Above photo taken by Steve Domjan at the Bowl. Thank you Steve, you could have been sailing you

  • Above photo taken by Steve Domjan at the Bowl. Thank you Steve, you could have been sailing yourself instead of taking photos of me.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Yacht Club Racing




Let’s be honest. You all know I don’t like racing.
When I was younger, it was a means to an end…I did not have my own boat… so if I raced for someone…I got to go sailing.
And that was tolerable, until…
I learned that if I worked for a boat yard, I could sail all I wanted. {Just not necessarily when I wanted}. You learn a lot about sailing, when you sail many different types of boats, in various stages of disrepair.  And you learn even more, when you are the guy that has to do the repair.
I learned that I liked just sailing. Not crewing for someone else. Just sailing.  Alone if possible. I’m not a team player. I’m not into team building. I’ll take the helm; thank you. No I don’t enjoy running the bow, trimming the sheets and lines to your specifications, and instructions. I don’t like Freezing to death, or baking to a crisp as rail meat.

And I really don’t like being stuck on a sailboat in no wind when the sailing sucks; strictly so we can accumulate points to increase the boats standings.  Or worse yet, being stuck on a boat when it is really windy, and I would be having so much more fun windsurfing.
I don’t need to prove I can move my toy through the rat maze faster than you can.
In certain circumstances, or rare occasions, I can see why people would want to Class Race. It’s about the sailor; not the wallet. I have a lot of respect for Class Racers. I’m still not going to crew for you. But I respect what you do.

However, as my years progress I have been developing a distain for most yacht club racers. This did not start until I joined a Yacht Club myself. Club Racers, most commonly race in a PHRF handicapped division. In most cases they own a boat so tender, that they can’t even sail it. I was going to say; can’t even sail it alone. But that is pretty much obvious; isn’t it.  So many of these guys; yes guys; lack basic seamanship skills: Including sailing.
They motor to and from their moorings. Yell at their crews.  They spend hundreds of thousands each year on sail inventory, and millions on new boats every few years.
I can deal with these type A’s, if they steer clear of me. [NO I will NOT crew for you. You would not want me anyway. I will second guess all your commands, and you can’t depend on me. I will not show up if there is a surf-able swell, the wind is too light, or it’s windy enough for me to windsurf].
I also don’t really mind that you guys devote a whole page or so of the local newspaper on your race results, and exploits frostbiting in the winter. {“Really, you sail in the winter? You must be so cool.”]
What bothers me, and really gets under my skin is that I receive an e-mail just about every week from some ex-athlete, Club Racer trying to Huck Finn me into spending my hard earned free time sitting on a race committee boat. In our bay it is called the Worry Wart.
Huck here, spams my inbox with lectures on how I need to honor our Bay’s historic racing tradition. Because it’s so important that I support our gallant racers by wasting my day baking in the sun keeping score, so he and his buddies can race against each other and re-live their high school glory days.
If it’s so important; then why don’t you keep score? We’re not stupid, and you’re not the cool kid in high school any more. You’re not even the want-to-be-cool kid. We are not responding to your e-mails; because we don’t care, and we have better things to do. You want a score keeper, pep squad; how about cheerleaders? Why don’t you just go hire someone to man the race committee boat? You hired your crew.[Yea half those guys wouldn’t show up either; if it wasn’t for the fact that they work for you, and are looking for a promotion.] Come on it can’t cost as much as that new unobtainium sail quiver you just purchased.

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