Chowder races

The yacht club pulled its dock and racing buoys out of the water on Labor Day weekend, but a good fleet of skiffs remains in the cove, ready to sail if the urge hits on an Indian Summer day. We raced Saturday and Sunday morning( and will try to do it again next weekend) very informal affairs with my son running the motorboat, Chris Jackson whistling the starting times, and  moorings and channel cans standing in as turning marks.

Saturday was very windy, so we reefed — or shortened sail — and I had my step-sister from Beijing crewing for me. We finished in the middle of the ten boat fleet in the first race, and came in fat last in the second race because she urged me too close to the line and so I was over early and fouled another boat in the process, forcing me to perform the dreaded 720 maneuver (two consecutive circles) which is very, very hard and dangerous on a windy day.

Photo by Charles Lowell
Afterwards we met for chowder and beer on the bluff with agreement to return again on Sunday for another two races.

Once again Fisher was the race committee, but the wind was much lighter and everyone sailed without crew, expanding the fleet to 13 boats which was just enough to make it competitive and interesting.

In the first race I nailed the start and sailed to the left of the course, catching a very nice breeze, enough to round the first windward mark in first place, and again around the second reaching mark a comfortable six boat lengths ahead of the fleet. Alas, fat man and light wind conspired to throw the anchor over the stern and I finished that race in the middle of the fleet in sixth place.

The second race … let’s not go there. The abbreviation on the results sheet says it all: DFL. Dead Fat Last.

We’ll try again next weekend, and perhaps the weekend after that. Life is quiet here now, no one is around, Main Street goes minutes without a passing car, and everything from the flower gardens to the crickets seem to know fall is coming. I need to go dig up a perennial bed and level some footings for the chicken coop. Whereabouts this week:

Cotuit – 9.10

Cotuit-North Carolina – 9.11 (this is a bad day for me, for everyone for that matter, but I will try to not think about it as I fly out of Boston)
North Carolina – 9.11 to 9.14

Cotuit 9.15-16

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