Saturday, March 10, 2007

Methaphor Dominates

The highlight of the week and our trip thus far was having the honor to race on Scott and Tina’s J-37, Metaphor. A “cruising” J-boat that has been “Scottized” for speed. The in-harbor race was a real test of skill in light wind conditions. We were in awe of the number of strategies employed by Scott, who races on Titan professionally, to move the boat just a little bit faster than the rest of the fleet. Because of his boat and status, Metaphor was assigned a huge handicap disadvantage for the races. This means you can win the race but still lose to a slug in the water when the handicap is factored in. Scott said, "All we can hope for is the wind dies as we cross the finish”, as our winning margin was not large enough to cover the rating. As we glided over the line, the wind just died! The competition, “No Justice” sat, spitting distance from the finish line, stalled in the water. The rest of the race fleet took hours to finish with no wind with anchors deployed to prevent going backwards.
After hugs and kisses and Oma was on her way home after a great week. It was sad to have her go as the week went by so fast! The kids had a fun play date with friends on Sea-ya-Manana and we prepared for the fishing and baking contest for the Around Stocking Island race on Metaphor. With over 50 entrants, individually timed starts eliminated “close calls” at the line. Having the entire mono hull fleet on the course in front of us, Team Metaphor went to work. I could see it now, all the boats would have to sail through the in-harbor cut and then ALL come into the first mark together. Yikes!
I wanted to watch the frenzy of a dozen boats within a few feet of us going every which way. I never looked because I knew that my job at the receiving winch was paramount to avoiding a collision. Listening to people yelling, winches screaming and sails flogging all around really got my heart racing. Our boat was silent and precise as we overtook nearly a dozen boats at the mark. We went on to pass every boat in the fleet and were first over the line. Well the St Francis 50’ that started after us was able to best our time by 12 seconds that day! Adjusted, we lost several hour race by only 14 seconds… amazing how every second counts. Metaphor won blue in several categories including the Regatta overall. Angie’s peanut clusters were a strong contender for the baking contest, losing to tiramisu. Throughout my lifetime I’ve never won any competition (other than bowling) and I have to say this felt good. Our weather window came the very next morning as boats departed in mass. Some returning north to the states and others like us heading south.