BboySlug

What was the sailing moment you will remember forever?

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Hi all, 

I just wanted to start a thread to hear some good stories. In your sailing career so far, what's that sailing moment which you will remember forever?

Could be anything. Winning your first race, hydrofoiling, finally having sex with your high school crush on your dad's boat, the first time you finally successfully tacked your catamaran, first time on the trapeze, when your friend died on the ocean crossing, or being in the eye of a hurricane. 

Let's hear some great stories!

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1980 something. Sailing a 36 footer westwards in the English Channel from Cherboug to Falmouth. Two of us on 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. watch, 4 more below. Wind on the beam, freshening to 18-20 knots. Charter boat, had to go forward and fix the heasdsail roller reefing, to reduce a little sail. Got wet, so made two large coffees with Scotch added. Sat and watched the sun come up on a beautiful June morning. Didn't want the others to wake up and relieve us. Could have stayed there all day, which we did until the coffee and Scotch ran out. Never forget it until the day I die. Me and Alan Shaft!

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Watching a 52 footer slowly raise its mast and sails back out of the foam and water. Shaking it all off ready for the next assault from the angry seagods. Not sure you can ever forget your first major knock down miles out in the ocean. It is a sure fire reminder of who the boss is out there. 

Will also never forget being up to my shoulders in white water, the mast being the only part of the yacht you can see. Others in the cockpit hopefully holding their breath. 

Funny how the hundreds of sun/moon rises/sets seem to roll into one. But the times where you needed another reef in the sphincter muscle stay with you in full technicolor. 

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Doing a midwinter race with a bunch of fellow Etchels sailors on a big keel boat. Quick race, we are done by 2pm. Just a perfect crisp clear sunny day on the bay ,10-12 out of the west, flat water. Normally, you finish the race and head right for the dock right? Owner asks if anyone has any plans. All of us come back and say no as nearly all are attending the end of year Etchels dinner later that evening. We decide to spend the next three or four hours reaching around the bay, enjoying a few beers, the vodka bottle comes out and we tell a few tall tales.

I always look back on that day as a reminder that as much as I love racing  it really is about being on the water with people you enjoy. A sunny day and your mates, hard to find a better way to spend time. 

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Twenty five knots onboard Paragon out of Maalaea. 

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Surfing down the waves in our little Cal 20 across the Molokai Channel with just the main and jib, a 50ish foot TransPac boat coming down the channel at the same time headed to the finish line at Diamond head. A coast Guard helicopter was hovering over the buoy and we wondered what was up. There was a Hobie upside-down on the line and they were trying to get him up and out of there for the boat to finish. This was 1971.

The other is sailing outside in the BVI at the last day of the Sunfish Worlds of '93, breeze in the low 20's with 5-6' waves you did not even need to pump the sail, peel around the weather mark and hold on. With the then new daggerboards many were worried if the boat would trip with the longer length but no worries, it went all OK, this was the first regatta to use them. The new boards had been shipped in and you swapped the wood board out when you put your boat together.

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Approaching Gladstone at the end of the B2G in '91(?) , TWA close to 180, mast head kite, pole squared back

Flat water, speed maybe 6-8 knots, kite illuminated by the full moon that was just off the starboard bow

The only noise was the bubbling of the wake

Pre digital cameras so no photo but the memory still makes me smile

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1984.  Sailing a boat I had just bought to her new home.   Looked down the companionway into the main cabin and saw that the cabin floor was several inches deep in water.....

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My first time under sail - I was 12. An old wooden cement trough that had been "converted" to sail by a couple of 10 or 12 year old brothers with a sapling mast and a bedsheet sail.

Drifting along the lakeshore on a summer day when the air and water were about the same temp.

It was magical and I was hooked for life.

I still remember it as one of the best days ever on the water.

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Screaming into waukegan after a breezy quick Chicago Waukegan race on a large IOR tree trunk mast Ericson 39 mid 80's ish, Reaching into the break-wall as the weather was too much for the RC boat to anchor further out.  Sister ship below us both coming up to the line slowly (by bearing) max heel Spins up and fordeck (me) on both boats standing on the pulpits ready to spike the chute as soon as we cross as there was absolutely no runway after the finish.  Our eyes lock both on the pulpit ready to let everything go and we did the air High five 2 feet away from each other as we crossed.  We won by a foot I think.  

 

Lots of others, but that one stands out for the big boats.  

 

Good times...  ;)

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Evening sail with my ex. US21. Downwind heading North up Lake Okanogan. Spinnaker up and the breeze freshened. Waves got bigger the further we went. Started passing waves, between 4 to 6 feet. Lift off speed is about 8 on this boat. Started launching off the top of waves, and drilling the next one. Had to do S turns down the waves to save burying the bow. Knot meter 0 to 12. Went past 12 until the needle hit a pin next to the zero. Later motored home close to shore.

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Hans_Horrevoets_daughter_HVOR5155.jpg

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1990. With my then-girlfriend, now wife, sailing a little Sea Spray catamaran on Huntington Lake outside of Fresno. Hanging way out on the trapeze and  trying not to fall through the main when we got a little too aggressive and put the mast in the water. We got really good at popping the main sheet, standing on the daggerboard, and flipping it back up, all in under a minute or so. Good times. 

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For 35 Years on and off, I'd competed in the Servicemans and Ex-Servicemans trophy race, at the Sailing clubs annual regatta, never won it.

Then about 5 years ago I was in second place , coming down to the  bottom mark right outside the clubhouse, I saw the leader coming in tight to the buoy to block me, so I went out wide and hoped, ... and he did it, he drifted out wide on the exit. So I dove inside him got the overlap and held him there until the next tack, which of course, I chose at the most advantageous time to me. There after I stayed ahead,  just,  for the rest of the race.

 I've not competed in that race since, But been doing rescue boat duties each year for the reggata, Hopefully I'll have finished my boat's rebuild ready for next years race..

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Many years ago when ı was in my late teens, i was invited to race on a 60 foot classic  wooden yacht. Having crewed all thay, i was crushed and fell asleep on a pilot berth just beside the cockpit. i woke up early in the morning to a strange noise. Put my head through the main hatch... and shock, horror... There is nobody in the cockpit.. There is nobody on the boat.  The main is up, and banging from side to side as the boat rolls... the wheel is turning free from side to side.

Those were the days ''Bermuda Triangle''  novel was very popular. we were supposed to be a total of ten people onboard. but there was i all alone. sure all of them were abducted. They missed me as i was tucked away deep into the pilot berth. 

Few moments later i realise that the boat is close to the shore and not going anywhere. I dive back into the boat and .. what a relief.. there 9 of them fast asleep on setees, floor, and anywhere they found. 

