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George Town…Let The Games Begin !

From our man on the scene, Neil Drori:

6:30 am April 25, 2012 The light coming through the hatch wakes us up.  After a quick breakfast prepared by Irena and fit for a luxury cruise ship, the girls are off to town and the boys head for Nomad to get the fleet ready.

8:20 am The crew has their hands full.  Some of us are stepping the mast on The Dove after spending 2 days making repairs with epoxy and paint to newly discovered soft spots.  Some work with a grinder is needed to make everything fit. 

Another group is off with the chase boat to beg borrow and steel more lead for The Dove to replace the ballast that disappeared on the home bound trip last year.

10:45 am The race committee decides that the A Class boats are going off at 1:30 instead of 3:30 due to the tides!  Everyone rushes to compress 4 hours of prep time into 90 minutes.

12:30 pm  We jump on board and get out there, so we can get a few tacks in before we have to anchor at the start line.  Bang!  EASE OFF!  Ok, not a big problem, just a busted shackle on a port side shroud.  We dig around in the parts bag and find something to replace it. 

1:00 pm With the situation back under control, we practice a couple of tacks, make our way to the starting line and drop the hook.  Stafford says “pay out more rode so we have a long pull to windward at the start”.

1:29 pm The 1 minute gun goes off, everyone counts down and the tension builds.  Then the start gun goes off.  The bow team and 4 guys on the starboard side start pulling, long steady pulls getting faster and faster as the main goes up the mast, and suddenly we’re sailing!

After 2 circuits at the finish we are 6th in a field of 8.  Ok guys, this was just a practice run, no points involved.  Everyone is learning to work together as a team, and about 100 tweaks to make before the start of the points racing that starts tomorrow.

3:00 pm We get The Dove’s new main and jib out on deck and rig the jib. She looks great. Now for the main.  Oh X##X$$%.  The sliders are too big for the track.  Jeff Gale gets busy removing the sliders from the old sail while a bunch of guys remove the sliders from the new sail. 

Still more guys start cutting and fusing light line to use to tie the old sliders to the new main.  20 minutes later 20 sliders are swapped out, the main goes up the mast, and The Dove drops the lines holding her to Nomad and makes for the start line with about 10 minutes to go.  The race officials are not happy with us.

3:30 We get the anchor down just minutes before the gun.

3:40 The start gun goes off and the scene is pandemonium.  2 boats get their rigging tangled up, The Dove’s anchor comes loose before the team can pull the boat to windward while her main goes up, and she finds herself in irons at the starting line!  Then CRACK!  One of the tangled boats has broken her mast and her racing is over for the rest of the regatta.

3:45 The Dove makes it out of irons and is way in back of the field, but the team is determined and she is off like a bat out of hell.

At the first mark she is about 300 yards from the next boat in the pack and goes around the mark like the star she is.  She is pointing higher than any other boat in her class and making up for lost time like a true champion.

At the end of the race out of 10 boats at the start with 1 DNF, The Dove places 6th!  An amazing performance considering the ugly start, and now we know we are the fastest B boat in the fleet.  Tomorrow’s start will be better and we’ll take it to ‘em.  After all, it can’t be worse!

Filed under: Crew Experiences, George Town Regatta, Race Happenings

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Wednesday, April 4
Hope Town Sailing Club
Triangular Course
Charles Pollack Trophy

April 24 - 28
George Town, Exuma
National Family Island Regatta

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