, and cement like.
- Then the Montana blue sky starting taking over and the clouds were dissipating.
- The lovely blue sky also stopped the wind from blowing.
- We waited a long time for the breeze to fill.
- The breeze eventually filled in very nicely about an hour and half later, but about a mile away from where we were and after a 90 degree wind shift. So, we all relocated.
- At last the race committee, who worked incredibly hard all day to pull of races despite very shift conditions, called up the silver fleet.
Okay, the next list is going to be about me. Sorry, but I only have that perspective.
- There were 36 racers on the line. I got assigned the #7 position on the line.
- The night before there was a panel discussion with ten of the best sailors at the regatta. One question posed to the group was on starting and T said, "I learned that you don’t get in your boat until the guy to leeward gets in."
- I was at the line and feeling very ready for the flag drop.
- The flag dropped and I pushed and sprinted with all I had and didn’t get in until the guy to leeward got in.
- I built speed really well, two blocked it, and just sailed fast.
- I ducked one boat that tacked early and I decided to go right for the layline.
- I tacked over and followed Ron Sherry’s advice from the night before to use my leeward knee to help push the boom over.
- I was approaching the windward mark and I realized no one was close to me.
- I rounded the windward mark IN FIRST PLACE in my first DN North American Race!
- My speed was good around the windward mark, but then I choked and gybed in a snow drift and I lost tremendous speed. A guy from Kingston passed me and by the time I was at the leeward mark I was in second place. I did a conservative leeward mark rounding and then just focused on keeping my boat fast.
- At the finish I was not sure where I placed, but T said I should head to the pits for measurements.
- I didn’t really understand why.
- Then one of the measurer’s looked at me and told me I had finished in 2nd Place!
- 2nd place! I could not believe it.
- Uh Oh..
- The problem with 2nd place is that means you get moved up to the GOLD FLEET for the rest of the regatta.
- Again due to shifting conditions, the race committee has to adjust the course and the starting line.
- The called for the Gold Fleet to line up and I had to race again. I got a good start, but the guy to windward of me and leeward of me just got up to speed faster and I got caught in dirty air.
- I was happy to keep my boat flat and just maintain control honestly. With the wind building, my plate runners were making noise and sliding a bit. I think I finished in 33 place.
- The race committee called another gold fleet race. I switched my runners and I had a good start, but these folks in gold fleet are just wicked fast. I think I got 32 place.
- Then the race committee called another gold fleet race because three races makes a regatta and if conditions deteriorate the regatta will be in the books.
- I, unfortunately, was putting on my mitten when I saw everyone around me running. Oops. I didn’t look up and I didn’t hear the flag was up. Lesson learned.
- I did get up to speed and I did end up beating a boat or two despite a really bad start.
- Congratulations to Chad and T who are leading the regatta. Eric and Eben also felt pleased with their races.
- I honestly had the best day of sailing in my life. I have never gone so fast while feeling in relative control. And, I also know my time in the boat and my 100 practice starts played a big role in my first race of the day.
Over and out,
Karen Binder, DN 5630.