The story is this... Deep into the night with no wind the boat drifts and gets grounded on a sand bank. The main is stuck and they cannot lower it. They didnt turn the engine on as we were practically still racing.  Having nothing to do, they all decide to go down and sleep. i must have been so tired i didnt hear any of that commotion. 

since then i was hooked on boat racing :-)

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My first sail of course!

1961  7 years old. Crew - Mirror Dinghy. 25 knots. Winter in Melb. And won the race!

Totally hooked

And 58 years later I'm still chasing that invisible power source...

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I only started sailing at the age of 21. The first summer I did a bit of crewing for a friend on a 30' boat he had built himself over the previous decade. We did some club racing and a couple of local regattas. It was a fun boat to sail, had a bowsprit with a big asymmetrical and went like shit on a reach. It was enough to get me hooked, I loved being out on the water and I loved the social side that came afterwards. I decided to buy a laser that another club member was selling - I wanted to learn how to actually sail rather than just going along for the ride.

So fast forward a couple of months, I've been out sailing the laser maybe half a dozen times. I had never gone out in anything more than about 10 knots, although had still managed a few spectacular capsizes. I came down to the club one Sunday afternoon and it was a lot windier than forecast. It was gusting up to 20 knots and I was in two minds about turning around and going back home again. Some of the guys encouraged me to go for it, there were a couple of powerboats on the water so I knew I would have assistance if I got into difficulties. So I thought why not. I launched into an onshore breeze and struggled to keep the boat flat as I tacked a couple of times, making my way out into the chop. I spotted a mooring buoy up ahead and decided that I would bear off around it and have some fun. I slackened the control lines and let out a few feet of sheet. The boat seemed to develop a mind of its own. Never before have I experienced a sense of a total lack of control. It seemed to climb higher and higher out of the water, I really had no idea what was going on. It was the most exhilarating 10 seconds of my life, a bit like sex. Until I veered into a death roll and went screaming face first into the sea with the boat following on top of me. I didn't care though, I righted the boat and went searching for that same phenomenon over and over again. And have been doing so ever since.

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First time in the Southern Ocean in a race boat young and inexperienced. After that  instead of feeling bulletproof which was my first and natural inclination, I worked out or probably stumbled upon more likely to be honest, that those far more experienced fell into one of two categories. They were either "mad cunts" or those that "thought a lot" but with resultant equal or better results on the race course. Have given "mad cunts" a wide berth ever since. Probably also a good "life lesson". @mad don't worry you are safe. :-)

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Seeing Martinique rise out of the horizon on SWMBO 's and mine first Atlantic crossing.  Yes, the West Indies do exist.

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Blond 16 y/o GF in a tiny bikini on the foredeck of my Laser late 70's

Winning my class on the day in Cowes Week and the Squadron prize giving.

Helming F3 in the Round Brit & Ireland with 28.5 knots on the clock.

 

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Coming up to do watch at sunrise in the middle of the Atlantic on a nice Tradewinds slide en route Canaries to Antigua 1989?

Suddenly struck by the fact that there were many poor working stiffs that somewhere in the world were being kicked out of bed by their wives, being told they had the wrong colour tie on, jumping into their car to commute an hour to work for someone they despised before retuning home eight hours later and then,  doing it all again the next day.

Meanwhile I was being paid to skipper a boat, the guy paying me was too busy working and making money to move the boat across the Atlantic or spend more than two weeks on the boat in the Caribbean so in effect I was being paid to take his toy and go play.

How messed up was that? It was a revelation.

Another was as Mate on a French maxi reaching at midnight passing below Santorini flat water stiff breeze moonlight reaching at 22 knots and a rooster tail off the rudder twinkling with phosphorescence, friggin magic.

Many memories that are just fantastic too many to list here.

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I few of my favorites:

Doublehanded dip pole jibe at 2am in 18-20 knots on the way to Hawaii in the 95 TPac  on a 1979 Eichenlaub built Aluminium Peterson 41, big  fractional rig, runners...

Going boat for boat an entire 2 mile weather leg and most of the run,  just ahead of Vince Brun in my rather old Star, just getting pased at the lee mark,. The mast I had just bought from him. with new Sobstad sails from Mark really made a diffrence.

Crossing 115 boats to round the first weather mark 3rd in a race at the  2014 Finn Masters in Sopot

Trying to sail an IC across Mission Bay in almost 30 Knots, sailed from one side to the other at light speed. crashed broke the tiller and  probably capsized 15 times just trying to get back.

Sailing my Capri 25 Singlehanded from King Harbor to Long Beach, put the kite up in about 12 knots and well I'm not sure how windy it got but the Olympic Classes Regatta didn't race due to too much wind. Was having an amazing run till I had to turn to enter at Angels Gate. luffed up dropped the kite jibed and thought well that wasn't to bad maybe I'll put it back up-
blew up the kite and split my main.

 

The meteor shower in the middle of the night on a post Transpac delivery.

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First night race with the guy who would skipper me to a ton of blue flags, pickle dishes and assorted other hardware.

Wind picks up to 30+ yet the boat stays steady and on course. We close in on the finish line and we have to douse the kite, round an island and beat up to the finish. All of this goes great. We finish in the money.

As we're putting the boat away, I notice my buddy wearing the thickest glasses I had ever seen. He tells me that when that squall cranked up, his contacts were blown out of his eyes.

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1960's - I was 9 or 10. casual club racing on the Northern Bay, a bunch of 4ksb 3ksb.  My dad and I in our Picnic 17, light air. He told me "you figure it out" and I did, crossed the line first, overlapped with 2 other boats. Cruised and raced since, 4 boats and 50 years later, I count myself very lucky to have had a life that has always including sailing, and being able to raise my kids with the same opportunity.  

 

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Woke the morning of East Coast Race Week feeder to Amble from the Forth. 38kts on the Raymarine. Mmm- if we don't go no race week.

With some trepidation we headed out in our little quarter tonner with everything banging and crashing. Crew me, best mate Big Jim (brill sailor) and my 15 yr old daughter.

We were spat out of the Forth Estuary like an orange pip. Speedo against the stop, bow wave starting at the mast and going way higher than the lifelines. At times it felt that the wind just chucked us off the top of the wave instead of sailing down it.

It was like being on a Disneyland Ride for 3 hours non-stop without having to queue.

After 2-3 hours of this I looked at Jim & said "This is better than sex". His reply "Yeah, and it lasts longer" Off St Abbs the breeze began to soften and by the time we reached the Farne Isles it had gone completely leaving an oily swell illuminated by a full moon. Famborough Castle (think that is its name) was all floodlit as it was in the middle of a massive refurbishment.

Having drifted through the Farne Isles (scene of Grace Darling's heroic exploits many many years before) the breeze started to fill in and we cross the line off Amble, Northumberland around 0200-0300, I can't quite remember.

It was a sail that had everything and like an earlier poster, God I wish digital cameras had been around then but to this day I can still close my eyes and picture my little quarter tonner hurtling down those waves.

