I will chime in here because this was definately the 'summer of sail' for me..
I sailed a couple times as a kid, and then didn't for many years.. 3 years ago my friend 'rented' a Tanzer 22 slooped keelboat from a friend, and went cruising -- he took me with him a few times, I got interested and took a basic keelboat coare.... After the season was out, and he decided to move to New Zealand, the 'renter' approached me and asked if I'd be interested in renting the boat.. I did, and after wondering what all the other boats were doing on tuesdays and thursdays doing circles around buoys.. Oh.. Racing! .. Picked up a book, taught myself how sailboat races and went out a few dozen times w/ some friends .. I loved it!, unfortunately my crew was unreliable and not as into it as I was.
So, fast forward to this year past: I approached a friend who had raced many years and asked if they needed crew for the races, and when I explained to him that I wanted to learn how to win, not just participate him and his partner took me under their wing for the season (three man crew, they were short 1)
Well, with only one exception I made it out to every single tuesday, thursday and weekend race that the club hosted.. even participated in two invitational's.. But the late-middle of the season my skills on the foredeck had become solid, and we were placing top of the grid in almost every race, winning most.
In the end, we sailed almost 80 races over 6 months, placed first in one series, second in two and third in another.. We sailed every condition imaginable on our river, from near dead calm, to pouring rain/lightning and 30 knot squalls..
We ended our season on a high note, with the final of two races of that day in 30 knots of wind on a beautiful sunny day.. 5 foot swells crashing over the deck and having to repair
a broken traveller while underway we placed a boat length behind the first place finisher, securing our 3rd place slot in the final series, beating out several much larger boats who by all rights should have waterlined us..
Given our performance, I don't think there will be any issues crewing with the same gents next year, they'll be happy to have me as apparently I have become a 'master' at gybing the pole and launching/stuffing the kite..
Sadly the mast came off yesterday and she's off to sleep .. The world will be a little less exciting until May 1st