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Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Other Side of Life - Bayview Yacht Club Team Race - yeah!

Now that we are home, Jim and I are settling into our "normal" life. We don't yet have Crawdad in her new home in heated storage (so we can work on her!), but we are enjoying our routine. Crawdad has a new galley countertop and the canvas on the bridge extends to the stern! Our next project is the swim platform. Our plan is to extend the swim platform to make it easier for Buddy to board the dinghy for his important duties.

This blog is - The Other Side of Life. What was life like before we left on the Loop and ...what has life returned now that we are home.

Racing sailboats at Bayview Yacht Club is my favorite past time. I have raced with Ray and Winnie Adams for almost 30 years on three different boats. First a Cal330, then a Beneteau 38 and for the last 10 years, they have owned a Beneteau 42, named Epic.

Epic is an extremely successful racing team and the crew is composed of a bunch of crazy people that have become my best friends. Nothing like racing in 30 knot breezes and for days and nights at a time to bring a people together.

Saturday, October 8th, was the last race of the season. Epic was representing Bayview Yacht Club located on the Detroit River in Detroit, MI. I hope if any of you are cruising up the Detroit River you will contact me and stay at Bayview Yacht Club. Bayview is a serious sailboat racing club, but we allow stink boats from time to time!

Bayview Yacht Club located on the Detroit River. Not fancy but a pretty fun place to hang out. Bayview actually has pretty tasty food!

Before we leave the dock, we removed anything we didn't need as it was a "light air day", which means we expect little or no breeze. Ray even inspected our bags and requested we remove anything we didn't need from our boat bags and return it to our cars. We also removed the boat cushions that Ray and Winnie had slept on the night before the race.

All that is left on board are the sails we expect to use on the day of the race. The sails you see here are the spinnakers. We have many spinnakers for different wind conditions and the varied points of sail. The spinnakers are carefully packed into bags, so that when they are attached to the halyard and by the clews, the spinnaker will come out of the bag without twists.

The cushions from the cabins and sails that won't be used for the day, along with the dehumidifier and stored in the "Epic Van". Dean Kuhn is guarding the van.

This is the Cookie Monster aka Bill Doyle. He looks like he needs a cup of coffee or a coke to brighten him up!
As we eased into the Detroit River, we watched the sculls on the calm water.  Jim and I watched a "Head Race" on the Chattanooga River. The teams were from large universities as well as small, private teams, including a few with "gray haired" ladies. Anyone know any gray hair ladies? Rowing with a team is on my Bucket List!
Bayview Yacht Club is located under the shadow of downtown Detroit. Note the Renaissance Center in the background. The building in the foreground is part of the Detroit water supply system.
More chit chat as we head to the course. Looks like Joe Lucas is leading the conversation. This race is held in the middle of Lake St. Clair, about an hour away from the Yacht Club.
Scenery along the Lake St. Clair's shoreline. Grosse Pointe War Memorial.

Air Force was the 2nd boat on the Bayview Team. They needed a tow, so we threw them a line and they "followed" us out to the start of the race.  Baron was the third boat on the Bayview Team.
Dean Waldrup relaxing and getting ready for action. Dean has been a buddy for over 25 years.
Phil Zykowski is my pal of as many years as Dean. Can't tell you how many Mack Races we shared, same shifts every time, including the - 2AM to 6AM shift. Lots of philosophical conversation in the middle of the night!  Note the knee pads. Knee pads have become more desirable as we age. Hey, those knee pads look just like mine!
Mit Goins and Winnie (other owner and superior sailor), enjoy the beauty of the day. Mit appears to need some of the same drink the Cookie Monster needs!
We passed the Grosse Pointe shore. Grosse Pointe Yacht Club. Before Adrienne's birth, I kept a sailboat at GPYC.
Epic flew the Bayview Yacht Club burgee on the backstay along with the "class flag" for the race. Sailboat races typically have classes, or groups of boats segregated by their rating. The Race Committee attempts to put together classes of competitive boats.
The sailing instructions are critical to navigating, as the details of the course and instructions are outlined here. The race was postponed for one week as the winds were too fresh (high) for safe racing. Winds were up to 30 knots the previous Saturday.
Depending on the wind direction and speed, there are may options for the course. You can see from the diagram, the navigator has to really pay attention to the details of the race.
Ray is concentrating.....on everything and everyone!
Often when I race, Tom is my partner on the jib brake/trim. As you can see, he is a congenial guy!
Phil is working the "hotbox". The halyards, which raise and lower the sails are his responsibility on this race. His experience makes the foredeck work easy.
Joel and Tom are ready for action, but Ray, did you really mean that!
Diann is an incredible mainsail trimmer. None of us!! including the big guys want to trim the main sheet on a windy day. How does she handle that huge main by herself? She must weigh 90 pounds!
Our competition - too close for comfort!
Joel, Ray and Diann at a quiet moment. (Won't last!)
Mit is really enjoying the race. I am thinking the two babies at home may have something to do with his condition.

Dean Kuhn on alert!
The Cookie Monster at the helm. I didn't know the Cookie Monster was a beer drinker!
Phil says it is fun to race, but more fun to win!
The head (bathroom) is spartan at best on a sailboat. Pump the water in and then pump out! The head is a small space that is difficult to use when the weather is cold, the wind is blowing and you are feeling like the Michelin man with layers of clothing!
Oh, I know her! Who stole my camera!
Every winning race brings out the champagne. Epic drinks champagne often!

Team Bayview, winners of the Team Bayview Race! Epic, Baron and Air Force.