Last week whilst dong a few odd jobs on Dorade Hank Easom the owner of Yucca came wondering down the dock for a chat. Dorade and Yucca are almost neighbors now in Sausalito and Hank is a keen racer who has been sailing the bay for a long time. Hank asked me why we weren’t sailing in the Jessica cup this weekend which was being hosted by the St Francis Yacht club.
To be honest I knew nothing about the race and was planning on getting Dorade ready for the Leukemia cup next weekend when Pam is taking Dorade out with her all female team. As Dorade has not raced since she arrived on the west coast it seemed like a good idea to me to put her through her paces before next weekend. I told Hank to leave it with me and I would ask Matt and Pam if they were keen on the idea which I knew they probably would be.
I had couple of jobs to do on board to have her ready for racing and now I only had two days to get it done rather than over a week, putting yourself under pressure sometimes is good to get things done quickly. I now have this week to check the work that was done to the spinnaker spectacles recently and make some small adjustments to the rig.
Putting a crew together was obviously important if we wanted to race this weekend and being new to the area and knowing very few people this was going to be challenge. Fortunately I have made some great contacts here and with a few emails and a couple of phone calls the crew was coming together quickly. The hardest part is putting it together not really knowing people’s strengths and weaknesses and also the fact that there would be no time for a practice sail beforehand.
Saturday morning came along and Dorade was ready to go. The crew showed up whom all came with good skills and a lot of local knowledge which is an area I need to get to grips with soon but for now was happy to have some locals point the boat in the right direction. We managed to get out and throw in a few tacks and gybes before the start. The race was postponed for a while due to a lack of wind but after an hour or so the wind came in and the race committee got things started.
We were a little late for the start and seemed to struggle for speed at first but we soon found our legs and by the time the race was over we had worked things out. I think considering almost nobody had sailed together before or even on Dorade we had a respectable race and didn’t damage anything. It was a good shakedown and hopefully very useful for the three ladies that will be sailing on board next weekend and managed to get on for the Jessica cup.
Dorade is now berthed at the St Francis club until next weekend when we will move over to the San Francisco yacht club for the Leukemia Cup.