Over the weekend, I was on the Race Committee for the Express 37 Nationals.
I started doing Race Committee when my friend, Tom Nemeth volunteered me last summer for the Santa Cruz 27 Nationals, and it’s proven addictive.
I’ve crewed a few races, but prefer the vantage point and perspective, of the Race Committee boat. I love to see firsthand the passion and dermination exhibited by each crew and boat as they compete.
The Race Committee boat is typically comfortable and well stocked, and the company excellent. There is plenty of time to socialize, and I am typically surrounded by past Commadores and sailors with much experience and many crossings, and the stories to match.
My job is usually to check in the sailboats before each race, because of this I am able to learn their names and can identify each one at a distance by the color of the boat and sails.
The sailboats come sometimes just feet from the Race Committee boat, and their skill in maneuvering such a large craft with so many variables and people elegantly balanced on deck is just short of miraculous. It’s evident that it’s taken years of training and experience on the water to be able to do this. The tacticians who compete at this level are highly skilled. Being comparatively new to sailing, it took some getting used to, but now I am relaxed and confident as the boats glide inches from our boat and each other as they check in, and get in the most advantageous position for the start of each race.
We were on a Nordic Tug boat, which alone was a novelty, the races however, were exciting, and unpredictable with several false starts and a few postponements. There were several upsets, and everyone was surprised when our BYC home boat, Stewball failed to win race 6, however, the competition was fierce, and a wonderful time was had by all as the winds were perfect for a yacht race.
Expeditious, and skipper Bartz Schneider, of San Francisco Yacht Club, won the regatta, but it was very close.
I was happy to see several more women sailors then usual, and I made a few new friends, and deepened ties with the people I already knew.
As I sat on the upper deck in the sunshine watching the sailboats come in, I realized, I am living the future I had so desperately wished and planned for these many monthswith the same spirit of preparation and determination.
Love and blessings to all.