The line honours winner later told us they had their spreaders in the water 3 times and were pouring water on their winches they were that hot. Mark you they were flying their storm kite all the way - mad buggers.

Happy Days

SS

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Two

1.  5 years old (that would be about 65 years ago) always complaining about having to go out on “slow” sailboats.  With family on my uncles C-Scow.  Put my toy boat in the water to “drag” it along and we were going so fast it would hardly stay in the water.

2.  Racing on DeGray.  Every boat in the fleet owed us time.  We had a clean bottom, a nice North Main and a very good Kevlar Genoa.  Did a horizon job on the fleet.  Sailed under the lee of two boats that towered over us, port tacked them both with plenty of clearance.  Passed the second place boat in the middle of the last (forth) leg,  He was in the middle of the THIRD leg.  He hollered out to us in a friendly way to “Give us a Break”. During the first leg of the race we had a mechanical breakdown with out traveler and lost quite a few minutes jury rigging our main sheet system.  So in reality, we did give them a break.  

This race led to kind of quote the Movie “Casey’s Shadow”  In light air, A Santana 20 can outrun the Wrath of GOD

On our way to the finish line

584F8C85-E227-416D-97C7-39460EDF9A32.jpeg

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It was 2AM and pitch black. No moon, no stars. Impossible to see. Driving rain. Howling wind. The boat bucked and lurched like a rodeo bull foaming at the mouth on PCP. Cold. Bone chilling cold. Like how your hand gets when you’re rooting around in the half-melted ice in the bottom of the cooler for that last can of Old Milwaukee. But no time for happy memories now. Must focus. No time now for distractions.

 

He trimmed harder. Lines groaned. He groaned. Just a bit more. He could feel its effect now. A little bit more - not too much though. “If in doubt, let it out” was the old saw. Yes – that was it - perfect! Finally, he got his pipe berth in just the right position and drifted off into a psychotic slumber filled with visions of places he’d been and people he’d known, like that one barmaid he met during a stop on that delivery from Montserrat to Caracas, who asked if she could come along because she wanted to see her sister Cecilia who was going to be married next month to the son of the outhouse builder the next village over but she didn’t really like him but went along with it because she read in an old copy of “New Yorker” magazine about a guy who became fabulously wealthy by building buildings and making “developments” and so she knew in the deepest places of  her heart that Rodrigo would well and truly be the “Donaldo Trump” of the Venezualan  countryside. Sure, they would have to start small, maybe only a two-placer – but then, by employing a modular concept, they could grow and grow and grow…

 

His reverie was short lived as his fellow crewmate that they called “Animal” attempted the impossible by trying to squeeze his 300+ lb physique of solid toned fat into the pipe berth above him, using every lurch of the boat to extrude his belly-rolls into the 8 inch rectangular orifice formed by the frame of the pipe berth and the deck above. With each pounding wave the stresses and strains took their toll; first tiny cracks appearing in the gelcoat above, then tiny cracks appearing in his ribs and sternum. “Aaarnml, wht thhh fckn yuuutryn do me oomph, ah!” he mumbled from the berth below, gasping for breath (not a wise idea, given the stench of vomit rising from the bilge joining forces with Animal’s savory body secretions). “Oh, sorry Joe, just figured it’d be better if I was up in the top berth” Animal retorted. “There is no top berth, that’s just for gear bags you overgrown Andre the Giant impostor!” This did not dissuade the porcine corpulent one from further endeavors.

 

“Here - take my bunk, just let me get – oof – out of here”. With what seemed like his last breath (sucked in, no doubt), he extricated himself from the pipe berth and was launched, courtesy of the helmsman’s inerrant ability to slam the boat into the front of every 3rd oncoming wave, onto the teak-and-holly surfaced petri dish masquerading as a cabin sole. In the dim cabin, lit only by the glow of the red LEDs that made the B&G190 displays utterly unreadable and the ash at the end of the roach the navigator was bogarting, he groped for his mildewed Line 7 among the detritus. Thusly attired, he scrambled up the companionway ladder and belly-flopped onto the cockpit sole courtesy of yet another one of the helmsman’s attempts at eradicating all evidence of the boat’s forward progress.

 

The brain trust on deck at that moment consisted of “Tug”, aka the human cleat, tending what remained of the flogging inside-out sliver of a mainsail, and “Scool”, the barefoot antipodean dancing about in the helmsman’s cockpit cum wheel-trough, generally losing his battle with maintaining control of his flailing appendages, not to mention the wheel.

 

“Aaaay, maaaayte, aincha supposed to be off watch?” Scool inquired once his feet were firmly planted again on gelcoat. “Whaddyer doin’ out here in this bust up?”  

 

“Shaddup and give me the wheel” he barked, just as Scool slammed into another vertical wall of water, sending it blasting down upon the miserable figures huddled in the cockpit. The icy streams running down his neck and back failed to wake Tug from his reverie. Scool handed off the helm with a whirl and a twirl, and slithered down below to take his place among the groaning contingent of mal-de-mer aficionados who had transformed the cabin into such a pit of despair that would leave a Tower of London Guard quivering with fright.

 

2:30 AM, still pitch black, still cold as a New York feminist on Valentine’s Day. “Must be hell  ashore on a night like this”, he thought.    

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Top 3...

Finishing my first Transpac in "93

Laying a 73 footer over in the Molakai channel just shortly after midnight Transpac '99

Finishing 4th in one race at a 505 World Championship and seeing 100 boats behind me...

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Half way on the Daytona to Bermuda race at the helm of a Tartan 41, after midnight watch, other person on watch asleep in the cockpit.  Boat hauling butt.  Completely overcast, can't tell where the sea meets the sky, absolutely no horizon for orientation.  Only light is compass, running, and the bioluminescence  spiral trails off the keel and rudder.  It is the calming go to place in my mind.

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Pulling out of Marblehead with my best friend and wife on our new to us boat, setting the sails on a port reach and averaging 7 knots all the way to Portland without touching a sheet.  Best day with the best company.

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Too many to list, but some that are entertaining to me for various reasons:

1. Reuniting with 2 close friends who I raced with as a teenager to sail a Hospice benefit race after 7 years of not sailing together and feeling like we hadn't missed a step. Everything happened smoothly with a minimum of verbal commands - beers open, music playing. After 31 nm, we finished overlapped with the lead boat and corrected ahead of them by 12 min.

2. During a Wed night beer can with my best friend (mentioned above) and his never-been-on-a-boat-before new girlfriend, he inadvertently threw her favorite hoodie overboard and dove in to retrieve it ... while we were under spinnaker and sailing by-the-lee. Going back to get him was an adventure and we went from 2nd to dead last pretty quickly.

