Survived the Governors Cup Weekend
For once, we had a fair amount of wind for a weekend of sailboat racing at Elephant Butte Lake without having way too much and getting blown out of the water. The winds were very switchy, which is par for a high desert lake, but we never were quite completely without wind, and the puffs were never too much to handle.
Carol Anne had not been sailing in nearly six months and the long neglect had both us and our boat a bit rusty. And, in our absence some more items had deteriorated on the boat, further adding to our long list of projects and replacements for the coming year. Among other things, during the weekend we had a jibsheet break in half, our spinnaker started to fall apart before we could even use it, the mainsheet block would not release, and then we did some damage to the boat and trailer when preparing to haul it out of the water. And, Carol Anne re-injured her back when helping launch her boat Saturday.
But, even with all these happenings, it was still good to get out on the water, get lots of New Mexico sunshine, complete five races, let our friend "Cornhusker" drive the boat during Saturday's two races, and re-acquaint ourselves with the lake.
After Saturday's second race, we sailed "Black Magic" to the Rock Canyon Marina and got a ride to our vehicle. We also got to have a nice visit aboard "Erebus" with "Ross" and were lucky that he had some special medicine that helped Carol Anne's back greatly. We also saw a couple of other sailing friends at the marina that evening.
Sunday morning the other boats were running a bit behind, but so were we; the races started while we were still on our way to the starting area. The morning was breezier than expected, but we were able to get sail the boat out of the marina without incident once we got going. We were able to get there and start while one of the boats was still starting and catch up with one of the other boats, though a big wind hole at the beginning of what should have been a downwind run left us nearly drifting for long while, even though we could see other boats not far away moving in better wind. We were able to keep the boat mostly flat during the puffs (though we have outhaul problems) and may have even been a underpowered in the lulls because we had too much shroud tension for the conditions that wound up being typical of the day.
At least we did do reasonably well on today's starts. And, we enjoyed having mostly usable wind and a variety of conditions that challenged us. The boat also kept us busy adapting to various challenges. It also could have been much worse; I had been holding on to a jib sheet on Saturday when it broke but fortunately I didn't go overboard, which could have been a big problem in cool water with a powered-up boat that would have been hard for the remaining crew to maneuver for a crew overboard recovery.
As it was, we did have a nice visit to the lake as the sailing season there comes near to an end.
And, there is the possibility that next year we might be sailing in some new and interesting venues. Nothing's for sure or committed, but maybe we'll be putting some new waters under our keel in 2011.