Learning to Sail

The Racing Season

So Racing consists of Grinding winches and providing ballast and listening to the Skipper shout out commands, Luckily for our crew Michael was relatively chilled, unlike some of the other skippers who hurled a non-stop torrent of screaming mixed in with abuse at their crews if they did not perform as expected.  Tacking and Gybing are very serious business in racing and if the timings are not perfect with the sheets then valuable seconds are lost, generally the volume of screaming from the skipper has a direct correlation with the amount of seconds lost.  As to be expected I quickly learnt how to Tack and Gybe as efficiently as possible.

One of the good things about it was that after the race everyone descended on the clubhouse for the results and a general piss up, where one of our crew members Sam seemed to indulge with far more gusto than he could ever mange grinding the Starboard sheet.

It was this love of Grog, that almost got us sunk one afternoon, when Sam who had been partaking before and during the race was on blindside lookout and was too busy daydreaming in a half drunken stooper to report the collision course of another Endeavor 24 – By the time the skipper realised it was too late – One very large smash, 2 crew overboard, 1 holed hull and the mast down – Fortunately no one was hurt, but that was the end of Sam’s racing days on Michael’s boat and the end of racing of Michael’s boat for the next few months, which was to prove to be the beginning of the end of my racing days.


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