Sunday, February 14, 2010

Race days

On Saturday the 13th, Jordan and I, with our visiting friend Terry, participated in our first ever fun-not-too-serious sailboat race, the 1st Annual Carnaval Perico Marinero Regatta. We figured when we entered the race that we didn't have much chance of winning and just signed up with the other 14 sailboats for the fun and social aspects of the race. We also thought it would be a good opportunity to finally try out our drifter/spinnaker (a light-weight sail used in light winds) that we had never flown before.

Originally, the plan was to race from La Paz to Calita Partida, and then race back to La Paz the next day. But the winds were so slack that all but 2 boats had to finally turn on their motors to arrive at Calita Partida before dark.

But the next-day return race to La Paz was much more exciting. Everyone lined up at 10:00 and started the race, except for us. Jordan was still attaching ropes to our beautiful drifter/spinnaker and Terry was diving down to try and remove tangled fishing line from around our prop shaft. So we did not start the race until 10:30, a half hour later than everyone else.

Right off the start line, our new big colourful, billowy spinnaker filled from the wind behind and gradually we realized we were starting to catch up to everyone and the race was on for us!

Sea Turtle flying her spinnaker (courtesy of SV Yellow Star)

We went from sailing at 7+ knots to almost standing still, depending on where and how the wind was blowing on our chosen path of direction. Then the last quarter of the race, once again, the wind really piped up. We passed several boats, and as we rounded the buoys entering the harbour, it was a neck-to-neck race with 2 other sailboats. But in the last half mile, we nosed past them to the finish line!

Approaching the finish line (courtesy of BajaInsider)

In the Spinnaker Class, our time was 6 hours 20 minutes, and Keetya's was 6 hours 23 minutes. But due to handicaps, we came in 2nd, officially 1 minute behind Keetya, the winning boat. Too bad we hadn't started on time! Congratulations to Keetya! It was a very exciting finish where I was able to be at the helm as 1st Mate, Jordan was a super Captain with his instructions, and Terry was a great crew member. Terry, new to sailing and used to fast cars and motorcycles, stated:
I never knew that racing at such slow speeds could be so much fun!

1 comment:

Bruce & Jeannie said...

CONGRATS GUYS!!!
What a testament to your fine vessel and sailing abilities! Wish we could have been there to have given you some competition.
We are still in Nanaimo, but the plans are on to be catching you up sometime later this year.
Keep up the blog - always great to keep in touch with the details.
Lot's of love,
The Jabulas