Sailing Again!!

It’s no secret that we do miss sailing – that smooth and silent glide through the water, powered only by wind. Two years ago we raced our Morgan 43 sailboat, Kindred Spirit, in two (Boxing Day and Founder’s Cup) of the Hope Town Sailing Club’s races. We had a terrific time joining in the races even though we lost both times. I still love to look at the photos from those races – Kindred Spirit looked awesome even if the winds were so light we could barely get her moving.

Memories.......... what a beauty.

Memories………. what a beauty.

When Sam said he was thinking of racing Solstice in the next Hope Town Sailing Club race, we immediately agreed to crew. Solstice is the sweetest little sailboat, but as a motorsailer, she is not really designed for racing. 😉 This race would be fun!

Solstice, a 30 foot Cape Dory motorsailer, photographed on a more leisurely day, with Sam and Kayda waving.

Solstice, a 30 foot Cape Dory motorsailer, photographed on a more leisurely day, with Sam and Kayda waving.  Her custom blue hull is unique and beautiful.

Solstice had a crew of 4 for the Hope Town Sailing Club’s “S. Yeardley Smith Trophy Race” on January 9th (postponed from Wednesday when the winds were too strong.) The crew consisted of Sam, his friend John, Al, and me.

Heading out to the race course, a triangle between the Parrot Cays and Matt Lowe Cay.

Heading out to the race course, a triangle between the Parrot Cays and Matt Lowe Cay. John and Sam, Al below.

The crew at work. Sam was a very relaxed easy-going Captain, so there were no moments of stress. :-)

The crew at work. Sam was a very relaxed easy-going Captain, so there were no moments of stress. 🙂

Al at the helm, Sam on the winch, John checking sail shape.

Al at the helm, Sam on the winch, John checking sail shape.

Reefing the main sail - Sam was concerned that the 30 year old sails may find these 15+ knots of wind too stressful. Better to be cautious - the race is just for fun.

Reefing the main sail – Sam was concerned that the 30-year old sails may find these 15+ knots of wind too stressful. Better to be cautious – the race is just for fun.

Our view of the lead boats, from behind.

Our view of the six other boats.

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Coming up to a mark.

Coming up to a mark.

I took photos from our boat, but none of them can compare to the photos that Will Heyer shot from the mark boat. His photographs give a real feeling for the action of the race.

The starting line, up close and personal (photo by W. Heyer.)

The starting line, up close and personal (photo by W. Heyer.)

It was a thrill to see the Abaco Rage under sail during this race. In 1997, The Rage, a 1980 28-foot wooden sloop built by Man O’ War craftsmen, was resurrected from a neglected rotting fate. This boat had once won several Bahamian regatta championships in a row. Although in need of serious repairs, she was solidly built and a beauty.  More information about The Rage and the formation of the Abaco Rage Sailing Syndicate (A.R.S.S.) can be found on their webpage.

The Rage hiked out

The Abaco Rage – what a boat! (photo by W. Heyer)

Souwania and Second Wind

Sowwanin and Second Wind (photo by W. Heyer)

Sundog and the Abaco Rage

Sundog and the Abaco Rage (photo by W. Heyer)

Grumpy Old Men, The Rage, and Bumblebee

Grumpy Ole Men, The Rage, and Bumblebee. Looks like tight quarters, doesn’t it? (photo by W. Heyer)

Solstice steaming along.

Solstice steaming along. (photo by W. Heyer)

Solstice and crew having a grand time!

Solstice and crew having a grand time! (photo by W. Heyer.)

I had to put this picture in because it is the only one that shows I actually was part of the crew.

I had to put this picture in because it is the only one that shows I was actually part of the crew – that’s me on the port winch in blue. (photo by W. Heyer)

She is one pretty boat! (photo by W. Heyer)

Crossing the finish line, Solstice is one pretty boat! (photo by W. Heyer)

How did the race end? What were the standings?? Each boat gets a handicap based on its size, amount of sail, rigging, keel, style of propeller, etc. This allows boats of different  classes to race against each other. The rating results in the number of seconds per mile traveled that the yacht in question should be behind a theoretical yacht with a ratingof  zero. This all means that you don’t know who really won a race until the race committee has calculated the finishes and adjusted the standings with the PHRF rating. Although Sowwanin crossed the finish line first, just ahead of Second Wind, she ended up in fourth place.

1st Second Wind
2nd Bumblebee
3rd Sundog
4th Sowwanin
5th Grumpy Old Men
6th Abaco Rage
7th Solstice

Solstice placed 7th, taking two hours to finish the course. Captain Sam graciously thanked the committee boat for patiently waiting for us, about 30-40 minutes after Abaco Rage.

After every race, sailors gather together to eat and drink. The Hope Town Sailing Club invites anyone who raced, whether or not they are members, to attend.

Sailors celebrating at the Sailing Club

Sailors celebrating at the Sailing Club

Sam received the "good sportsman award", given to the boat that finishes last. Al received one as well, two years ago. As we raced, I told Sam there are two important things to remember: 1) Either win or come in last. Those are the only places that receive anything. 2) Finish. Dint quit, no matter how long it takes us. :-)

Sam received the “good sportsman award”, given to the boat that finishes last. Al received the same glass two years ago. As we raced, I told Sam there are two important things to remember: 1) Either win or come in last. Those are the only places that receive anything. 2) Finish. Don’t quit, no matter how long it takes us. 🙂

Our crew - Sam, Al, Michele, John

Our crew – Sam, Al, Michele, John

Thank you, Sam!! We are honored to have crewed on Solstice.

The sun sets on another very fine day in the Abacos.

The sun sets on another very fine day in the Abacos.

One thought on “Sailing Again!!

  1. Pingback: Racing Again – from a Different Perspective | Kindred Spirit

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