3. This...

IMG_1312.thumb.jpg.fa589db5023878a38225deccfa6076c4.jpg

Made the executive decision to go with the A2 above its wind range because well... it felt right. Back-to-back bullets, passing 50 footers. Routinely 16+ downwind.... all day. Blowing 28 sustained at the top of the course... the anticipation is palpable every time we set the kite, then within 30 seconds it was just 8 grown ass men giggling like little kids on their first toboggan ride.

4. Same boat, previous year. First year for this crew on this boat, we showed up underdressed for the YC awards banquet and left with ALL the hardware - and posed for photos in the fountain

 

IMG_0061.thumb.jpg.ed984fe869ed40cbce1244778d7893d0.jpg 

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I'm 14 in 1976, sailing downwind across the lake about 4 miles with my pal on a Starcraft Skylark to a resort, we play a few games of pinball and drink a soda. It then took us most of the afternoon to get back with the poorly pointing unstayed cat rigged oddball, not that we tried very hard.

My friend Chris was a big kid, a couple years older, and according to my mom "a bad influence on me", she would say with grin. I just remember us getting on board to head back and realizing the light wind is on our nose and the bay we were in was tight. It took us an hour just to get out into the main lake. I said, "This is going to take a long time to get back." He laughed and opened the small cooler he brought and handed me a beer, "Good thing I brought these," displaying a few PBRs. I took one. It was my first clandestine beer. We sipped on the foamy beer, which for the first time I thought tasted good. After a few more tacks, we settled into a quiet moment as we took turns holding onto the handles on the stern and dragging behind the boat in the cool clear water on the hot summer day.

A couple of hours later with one last tack and we could weather the island and make it across the the two mile open stretch to our string of cabins on the northwest shore. "I bet my mom is watching us on the binoculars." I said as Chris pulled out a small metal pipe and packed a bowl. "I doubt she can see this." He said as he pulled the flame of the lighter into the bowl, taking a large hit and handing it to me. I took the pipe. Chris' eyes went wide and he laughed. It was the first time I accepted his offer to to take a hit. With one hand on the tiller, the other a pipe, and a beer between my thighs, I took the hit. We laughed at each other for the next couple hours as we sailed back. I dropped Chris at his cabin and sailed the half mile downwind back to my cabin solo. Approaching the cabin there was my mom, I could tell by her orange hat and swimsuit, waving and grinning. 

I pulled the boat up onto the fence post we used to roll it up on the beach. "Did you have fun? You were gone a long time, but we could see the sail in the distance," she said.

"It was great. We had fun. Went to Doxie's and played pinball. We sorta underestimated the trip back. A lot of tacking to get out of Sandy Beach."

My mom grinned. "I bet you are hungry."

"Starving."

download.jpeg.d555b4ad8fbb28a1d97b4fe8615dc8db.jpeg

 

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Coming home from and unseasonably warm January seattle day. Had been sailing a rented J/80 with a friend who just completed a basic sailing class. Girlfriend informs me that we need to get out of the gray and clouds and move someplace sunnier: San Francisco or San Diego.

 

We are both technology people with little interest in defense contracting, so SF it was. But SF with a commitment to finally dedicate time to sailing, after a coding-driven hiatus since college.

 

Every day sailing on the bay has been a good, exhausting one. Mostly it’s been the basics: building muscle memory and putting away beers as I teach my body to sail without need for thought in prep for offshore racing.

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first big boat, sailing into Block Island with my spouse for the first time........

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I am 6, enjoying time alone with my dad, sailing our little Boston Whaler squall. 

As we return to the cove, he casually asks "How would you like to learn to sail it yourself?"  When I reply Yes!, he steps out of the boat and says "Okay, here you go. You know how." 

It was 1966.

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Barely counts as "sailing" but always remember one of the times in the 90s when Mr Clew and I went over to Lanai on Paragon. Looked across the dock and there was Hokule'a and its navigator. Chicken skin.  

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Sailing on the Brilliant with the gollywobbler up...  just flying across the water...       being on the bow pulpit of the brilliant, motoring out of mystic in 50+ , three waves coming, third wave, i was chest deep in water..

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1 hour ago, dacapo said:

first big boat, sailing into Block Island with my spouse for the first time........

old harbor   / new harbor ?

I remember motoring into old harbor, brother on the wheel..  his hat blows off..   his wife , who gave him the hat, says we need to go get that..  look behind,  ferry bearing down on us..

" Uh,  No" ....   

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Cabo race mid-80's.  We did a spinnaker change around 10 or 11 PM.  I was at the mast for the raise and the halyard got around the top spreader once the sail was up.  After cleaning up from the peel, everyone looked at me when the skipper asked, "Who's going up to clear the halyard off the spreader?"  One person says, "You put it there."  

So out with the chair, up to the spreader, flip the halyard clear.  Looking around, it was a bright moon, blowing around 25, whitecaps everywhere.  Spectacular!  I didn't want to come down it looked so cool.

Like others above, I can pull that slide up in my mind any time.  Not sure a camera would have seen it the way I did.

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Lots of special days, but none better than this.  Dad's last sail.

He was a mess from the Parkinson's and the associated dementia was robbing him of his mind.  But, on this day, for just a few hours, he was the embodiment of joy.

Wish I had done this more often.

Dad.jpg

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33 minutes ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

old harbor   / new harbor ?

I remember motoring into old harbor, brother on the wheel..  his hat blows off..   his wife , who gave him the hat, says we need to go get that..  look behind,  ferry bearing down on us..

" Uh,  No" ....   

new harbor. Salt pond...a school of dolphins swam alongside right up to the Bell at the entrance....magical for our first cruise on our new boat

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I've got two:  1st one was getting to go dredging oysters on a Skipjack when I was 12.  Cold, wet, muddy miserable work, but I thought I was something for being allowed to go.   The second most memorable wasn't on a sailboat, but, when we took Dad's ashes out into the ocean off Va Beach, just as we dumped them in the ocean, a pod of dolphins surfaced, and played in the bow wave most of the way back into Rudee Inlet.   Dad was always thrilled to see the dolphins - and this kinda made us feel a little better about letting go. 

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As a kid sailing with my dad's friend in his Moth planning for the first time feeling the boat haul ass and watching  leeward turnbuckle steaming through the water.....FWD 30 years on the helm of a 60' ULDB in the Gulfstream hitting 24 knots blast reaching...

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2007 Collegiate singlehandeds. Coast guard was practicing dropping a swimmer from a helo nearby. Got a bit close to the course and took out half the mens fleet. It was hysterical. Dinghy racing can be so uneventful, but that was just such an off the rails moment.

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-Three inexperienced college kids with a16 foot daysailer in the Hudson River above the GW Bridge to watch the Tall Ships during the ‘76 Bicentennial celebration. Tidal current, crazy wakes, thunderstorm, loss of anchor, non running outboard. Ignorance is bliss.

-Launching my sailboat after taking 15 years to build.

