Boxing and Racing Day – Kindred Spirit takes 5th place!

Boxing Day is traditionally the day following Christmas Day (December 26th), when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts, known as a “Christmas box”, from their bosses or employers. This custom has its beginnings in an old English tradition. Since servants would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed to visit their families on the next day. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts and bonuses, and maybe sometimes leftover food. With British roots, the Bahamas, along with the United Kingdom, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa, and other Commonwealth nations, observe the holiday.

Here in Hope Town, Boxing Day is also the Hope Town Sailing Club’s H. Bowen White Race for cruising boats over 18 feet.

First, let’s back up to last weekend. Last Saturday we were invited, as guests of Sara and Deanna, to the Hope Town Sailing Club. The event was a “stand up” which is a BYOB cocktail party in the clubhouse. Two or three members host and provide appetizers from 5:30 – 7:30 pm. It was a great time and reminded us of our Shennecossett social events back home in Groton.  Whitey (We met Whitey and his wife, Ann, the second evening we were here and already feel like we are old friends!) encouraged Al to race Kindred Spirit in the Sailing Club’s “H. Bowen White Race” on Boxing Day. Whitey did not have to twist Al’s arm very much!

The Hope Town Sailing Club provides a dinghy dock for everyone.

The Hope Town Sailing Club provides a dinghy dock for everyone.

The Hope Town Sailing Club

The Hope Town Sailing Club

Hope Town Sailing Club symbol

Hope Town Sailing Club symbol

Inside the Hope Town Sailing Club - lovely table decor

Inside the Hope Town Sailing Club – lovely holiday table decor

Burgees hang in high in the rafters

Burgees hang in high in the rafters

Enjoying the food and conversation

Enjoying the food and conversation

On Boxing Day, we attended the 9 am skipper meeting and picked up two of our crew members – Whitey and his grandson, Dave.  Along with Dan and Marcia, the six of us left the harbor and headed out to the racing area out between the Parrot Cays and Boat Harbor. Remember, these are not familiar waters to us so we wanted to check the territory out. Fortunately for us, Whitey has been boating in these waters for over 40 years.

Dan is on the bow, checking the depths as we exit the harbor in the channel on an incoming but still low tide. No problem!

Dan is on the bow, checking the depths as we exit the harbor in the channel on an incoming but still low tide. No problem!

Five boats were racing – two J-boats (the older one was named Grumpy Old Man and the newer one, complete with fancy racing sails was named Grumpy Too), Spirit (Mark and Kim’s  Tartan), and Quest (a trimaran).  The very strong winds from Christmas Day had diminished to light winds predicted to be 5 – 10 knots. “Winds” is probably a generous term; it was more like a breeze.

The "marker boat" drops one of the orange markers.

The “marker boat” drops one of the orange markers.

Whitey is looking for the position of the marks.

Whitey is looking for the position of the other marks.

Al has experience with racing back in our Catalina 34 days (I will brag that our C34 “little” Kindred Spirit with Al at the helm, won the Catalina 34 National Regatta when it was held in Connecticut back in 2000.) The first leg of today’s race went well, with  winds of 5-10 knots. Kindred Spirit could move and make some progress in those winds.

Starting line

Starting line

Spirit and Kindred SPirit shortly after the start of the race.

Spirit and Kindred Spirit shortly after the start of the race.

Kindred Spirit coming up to the first mark to take it on the port side.

Kindred Spirit coming up to the first mark.

Here we go around, putting the mark on our port side (that's the rule!)

Here we go around, putting the mark on our port side (that’s the rule).

Moving along

Moving along

Good shot of the boat and the crew

Good shot of the boat and the crew

Marcia and I held positions on the stern, our own version of "rail meat."  Our back seat driving comments actually did help on one or two occasions. Right, Skipper?

Marcia and I held positions on the stern, our own version of “rail meat.” Our back seat driving comments actually did help on one or two occasions. Right, Skipper?

Al, Whitey, Dan, and Dave

Al, Whitey, Dan, and Dave

She looks good under sail, doesn't she?

She looks good under sail, doesn’t she?

Ah, but alas, the breeze died to 0 knots during one leg.  The race course was eventually shortened from 7 legs to 5 legs due to the lack of a decent breeze. It was a slow race from that point onward, taking us three hours to finish.

Whitey and Dave having lunch on the bow . With 0-5 knots of wind, it was easy to eat our lunches while "racing."

Whitey and Dave having lunch on the bow . With 0-5 knots of wind, it was easy to eat our lunches while “racing.”

Skipper tries to keep that head sail out far enough to catch some air while trying a "wing on wing" downwind strategy.

Skipper tries to keep that head sail out far enough to catch some air while trying a “wing on wing” downwind strategy.

kug

We were having a good time, with or without winds.

We placed 5th! OK, there were only five boats racing so I guess that isn’t impressive. 😉 But we had great fun together and enjoyed the camaradie on the water. AND, WE WERE SAILING FOR THREE HOURS!!!!! WooHoo!

At the party later that day, Al and Kindred Spirit were honored with the”good sport” award for finishing the race (announced on the VHF the next morning) and given an HTSC glass.

Fifth Place!

Fifth Place!

Kindred Spirit's multi-generational crew - Dave, Marcia, Dan, Whitey, Michele And Al

Kindred Spirit’s multi-generational crew – Dave, Marcia, Dan, Whitey, Michele, and Al

Great day on the water! Will we race again? That remains to be seen………

2 thoughts on “Boxing and Racing Day – Kindred Spirit takes 5th place!

  1. Pingback: Sailing Again!! | Kindred Spirit

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