• Joe

Ep. 5 Update & Last Week's Racing

First, an update on Episode 5: This one will be late. The semester is starting this week, and I have been scrambling for weeks to try to get ready. This damn new online format for COVID-19 really has things in a mess. The short and skinny is that I haven't had time to begin recording or even thinking about the next episode, and won't until we settle into this unusual semester a little more.

The next episode will be about our master plan and how we think we're going to pull this whole thing off. We'll get as detailed as we can, describe budgets and time frames, and ultimately see in a year how close we were to the mark.

With that out of the way, time to talk again about racing! This week was super fun because we got to crew for two races with Dos Amigos: the usual Thursday Pop-Top race, and also a longer Harbor Pursuit race on Saturday.

Thursday's race was good. I got to man the spinnaker winch (grinder) again, and Gabrielle assisted bow. The real highlight of the day was that the skipper had Gabrielle take the wheel all the way from the marina to the starting line. I ran below to grab my phone and snap a pic because she looked like a total sexy badass manning that helm! Grrrr!

The weather was not as calm as it had been the last two times we were out. The winds were up a bit and that was making the situation a little more stressful for all onboard. Things had to happen faster, and the risks were higher. There were a few scuffs and rope burns, but we all fared okay, and had a great educational experience for it. The lamb at the yacht club and shooting the $#&! with the crew makes it all worthwhile too.

Here are a couple quick video clips:

8/20/2020 Race: Gabrielle is in the bow and Joe is sitting off the port side

8/20/2020 Race: Gabrielle is behind the kite until the last second, but Joe is manning the aft winch

On Saturday we got to take part in a longer race. And Ezra got to join us too! This "Harbor Pursuit" race had us go all the way across the Long Beach/Los Angeles harbor, nearly to Point Fermin, then outside the breakwater back to the finish line by SBYC. About 3 hours total. The race format was also different: Every boat was assigned a starting time based upon their handicap, but all raced the same course. So at the end, the fastest boats (which started last) were catching and overtaking the slower boats who started first. Hence the "pursuit" part.

There were some really interesting moments, like spotting dolphins and seals, and jockeying for position with huge container ships bearing down on us (with horns blasting too!). But the most fun part was coming up the crowded channel to the finish line. Dos Amigos and five other boats were tightly nested together, jostling and yelling at each other, sometimes mere inches apart, like 35' long NASCAR racers on the homestretch... except we were going 4 knots not 200 mph. It was a very exciting finish, to say the least! And Dos Amigos placed 5th overall (out of 21 boats), and took first in class, literally by seconds. We actually thought we were behind until they announced the findings.

Even though we did little to help contribute to this victory (as bow assist and jib grinder), it was really cool to get a win. We can't wait for the next one!

8/22/2020 Race: Filmed by another crew. Gabrielle, Ezra, and Joe are around the mast

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