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1. Winning a tie breaking two Laser high wind dual with Eckerd College to give University of Florida's sailing club their first regatta win in recorded memory.   It was blowing after a front and I had to ply Eckerd's single hander with rum spiked hot tea to get him to agree to go out.   Alcohol, UofF secret weapon....

2.  Spinnaker run on Condor through the Windward Passage between Cuba and Hispaniola at 16-18 knots.   It was blowing and you could hear creaks and groans from the rigging on the boat and the loud staccato, basso reverberation from the deck when easing the wire spinnaker sheet on the winch drum.  Big Power Magic.

3.  Another spinnaker run, but on a Santa Cruz 50 on flat water in over 30 knots breeze in the Suncoast Race Week.   As we approached the finish line off of DIYC, a strong, sustained gust hit, the boat went from planing into ludicrous speed with a rooster tail off the rudder, 10 feet of the bow out of the water and sustained bow spray back at the chain plates as we just touched 30knts boat speed through the finish.   A Laser moment for 17 crew!   We were so pumped that we wanted to keep planing on in to the basin.   As the O was not on board, OH was for once the voice of reason,"I don't want to have to put this boat back together from hitting the seawall, if you all cannot get the spinnaker down!"

4.  Landing and sailing away from my first windsurfing jump wave sailing.

I have been lucky to have had a ton of experiences over the decades of sailing, but these are my best, so far...

- Stumbling

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Farr 38, late 80s, flat run in 35+, trimming the #1 heavy kite in a puff - whole crew is silent waiting for the bang and hanging on to something,  skipper and I are whispering corrections to each other. I remember staring at the tapes, expecting the kite to disappear at any moment, loading up into the back of the next wave, tops being blown off the waves, turning mark coming up off Rangitoto.

Racing the Javelin off Torbay watching a front coming across the water as we reached onto the wing mark, every boat ahead capsizing - then bearing off as it hit, but not fast enough -splat! Same series, tacking the spinnaker and making it work!

Panic Point, racing into Te Kouma on dad's 25'ter with landlubber uncle. Tack right on the headland just as the wind curls putting us in irons and blowing us towards the rocks. Father abandons helm, yelling at uncle to pull that rope! Uncle and father purple with effort heaving on opposite ends of the jib sheet. I retrieve the helm, spin the boat through a gybe and back towards open water. 

Benny Goodman drifting over the water at Mansionhouse Bay rowing someones dingy back to the boat after a Kawau Island special.

The butterflys id get on Sunday mornings before racing

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Too many perfect moments... I'll try.

* ... several years ago taking our first 'real' boat, a Catalina 27, across the bay from Herrington's to Tilghman Island with friends.  Gentle breeze, motored the last bit. At burgers, stuffed clams, multiple icy cold beers.  Coming back under the 110 jib, close reaching in 20+ kts… all of us sitting up on the high side coamings, my kid sleeping on the bow to leeward happily getting splashed with the warm Chesapeake waves.  Bit of a struggle to handle the weather helm, buried the bow repeatedly, finally got a decently balanced sail trim.  Getting up into the harbor and calm water.  Me worried about my wife's take... the kid saying it was the best day ever, the non-sailing friends thrilled, and my wife saying, "that was as rough as I would ever want to deal with... but it was a perfect day." 

* My 15 year old racing with us this year at NOODs, on a tough cold day, with a lot of rain, blue faces and hands, meh results and some friction in the crew.  We don't always connect great since he's at that age, and we don't get to sail together enough due to his school and sports commitments.  Motoring back in I asked him what he thought working mast in his first big event and the higher pressure with a full team.  "I forgot how badly I miss this. It's the best." 

* Racing up the Chesapeake overnight, our first big overnight race a few years ago. There was a full moon, we had a ripping downwind run in 20-25 kts, and the wind eased to about 15 and we rode it and the tide north back to Annapolis in on an amazingly smooth Chesapeake.  At about 3:30 AM, the bowman calls out, "Hey!  Look back.  The dolphins are following us!"  Sure as shit, there were a half dozen fins and shiny backs surfacing in our wake, keeping pace with us.

But too many of these.  Ask me tomorrow and there will be three other memories that pop up, each as lovely. 

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For me, it was a doublehanded race on a B-25. We had a mediocre race going when we got to the weather mark, with a 7 mile run home. The breeze was pretty manageable, so we hoisted the masthead kite.  Oops.  The breeze started building fast at that point. Quickly jumped up on a plane and unfortunately found myself sitting on the owner’s lap in a desperate attempt to get weight aft and to weather. Best 8 mile sleigh ride of my life!  (It took us two miles after finishing to figure out how to get the kite down). Not the fastest I’ve sailed, but easily the longest distance I’ve ever gone with the boat completely and utterly out of control.  (Still had the original spec rudder, which is prone to stalling around 12-14 knots of boatspeed). We only had steerage in the lulls. 

So much fun!

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6 hours ago, condor said:

Cabo race mid-80's.  We did a spinnaker change around 10 or 11 PM.  I was at the mast for the raise and the halyard got around the top spreader once the sail was up.  After cleaning up from the peel, everyone looked at me when the skipper asked, "Who's going up to clear the halyard off the spreader?"  One person says, "You put it there."  

So out with the chair, up to the spreader, flip the halyard clear.  Looking around, it was a bright moon, blowing around 25, whitecaps everywhere.  Spectacular!  I didn't want to come down it looked so cool.

Like others above, I can pull that slide up in my mind any time.  Not sure a camera would have seen it the way I did.

Sailing with a kiwi known as Animal, Port Phillip Bay on an Adams 11.9 (?) called Turbo

Rounded the top mark for the reaching leg, mast head kite hoisted but the halyard was caught behind the windward diamond spreader. Boat on its ear, Animal trimming main says to the skipper "keep it heeled", goes forward and proceeds to walk the mast... No chair/halyard required!

Reaching the hounds he flicked the halyard off the spreader, reaches over to the forestay and slides down the foil, back to the mainsheet before the pit had the kite winched to the mast head.

Credit must be given to the helm for keeping the boat on its ear but that was/is the most impressive thing I have ever seen on a boat.

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Sailing through the finish line of the last race of the VIRS series last year, elated that we had probably won the series (we did), but also knowing that my 36-year career as a owner/skipper of a Dash 34 was more or less at its conclusion.  

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6 hours ago, condor said:

Cabo race mid-80's.  We did a spinnaker change around 10 or 11 PM.  I was at the mast for the raise and the halyard got around the top spreader once the sail was up.  After cleaning up from the peel, everyone looked at me when the skipper asked, "Who's going up to clear the halyard off the spreader?"  One person says, "You put it there."  

So out with the chair, up to the spreader, flip the halyard clear.  Looking around, it was a bright moon, blowing around 25, whitecaps everywhere.  Spectacular!  I didn't want to come down it looked so cool.

