Choate 27 sailboats seem to attract a lot of heated conversation and I am not sure why. I am currently racing on one (Jessie's Girl) as skipper. I picked the boat from several lists of best PHRF boats for the money based on research of the boats and research of the NOAA database of wind speeds recorded on Lake Murray for many years. Some people feel the Choate 27 has a gift rating in light air but that has not been my experience. Yes, we have won quite a few races and we do seem to have an edge in light air. Of course, in the really light air when we are the only boat moving the race committee will postpone the start, shorten the course or abandon the race. We are also a very experienced crew. I have raced on that particular lake over 40 years. I have experience on J-24s , Soverel 33, Hobie 33's, Hobie 16's, SORC, one design and many other types of boats. The bottom of Jessie's Girl is cleaned before just about every race, we have new composite racing sails built by a local sailmaker and have upgraded the rigging. If we did not do well I would wonder why. Even with all of the above being true it is still our opponents mistakes that allow us to win. For instance, in our next to last race a Capri 25 corrected to one second slower than us. He lost that race at the start when we had a great start and he didn't. If you are never over early you aren't even trying to get a good start. The same boat lost the last race to us on the down wind leg. We owe him time and he was ahead of us 3/4 the way down the leg. He must have felt we were covering him and we may have had a little coverage. His response was to heat it up to weather. I knew when he headed up I had him. Sooner or later he had to come back down and by the time he did we were clear ahead well before the mark and the whole time I had right of way. If he had just maintained his course there was no way I could pass him and he could have covered us back to weather. I just don't think the Choate 27 has a gift rating. In the hands of good sailors, and they have been raced by some of the best, with better than average prep work and a sail locker full of sails they are hard to beat in a division were they are one of the faster ratings. We leave most of our sails on the dock and use a sponge to get the water out. If you want to win, prepare like a winner, sail like a winner and accept that every dog has his day and sometimes it will be you and sometimes not. When people tell us that we only won because we have a ratings beater I just smile and agree with them. They don't want to hear the truth and I am not educating my competitors for free.