For the second time I was racing onboard the Perini Navi Helios, owned by a very nice and interesting couple from New York. This is a 56 meter superyacht, a completely different genre than circuit match racing or offshore distance racing. There is china on board and the crew has to strap down the furniture in the dining salon, there is air conditioning and a chef that pretty much cooks nonstop as well as all of the bells and whistles of luxury. BUT – the boat can still sail and this was a regatta!
Unfortunately we had an override on the captive genoa winch the 1st day so had to sail with the much smaller jib than was ideal. The system to get an override out is the same on a ‘normal’ or a captive winch except that they are built into the boat. It took about 20 minutes to remove furniture to get to the mechanism and almost an hour to get it sorted and recalibrated. Once we were done wrestling with this problem we got back to racing and we ended up 15thof 20 in class and 24th of 40 overall. But each time we hit the water we get better. On Saturday we were 8 in class and 23rd overall and we had a magic race on Sunday. It was one of those days where you are all working together. Hank was steering with minimum distraction. Juggy and Jay had the foredeck in hand so the MPS went up and down on time. Matt the captain was in sync with trimming the sails – which is kind of like playing a video game as you trim with joy sticks. We saw squalls coming through and estimated an approximate 15 degree right hand shift so Chris calculated that into the navigation and sure enough the shift came in and we just skimmed the rocks while others had to tack. We finished that race 3rd in class and 3rd overall – a very nice feeling. We finished a respectable 10th in class and I just got a message from Bruce Brackenhoff who organized team Helios and can also organize a boat for you to buy and he calculated if we could have discarded the 1st day we would have been 1st in class…so if only :-).
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