Like others above, I can pull that slide up in my mind any time.  Not sure a camera would have seen it the way I did.

so you were getting those warm off shores? if so those are a huge part of  best of my sailing experience. 1992 LA-Cabo , we won every pickle dish possible on a 56 footer. it was sooo much fun at 16 years old, reaching at 20 knots in 30+ knots with a #3 up and 1 reef and everybody clipped in. ironically Tom Leweck played nav with celestial navigation that trip, i learned so much.

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Too many.

FIrst overnight race.

FIrst gun.

FIrst offshore race to BDA in 94 followed by the delivery from hell back to Newport.

First start in my own leadmine in J30 fleet in annapolis.

First star shot on way to Bermuda.

First .... yeah.. too many

 

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Record setting run on the Vic-Maui. 

Registering my my 2month old as skipper, sailing with her in a wrap and her winning the regatta.  

My first sailing experience with my parents and family cruising as a kid. 

Racing in gales, with the cold wind and rain stinging as it hits my face. (Ok maybe not my fondest memories, but won't forget them either)

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Many, many, many over the years, but three....

Winning the 1995 Fastnet navigating Nicorette with Ludde Ingvall.  We were in Plymouth 25½ hours ahead of the next boat, which had yet to round the Rock.  We'd gone South, all the way to the French coast, and sailed right round the huge stationary high in the Irish Sea.  I think we sailed nearly 900 miles rather than the rhumbline 650.  The boat was in Holland and we were pissed, hungover and pissed again in Plymouth by the time the next boat finished.

And the 1979 Fastnet is another memory.  Il Moro di Venezia, Frers 68.  Eventually screeching at 16 knots through the night with a storm staysail only, and knocked down twice, masthead in the drink.  Finished, but shook up.

But finest of all was aged about 6 with my late Dad in his Seaview One Design dinghy on a fine summer day.  As we sailed along, the clinker strakes made a lovely scrunching sound as they hit each little wave.  "Like a giant eating biscuits," he said.  I miss that man.

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15 minutes ago, P_Wop said:

Many, many, many over the years, but three....

Winning the 1995 Fastnet navigating Nicorette with Ludde Ingvall.  We were in Plymouth 25½ hours ahead of the next boat, which had yet to round the Rock.  We'd gone South, all the way to the French coast, and sailed right round the huge stationary high in the Irish Sea.  I think we sailed nearly 900 miles rather than the rhumbline 650.  The boat was in Holland and we were pissed, hungover and pissed again in Plymouth by the time the next boat finished.

And the 1979 Fastnet is another memory.  Il Moro di Venezia, Frers 68.  Eventually screeching at 16 knots through the night with a storm staysail only, and knocked down twice, masthead in the drink.  Finished, but shook up.

But finest of all was aged about 6 with my late Dad in his Seaview One Design dinghy on a fine summer day.  As we sailed along, the clinker strakes made a lovely scrunching sound as they hit each little wave.  "Like a giant eating biscuits," he said.  I miss that man.

you won the internet for today, dammit !

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1 hour ago, bigrpowr said:

you won the internet for today, dammit !

It wasn't even close!

I do have to ask, I would have expected Il Moro... to be faster than Tenacious and I know they stayed ahead of the worst of it and I believe won, at least their class.  Am I wrong (as usual)?

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31 minutes ago, Cal20sailor said:

It wasn't even close!

I do have to ask, I would have expected Il Moro... to be faster than Tenacious and I know they stayed ahead of the worst of it and I believe won, at least their class.  Am I wrong (as usual)?

You are right, Tenacious won, scared the crap out of Turner, afraid he would run over an outbounder to the Rock. 

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2 minutes ago, Frumious Bandersnatch said:

You are right, Tenacious won, scared the crap out of Turner, afraid he would run over an outbounder to the Rock. 

What I remember about asshole Ted was he was giving interviews about how it wasn't that bad while sailors were dying.

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Being 13 or so, winning the club optimist championship, over my arrogant intolerable arch enemy. He and his, also arrogant and intolerable family, had invited other family members and friends to see him win the club trophy. Still makes me feel all warm inside, thinking about winning that race, ah.

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We'd been on a race up river round an Island and back in a 3/4 ton Yeoman Keelboat, we hadn't done well in the light stuff in amoungst the trees, and were in 4th. As we rounded the corner (left hand side of map / picture) I said to the owner, Spinnaker? he said yes, So I took the helm and up it went. Just about where the white top of the motor boat is on the river, the wind hit, we planed, that's not happen much in 20 years of sailing this boat. So we go screaming down the river.  None of the others had put the spinnaker up...

The lead boat shouted " you mad buggers " as we went past, It was Terrifying as the helming felt on a knife edge, these are not designed to plane, One small error and we'd have been ploughing the bank. behind by about 400 yards to First in about half a mile...

https://www.google.co.uk/maps/@52.7018584,1.4462483,606m/data=!3m1!1e3

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7 hours ago, Cal20sailor said:

It wasn't even close!

I do have to ask, I would have expected Il Moro... to be faster than Tenacious and I know they stayed ahead of the worst of it and I believe won, at least their class.  Am I wrong (as usual)?

You're right.  In fact we were ahead of Tenacious and also Kialoa III for all of the light first half of the race.  Unfortunately when the shit hit the fan a lot of our crew disappeared below and curled up in corners.  Lots of water aboard, no electrics or nav, so we had only a hazy DR impression of where we were.  I'd taken my trusty sextant with me and managed to get a noon position next day, so three of us survivors turned her Northeast and managed to put up a kite.  Sheepish heads started appearing on deck and hoisted the main.  Lots of 'if only' about that one.... 

Tenacious kept battling through it all, as did Condor and Kialoa who rounded the Scillies together. Condor put up a heavy spinnaker right off the Pol Bank (in 45 knots) and took off at high speed before producing a massive wipeout. Hard chaps.

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20 hours ago, dacapo said:

new harbor. Salt pond...a school of dolphins swam alongside right up to the Bell at the entrance....magical for our first cruise on our new boat

 

brother and i sailing his gaff rigged turn of the century crabber out of watch hill in pea soup thick fog sailing to block.. we missed the whole island and only noticed when the depth sounder was showing deeper and deeper ( no gps back then) .. so we turn around til we're in shallower water..  we had ended up on the east side of the island by going around the west side..

that was also the trip that  when we got back and moored the boat by his house and when the dinghy hit the shore about a bazillion mosquitoes kicked up out of the marsh grass, fun times

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I have a few.  Most memorable was a night race in LI Sound on a NY 40 in a squall with the mast in the water.  Good times.

 

--Kevin

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so very many to choose from but one from earlier this month in the ditch with my two oldest (both accomplished sailors in their own right). sharing 67 continuous miles of fleet racing and witnessing how their years of experience have made the 'apprentices become the masters'....the feeling is indescribable, the memory is etched in stone, and the desire for the next round with them is mountainous

 

 

 

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Racing the 6M Big Apple. First keel boat race ever. Just a kid then. One of the crew handed me the spin sheet on a run. “Want to fly the Spinnaker” I was a Snipe sailor before that.

