Wow! What a race! The wind was outrageous today, and it gave us a really good ride for the RS400 race today at QMSC. I experienced my first “real life” capsize today. Before today, I had only done them on cue for practice. Well, I got a lot of practice doing it for real today – we capsized three times.
The wind was at least a force 5, maybe even 6 at one point. And with about 300 lbs in the boat, it was hard to keep her flat. Our first capsize was actually before we were even racing. We did a very quick tack and I was not fast enough to release the jib sheet, so the jib just pulled us right over (yes, it was that windy).
The other two capsizes were during spinnaker runs. Neither of them was scary, the boat was on edge for several seconds while we struggled in vain to balance her by climbing over or loosening sheets. Eventually she just went over. During the capsize in the second race, the boat turtled (turned completely over), which made it very tiresome to right. Although we had the courage to continue, our strength was sapped, so we regrettable turned in early (called “retiring”). Though it was the right thing to do, we were rather perturbed to see our rival also capsized about 5 minutes later – we could have caught them!
Although we capsized in the first race, we still managed a third place! Probably due to our tremendous spinnaker runs. We were planing and scooting along so fast, it felt like the boat had a motor. Wow the RS400 really can move. I had a couple of joyous exclamations… I wish we’d had the GPS going because I am very curious what our actual speed was.
Trimming the spinnaker with that wind is like playing tug with a bulldog. Time for more push ups!