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post #1513 of Old 09-28-2009
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Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
Okay Navi - I smell a BFS. Out with the story!
It's really not any great story.

That last post made me think back to when I used to race 420's. If you aren't familiar, they look like this:

We were sailing on the first day of one race week right after an early Nor'easter had come through and there was PLENTY of wind. The first course for the day was a modified triangle (the kind with the extra windward leg.) The start and up to the windward mark was fast and fin with fairly flat seas thanks to the shelter of a nearby island which I believe was how they had intentionally set up the course.

We came down the first reach leg and had gained on the lead boats after a poor start. As we jibbed around the second mark we were all hauling along neck and neck for the lead. We had been paying so much attention to rounding that we hadn't noticed that this side of the course was suddenly out of the shelter of the island and the towering rollers left over from the storm were coming at us just off our stern. We were all able to ride the waves a bit, but because there was so much air, we were moving nearly as fast as the swells. Being the good dingy racers we were, we had, of course, eased our boards up about half way.

So we're moving along, 3 lead boats in the pack, fully hiked looking pretty much like this:

And as we inch closer to the leader in front of us, I get the bright idea that I'm going to sit on him as best I can despite how hard it is to control the boat. I try to time the swells just right, and as we close in I head up as we surf down a wave and end up right on top of him, cutting his air.

Before I knew what had happened, the next wave came in and hit my fully hiked crew squarely in the ass, lifting him off the trap and swinging him around the mast. Without the weight, and the board partway up, the boat went right over, nearly going end over end, and tossing me into the water as well.

Needless to say we DNF'd and screwed up plenty of the boats behind us as well, who did not fair too well after hitting the swells themselves. The RC called off the race after it became clear the course was a bit hazardous, and we restarted a bit later once the marks had been moved further into the lee of the island.

But not really a crazy story, that's just what it's like racing dinghies.

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