Thursday, October 29, 2015


October 27, 2015
I was encouraged as I saw the Crow’s Nest flag stiff as a board. I even thought the 155 would be too much sail.  The crew that was waiting on the boat said the wind was variable, so we did not change to a smaller sail.   I was encouraged to see so many boats milling around for the start.  There were over 10 boats out for the last very short evening.  We were all there except the wind decided to not show up.  It did not take long for that to change as a gust filled in the bay, with a very shifty direction generally from the West or North?  We decided on a course from start to gov and back to start/finish.  One of the shortest courses but, as it turned out too long for this night.

At the start, we found ourselves behind Pacific Spirit square in their shadow.  Our initial attempt to climb above them failed as we fell further behind.  Attempting this required climbing above their wind shadow into a lee-bowed position.  It may have been possible if we had 30 knot winds, but not this night!  We finally fell off until we had clear air and then started climbing and getting lifted by the changing direction of the wind.  We tacked searching for more wind which was dissipating as the sun set.  We did not argue when Pacific Spirit called for a shortened course finishing at Gov.  At the finish Pair a Dice was first to round Gov followed by Pacific Spirit, Inspiration and Sea Quake.

We all had a great meeting and BBQ at the yacht club with over 50 people attending.

End of Season:
This has been a great season for the Catalina group.  We have had up to 15 boats out at times and consistently 8-10 boats.  I feel we are all bringing our game up, improving our boats and getting more aggressive as we learn more about sailing.  It is amazing to me the infinite amount of things to be learned about sailing.   My crew has been sailing together now for over 10 years and we learn something new almost every time we go out.  This learning curve is accelerated exponentially by racing! 

Think about the times you sail by yourself.  You are out enjoying the day, the boat feels fantastic, you are just screaming along.  Everything is perfect!  But is it?  You don’t really know until you have a similar boat sailing next to you in a race situation.  This is how you learn! THIS is why we race!  If you have no desire to ever improve your sailing, don’t race!  Why not race and IMPROVE?  Why not race in every situation possible.  Tuesday nights is a start, but why not other regattas?  SCYC is a sailing club and sponsors many regattas every year.  The chances to race in Santa Cruz are unlimited and you should be taking advantage of this opportunity.  All it requires is a PHRF certificate which can be obtained by asking the SCYC yacht club.

Talking to several of the top sailors in our fleet, I have several suggestions to improve our Tuesday nights.  I will be using these suggestions next year.  This will be the last blog for this season.  Keep tuned for an even better season next year.  Have a great winter and enjoy your sailing.  The new season will be on us before we know it.

A huge thanks to all of you for your participation this year.

Barry Keeler
Sailing Pair A Dice.

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