Sunday, March 13, 2005

Wooden Yacht Race Results!

Hi, Captain Mack here!
I’m the owner and operator of “Mariner Sailing Charters” in Marina del Rey,
California, where, “We Take You Sailing”, aboard the beautiful sailing yacht,

Visit us at

Welcome back to my blog page!

Pre-race manoeuvres!

Wooden sailing yachts, of all sizes and pedigrees, jostle for position and advantage in the minutes before the starting gun of the race. To many, it is the most exciting part of a sailboat race, because all of the yachts desire to be first across the starting line, and furthest to winward. Near collisions, shouts and stern commands are to be seen and heard as the yachts sail back and forth, waiting for the gun.

Under blustery blue skies with puffy white clouds, the remnants of a storm three days before, I, and my crew of six, exercised our strategy, awaiting the starting gun sequences
that would put the race into motion. Tense with anticipation and fresh with the memory of last year’s head sail failure that cost us our 1st place trophy, we sailed and waited.

Bang! The report of the starting gun was heard! Winches grinded, lines were hauled, and
with trimmed sails, the “Amethyst” sprang across the starting line, in perfect position above the other racers. Within minutes, we were in the lead! Cautiously optimistic, we continued to trim sail and increase our lead to the first mark. Meanwhile, astern of us, I observed the beautiful schooner “Bluenose”, our friendly competitor (and winner) of last year’s race flashing out his fisherman's topsail. Anxiously, I compared our speeds, and observed that we were still increasing our lead!

Rounding the first mark, we hauled our wind for the second leg of the course, the winward leg. A course was set and with the sails pulling well, I now could relax a bit and take in the scenery. The racing cutters, tightly grouped, and intently competing for position. The two large schooners, with all of their various sails flying. The largest schooner was none other than the “Santana”, Humphrey Bogart’s old boat.

The weather mark was now looming near, and so a new activity was set upon on our foredeck. The preparation for the downwind run! The spinnaker, the largest and most powerful of “Amethyst’s” sail inventory, was brought up from below and bent on. So as we rounded the mark, the genoa was dropped and in it’s place the mighty spinnaker was raised!
Off we took, like a waterborne locomotive, a wooden Juggernaut crashing through the waves, ploughing a course towards home, hearth and the finish line! A fine eye had I, on the spars, sails and rigging, judgeing just how much I might safely coax from them in the way of speed. The crew tended and managed their stations, and I was pleased with
“Amethyst’s” turn of speed . This was great sailing. The feel of the salt spray, the smell of the sea air, and the sounds of a wooden sailing yacht being driven hard to victory! And we were doing a “horizon job” on many of the other boats!

The finish line we crossed with all sails flying, to the blast of the first place shotgun! A roar of cheers welled up! No ripped sails, and all memories of last year’s disappointment vanished. A large silver plate would be ours, and awarded to us later that evening, at the awards’ dinner. We had won our race, and the admiration of our competition. A day to be remembered and cherished!

See you soon!

Captain Mack.


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