Orange Cluster Flairs to weather and aft about 100 yards, reaching a Erickson 46 Williwaw back to NJ from the SORC 1973. middle of a dark wet night, East Coast USA,North of Delaware Bay out with the Russian Fishing Fleet all day. We could see the whites of there eyes. Then the sail of a USN hunter/killer sub cruises past at speed to weather just visible through the mist and fog. All eyes on the top of her were on us.

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1 hour ago, P_Wop said:

Condor put up a heavy spinnaker right off the Pol Bank (in 45 knots) and took off at high speed before producing a massive wipeout. Hard chaps.

That's ballsy.  I sailed quite a bit on SC70s and their loads were laughable compared to what Condor was feeling in 45kts.  When we experienced  a puff, we went faster, Condor, you felt the boat load up.  Hard to describe to a generation that never played with wire guys.  

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2 hours ago, Cal20sailor said:

That's ballsy.  I sailed quite a bit on SC70s and their loads were laughable compared to what Condor was feeling in 45kts.  When we experienced  a puff, we went faster, Condor, you felt the boat load up.  Hard to describe to a generation that never played with wire guys.  

Wire guys, wire sheets, and at 45kts, wire luff tapes on the chicken chute.

Two words for wire running gear, meat hooks...

ULDBs just get up and go faster in sporty winds.   Old IOR Maxis just dig a much deeper hole in the water, until a wave comes from behind to help overcome that limitation.

- Stumbling

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18 minutes ago, stumblingthunder said:

Two words for wire running gear, meat hooks...

One word, blood.  

I'm O- which is the universal donor and I lived up to that each time I got near the bow.  

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11 hours ago, Cal20sailor said:

What I remember about asshole Ted was he was giving interviews about how it wasn't that bad while sailors were dying.

The bigger boats did not face the conditions that the small boats endured. Most were well around the rock before the worst blew thru, sailing  downwind. Quote from Greg Gillette, well known Hawaiian sailor (& son of 'GOD) was that they did not know it was that bad until they tied up to the docks. That was WILLIWAW, Pet 48, with a very good crew. He called it a good day in the Molokai Channel in comparison, and they never stopped racing the boat.

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Loving the mixture of tales here, some have even reminded me of experiences that had faded into the background..

A few of mine;

Hitting 30 knots at the wheel of the 'Black and White' Hugo Boss heading from Seattle to San Diego.. 

Waking up in mid-air as we almost flipped a Gunboat 66 during the Carib 600..

The entire trip where I met and fell in love with my now wife. 98ft classic ketch going from Antigua to Newport. Pirates we're stolen (4ft wooden ones), crew members mutineed, got to see the very local parts of the Dominican Republic, a vegan decimated my Marmite supply and hid the empty jar and I ended up chest deep on the bowsprit wearing just a pair of shorts wondering if the other crew had had the right idea in bailing out...

AND...slicing a hole in my nut-sack after capsizing a Tornado in the coastal race of Eurocat - helm got washed off the back of the boat during a tack and took the mainsheet with him, boat flipped super quick and I ended up landing on and sliding down the shroud. Didn't realise until I got in, story spread like wild-fire and had absolute heroes of mine coming up and asking if I was the dude who sliced his balls open...fun times.

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Confused until I read it twice.  You equate meeting your first wife with slicing a hole in your nut sack?  I wish I had the same fond memories.  

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Not a pleasant memory but the only time I was gripped with fear, not worried... gripped with fear. Returning from the Yucatan March 1982 double handing a 27'er. Gale force building blow, we were down to 3rd reef in main and storm jib with massive and steep waves as the Gulfstream was flowing against the wind. Oh ...Google 1983 El Nino , never heard of El Nino until afterwards. Mid morning after  just taking the helm from my  buddy, a huge wave with a breaking top crashed over the boat and washed me into the stern pulpit and if not for the OB motor in the raised position I would have been washed clean overboard with no one on deck, although my mate did slide open the companionway to see what was up. Why I wasn't tied in is another story....I was busted up pretty good with back spasms and sciatica , it took me 20 minutes to get into my foul weather gear for my watches. But back to the fear of the building unrelenting wind and wondering what we could do if it blew any harder was as I said fear like I've never know before or since. The Gale last about 36 hours and there were sinking's in the Gulf.

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Wow.  A few:

My first broach

Almost getting run over by a barge around midnight in Delaware Bay

When I was a walk on, on pied piper the SC 70

When I broke 20 knots sailing on the VX one prototype w/Brian Bennett

Being camera man for the day for Clean at the start of the around alone when Brad Vanliew was sailing Le Penguin, (the big yellow boat)

Driving a 150ft, 200+ ton, early 1900's wooden yawl, (The Roseway) in the gulf stream at 2 in the morning under full sail and 30 knots steady breeze making 14 knots on a beam reach.

Making the podium at CRW

Scaring my daughter away from sailing for ever with a nasty death roll followed by windward capsize on a Jy15

Proposing to my 2nd wife using the "proposal chute" and the ensuing party

I'm sure there's more...

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42 minutes ago, Cal20sailor said:

Confused until I read it twice.  You equate meeting your first wife with slicing a hole in your nut sack?  I wish I had the same fond memories.  

Yeah they were two very different events, perhaps that wasn't entirely clear..

Although being part of the same event would be a hell of a story....

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Two stand out in  my mind

 

First 13 years old doing my first overnite race the Newport to Ensenada.  This was back when it was huge like 35 years ago.  I was racing on White Lightening and my Dad was racing Dust'em, So of course I am up bright and early the next morning on deck with the binoculars out looking for my Dad's boat.  Then I see it and get super pumped we are coming in from the North side of the bay and they are coming on from the South.  As I am watching them they see us.  Game on everyone streaming up on deck on both boats. Back and Forth all the way to the finish and we beat them across the line overlapped.  That was it I was hooked.  We lost on corrected but it didn't matter. I still race with the owner who gave me that chance and we have won a ton of Mexico races together over the years.

 

Coastal Cup on a Sant Crus 52.  It is about 1 in the morning it has already been an eventful race to say the least.  It is blowing 25 gusting to 35 with swells coming from a few directions.  Everyone is down except for me driving, Big Country (Dan)on my right and Fish (Jon) on my left.  We are all teathered in sailing with a jib top as the 3/4 had exploded.  Not too tough but exciting driving surfing on and on.  All of sudden I see white water out of the edge of my vision.  I turn the boat hard down but to late it picks us up onto our side and we start surfing sideways.  Once it stopped I pulled myself by my teather back to the wheel on my knees and we takeoff again.  Once I get control I look around to make sure everyone is there and ok.  Big Country check and I look at Fish.  He had apparently put another layer over his harness which had subsequently inflated in the wipe out.  So there he is on his back like a turtle freaking out and I can see the lifejacket inflated under his jacket.  At the time I just started laughing then as he reached for his knife and started stabbing at his lifejacket I realized it was a bit more serious. He managed to pop it with his knife and we sent him down below as he was wet and now had no safety harness. For the next 5 hours until day break it was just me and Big Country ripping along in the pitch black.  Good times. 

