Saturday, August 20, 2011

Airlie Beach Race Week. Race 6 The Last!

Airlie Beach Race Week. Race 6

Last Race. Today was scheduled as an early start and a short race so that the presentations could be made early afternoon. We presented at the start line and had a middle fleet start but the wind died to a whisper and the fleet drifted for an hour or so before it faintly came back.
The course was more windward leeward today which suited us. Although we couldn’t catch the spinnakers again we were flying against the non spinnaker boats. We had a tousle with a brand new Beneteau 50 being driven by a bunch of hairdressers and their acolytes. I say hairdressers, perhaps they were not but every guy had the fake tan, the Bolles, the matching shirts and more product in their hair than in a Vidal Sassoon salon. They tried to push us down, a move that would not work with me even if I was in a good mood. Eventually their hull, about 30% of which was over our starboard quarter was close enough that a fender would not have passed between them. I heard a comment of “Geez, sail your line” which was odd considering my line would be as high as I could get going to windward. I thought about coming up and giving them a love tap followed by the red flag but the wind bouncing off our sails luffed them further and they dropped back and tacked away. We crossed them later, we were in front, we crossed them once more and they were in front, and at the turning mark we had the pleasure of sailing straight past them and home. Maybe the hair gel was slowing them down, or perhaps one of the bleach blonde 20 somethings with the boob tubes had a flat.

Our performance was really satisfactory and we decided to change our entry to Magnetic to Cruising Non Spinnakers. I got on with that while John, Linda and Kerri helped Rona clean up the boat. John and I then went to get some fuel and grog for the next part of the trip north before settling down to reflect on the past week.

It’s been hard work. It’s been very frustrating for me, I am not used to not being amongst the leaders in anything I do and I don’t think I have ever been last at anything before! It’s been hard on the crew too because I am not the easiest person to get along with when things haven’t gone right. However, it has been fun, we have met a lot of characters and we have had a lot of laughs. (We have also drunk a lot of alcohol!) We have ended on a high and I am really going to miss these guys when they go home. I have also realised something about myself. I thought my competitive days were over and I have been living a much more relaxed life these past 7 years. That is great, especially for my health but to feel alive as opposed to exist, one needs to push themselves, to test themselves if you like. To feel the fear of failure. After all, if you never attempt, you can’t fail.  I haven’t been doing that.

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