"Lifelong Dream Come True" or "Movable Ballast"


Caitlin and I went racing with a skipper from another nearby ship. The race was in West River, MD, a race I had seen 2 years ago when anchored out on my first cruise.
I had wanted to race since I was a kid, sailing O’Day Widgeons on the Potomac. This opportunity was a dream come true!
My daughter and I were essentially movable ballast, but it was still an exhilarating experience. Also, our boat won!

The Benetau 36.7 is a whole other boat! No dinged up and tired donated Sea Scout boat, this. She was clean, new, and fine. The boat is rigged for high performance, so, being aboard was a little daunting at first. But, watching the crew work the myriad lines, I started making sense of it.
What struck me most was the physics–the careful attention to the sails, adjusted by downhaul, outhaul, sheet, and even the back stay.

Being crew
on the Benetau was easy; just pay attention and move when told or when logic says to do so. This meant scrambling across the boat from one rail to the other as we tacked, keeping low beneath the boom, then positioning ourselves properly.
The boat hummed, and we perched on the windward side, legs hanging overboard, balancing the boat, just like in the photos in the sail mags. Woohooo!

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