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Last Saturday, with my 9 year old son on our Hobie 18. Him driving from the wire in 10-15 while I trimmed. Not even a race, just a dad and son out for an afternoon sail. 

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There are so many from winning my 1st trophy at 5 years old on an Aqua Cat. To blasting down San Clemente Island in 30 plus knots true on a 27 foot catamaran. Or the four hours of 17 knots VMG to Cabo on our Mac Gregor 65. 

I have unforgettable memories from so many boats and so many great owners.  Balancing the helm  of Bucaneer versus the main and jib down a moonlit path with dolphin prancing off the bow. 

    Or the same delivery when we had a pair of killer whales riding our bow wave. Then one slides back and roles over looks me straight in the eye

Sending it in the Coastal Cup hitting 28 plus knots Horizon. So many podium  finishes.

Blasting under the Golden Gate on Time Shaver in Big Boat Series. 

Just sending it with team Destroyer in everything we do

 

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Best overall (out of countless options): walking around Cowes and ending up at the Pier View during the last day of the America's Cup Sesquicentennial in 2001. Running into, or literally bumping into, just about every living Olympic medalist, America's Cup contestant, Star World champ, Etchells World champ, Volvo/Whitbread champ, Maxi champ, Finn champ, Laser champ, Admiral's Cup Champ, Kenwood Cup champ and all the rest of the Illuminati. Probably the finest assembly of sailing talent (and yachts) that will ever occur on our little blue marble until perhaps 2051. Danish, Norwegian, British, Spanish etc. royalty and their accompanying Royal Yachts also wandering around added to the frisson. (It didn't hurt that I was a few Pimms into celebrating that I was tactician on the boat that won our class, but that wasn't really the point as the experience would have been the same anyway)

Worst: Dropping the rig on a SC50 forty eight miles off Morro Bay in a round down during the 2003 Coastal Cup from SF to Catalina. That is a long story but not a pleasant one.

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43 minutes ago, SF Woody Sailor said:

Best overall (out of countless options): walking around Cowes and ending up at the Pier View during the last day of the America's Cup Sesquicentennial in 2001. Running into, or literally bumping into, just about every living Olympic medalist, America's Cup contestant, Star World champ, Etchells World champ, Volvo/Whitbread champ, Maxi champ, Finn champ, Laser champ, Admiral's Cup Champ, Kenwood Cup champ and all the rest of the Illuminati. Probably the finest assembly of sailing talent (and yachts) that will ever occur on our little blue marble until perhaps 2051. Danish, Norwegian, British, Spanish etc. royalty and their accompanying Royal Yachts also wandering around added to the frisson. (It didn't hurt that I was a few Pimms into celebrating that I was tactician on the boat that won our class, but that wasn't really the point as the experience would have been the same anyway)

100% agree.  The Jubilee was outrageous.  You couldn't walk 15 feet up Cowes High Street without bumping into yet another long-lost buddy.  I remember seeing three Kings with the Aga Khan walking up the street togethe in reefers to the RYS in deep conversation and laughter.  

Racing in a fleet of 38 (yes, 38) 12-metres was very special.

The grand ball at Osborne House (Queeen Victoria's mansion) was a bit good too.

Even Australia II was dug out of her museum, brought to England and raced largely by her 1983 AC winning crew.

Image result for america's cup jubilee twelves

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29 minutes ago, P_Wop said:

100% agree.  The Jubilee was outrageous.  You couldn't walk 15 feet up Cowes High Street without bumping into yet another long-lost buddy.  I remember seeing three Kings with the Aga Khan walking up the street togethe in reefers to the RYS in deep conversation and laughter.  

Racing in a fleet of 38 (yes, 38) 12-metres was very special.

The grand ball at Osborne House (Queeen Victoria's mansion) was a bit good too.

I agree that the ball was better than ordinary. It wasn't easy to find a place to get my dinner suit pressed on the Isle, but that is a different story.

Many of these things (knockdowns, sunrises) are vivid, spectacular memories to be cherished. I have a library of my  own. Wire guys on a Petersen 44 that looked as if they quite deliberately intended to kill me still haunt me.

However, the Jubilee was something that didn't occur prior to my lifetime and won't occur again in my lifetime. So I rank it #1. At one stage I remember them doing an auction of a vertical of bottles of Hennessy Cognac for every year from 1851 to 2001. One hundred and fifty bottles of Hennessy Cognac from each year. My recollection is that Bill Koch won in the low digit millions.

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3AM on a Cal 39 surfing waves on the delivery home, watching the speedo creep up into the teens, it was like riding a roller coaster.  Went down below to make some coffee and was fallowed by a wall of water down the companionway.  Heard the owner laughing a big deep belly laugh and looked up to him standing at the helm looking like a drowned rat with water up to his knees and the lazarette in the cockpit.  Asked him if he was good, and he replied "I've been hearing voices anyway and then something tapped me on the shoulder, and then I was all wet, yep, i'm good, but I'm all wet."

Doing 18-25 knots on the Farr 400 down the Chesapeake for 8 hours, specifically the last 10 miles of blast reaching with three of us huddled together on the rail, hoods pulled over our eyes laughing our asses off getting firehosed but hauling ass and knowing we would get in before dinner service was over.

The first time I ever felt a keelboat start planing.

Losing instruments and navigating by compass and lightning strikes on a night delivery.

Pulling into Newport at sunrise.  

Too many to share... 

 

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Like others have posted there are so many, but I will list a few:

Learning to sail as an adult in a 420 with my wife.
Adult learn to sail lessons at our local yacht club.
We were avid canoeists and hiking out reaching gliding through the water effortlessly was a LOT of fun for us.
We still have pictures from this hanging on our wall at home 15 years later.

First long distance delivery, midnight in the center of Lake Michigan with no land in site, glass calm lake, no clouds, no moon, star filled sky mirrored in the lake.  Forever hooked on night sailing.

2011 Chicago Mac, sailing through the big storm to win our class and finish 3rd overall.  Watching that storm approach was an unforgettable light show.

Cruising the North Channel of Lake Huron for the first time with my family we had 2:
Getting a very close look at a Tornado.  It was the first time in a long time that I was scared on a boat.
Waking up in the middle of the night while anchored in "the pool" to listen to the wolves howl.

Handing the helm of my 35 ft boat, sailing with the kite up in a race, to my 10 year old son and watching him sail the boat the last 1.5 miles around the last mark to the finish line.

 

I look forward to making my list of memories longer each year.

 

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