Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Tale of the Missing Race Course

So, we haven't shared the tale of the sailboat race yet. And, it's certainly a day to remember.

Once again, we registered to enter the USPS District 5 Sail Regatta. We like to try to give Howard some competition if we can. This year, though, only 3  boats entered- 1 monohull, Howard's Gemini, and LUX. The respective captains all met to decide if they would even go out with such a small number. 

During the discussion, they decided it was going to be a beautiful day on the water, so why not go sailing! 

The next part of the discussion was centered around the course. It seems that our intrepid race master set a course that started AFTER a 1 1/2 trip out to the bay! Even with heavy winds, the racers would not make it back until after the banquet. So, the racers reset the course.

The course was set to start at buoy K, but the race committee boat had difficulties finding the buoy. Perhaps the buoy was hidden by the 3 sailboats circling around it! Of course, they could have checked the SMSA race course chart. The GPS coordinates are listed for that buoy. But, maybe their GPS was not working properly.

Since the race committee boat could not find the buoy K, they decided to pick another race buoy and call it K! Hmmmm... perhaps they should have alerted the sailboats to that little change in the program. Or, perhaps they just thought it would make the race more exciting if the racers first had to find the buoy.

Now that the race committee had a buoy they liked, it was time to start the race. Ooops.... the 3 sailboats were not even near this new start line. Oh so what. Let's just start the race anyway. And so they did. Now, the race committee boat did signal the start of this race. But, they did not announce the start on th VHS radio. Of course, it would have made no difference if they did. During the initial meeting, the decision was made to use channel 16 as the race committee channel. Once on the water, it seems the race committee did not like that decision. So, they made a new decision to use channel 68. But, just to make sure the race was more challenging, they did not tell the racers.

The sailboats did eventually find the race committee boat. They sailed to it, and they started around the buoys. And, it was a great day on the water- perfect weather for a fun sail.

But, back to the race.... As you might have guessed, the race committee appeared to have decided that this was a hide and seek race just to make it more of a challenge. So, you would not be surprised to learn that it was hard to figure out that the race had ended. In fact, Sinbad actually radioed in to ask for confirmation that they had actually finished!

Dear reader, you might not know that District 5 has a very special award for sailboat races. It is the broken mast award. It is given to the boat that ends up unable to finish the race. For the past two years, our own Howard has had some kerfluffle that kept him from finishing. In each of those years, he has had to take home the incredibly ugly Broken Mast award. But, this year, all the boats made it -- even with the race committee's efforts to keep them from the race! So, who would deserve the Broken Mast? It was unanimous-- the race committee boat took home that prize!

As you may already know from reading the blog, LUX took first place. Sinbad came in second. Howard did make it from start to finish this year. But, he was busy following the other two boats! We did tell him that he need not tell everyone that there were only three boats when he talks about his third place finish!

On a final note.... You might have noticed that I never mention the name of Howard's catamaran. Could that be that I can't spell it?

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