Furthur crew goes sailing
While talking with my Pacific cruising friend Robert on SV Bristol Rose, I learned that the yacht club we are staying at in Manly has weekly sailboat races and his friend is looking for crew. As a closet sailor myself I jumped at the chance. My crew, Kara, had not been on a sailboat let alone in a race so this was a great opportunity for her too. So off to the club to join in the WAG (Wednesday Afternoon Go Sailing)
With most of my racing experience in the cold northwest where fluky winds and chilling temperatures are the usual theme, racing in a steady breeze in 85 degree weather would be a gift from the gods.
We met Glen at the appointed hour and we set about preparing his lovely Bavarian 40 for the race. With modern sail storage this is not a hard task. The race has a staggered start so we had a designated start time established by the boat’s rating. This makes for a less exciting start but a more thrilling finish as all the boat theoretically finish at the same time and your position over the finish line is your placement in the race.
I have allot of race experience and know the terms but not the Aussie ones, so a quick lesson in translation taught me that “hard on” meant trim and a few other new bits of jargon added to my Aussie vocabulary. After a little experimentation, I took the job of grinder and put Kara and Sarah on the jib winches. Kara was a bit stunned at first with the barrage of new terms and her extraordinary desire to do things right. I was happy to see her join in and be an active part of the crew, she soon was tacking like a veteran.
The course wound around Morton Bay and we enjoyed a fresh breeze that picked up at the end of the race. As predicted the finish was a thrill, huge catamarans came whizzing by us tossing spray and the full on race boats zipped by our excellent cruising sailboat. We did pass a sister Bavarian 44 who had a bigger genoa and was a longer version which gave us some bragging rights.
With the usual post race libations and cheers, we bid our new friends good by and ended another wonderful day full of new experiences and great new friends; that is what the cruising life is all about.