Travis and I have enrolled in a ‘crew training’ course for the next 2 months in the hopes of getting our feet wet out on the bay (literally). We’re told the object of this class is to train us for the Hampton Yacht Club and a Chesapeake Bay Racing Series where we are the hot commodity being traded– crew members. Yesterday was our first open water racing experience on the boat ‘Bad Habit‘ where we met Captain Bob, and additional crew: Bill, Chuck, and Rob http://badhabitsailing.wordpress.com/
Here’s a good picture of a race start for those of you who have never seen a boat race, they start pretty much like a horse race, but minus the starting gate. The boats get as close to the starting boat as possible so that they can maintain position/ right-of-way when the gun goes off… (Imagine 30 boats under full sail trying to vie for position in a relatively small area under different tacks) Luckily for us, our draw this week on Bad Habit gave us an excellent captain who has been finishing ‘top 3’ every race… the evening was spent learning the ropes with a highly competitive Skipper and crew. Our crew responsibilities were to act as live ballast during the race… sitting on the windward side of the hull and switching sides of the boat every tack. We looked something like this minus the heavy weather gear for the majority of the race-
Although day racing is definitely not like day cruising, we are definitely learning the ropes and having a great time! One of the goals we had before heading out was to make sure the Captain would invite us back for future opportunities to get on the water and thankfully we were invited back to the ‘Bad Habit’ anytime as our balance and ability to deftly maneuver across the deck without falling overboard was highly impressionable! Ultimately we will get a chance to perform the other crew positions on a variety of boats over the next few weeks, but for now getting our feet wet with racing was a great introduction to sailing.