Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: West Hartford, CT
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 3
Crewed for the first time yesterday - wow!
I've been trying to get experience in a race and yesterday was my first opportunity, and first race ever. It was on a Catalina 22 and the owner likes to have four people (including himself). I was hoping to simply be rail meat so I could watch and learn, but one of his crew couldn't make it so that left 3 - the owner, a long-time crew member, and me with no experience. So really 2 + me.
Anyway, I had a fabulous time! I did a variety of things: rail meat, helping to douse the spinnaker (first time ever dealing with a spinnaker), releasing the jib sheet and scrambling forward to help the jib over the lifelines, etc. I only royally screwed up once (I didn't realize how hard it would be to lower the spinnaker or how fast I needed to pull the lines), but I acknowledged the error to the owner after the race. I think he appreciated the fact that I knew I had messed up, thought about why, and figured out how I needed to fix it for next time.
My goal was to not go overboard, and while I almost failed (my foot slipped off the deck and into the water up to my ankle while I was trying to get the jib over the lifelines), I grabbed on to whatever I could and stayed on. I believe that's where I got the gigantic bruise on my forearm, but I can't say for sure. I can't remember an impact that would leave a mark that large, that quickly.
Both the owner and the other crew member were great. No yelling at all. Just calmly explaining what I needed to do, and reiterating when I was confused. They even took the time to pass on some tidbits during the race, and answered all of my questions when we were hanging out in the cockpit after the race.
There were approximately 40 boats in total and it was an amazing sight and feeling to be amongst all of them before the start. I couldn't believe how close we got to some of the other boats - and to the shoreline! It was the same area where we sail and we have NEVER been that close.
As you can tell, I loved it. The owner said he would definitely call me the next time he has a vacancy (he races every Wednesday). Next time, however, I am bringing kneepads. I think I have bruises on my bruises.
1975 Bristol 24 Corsair
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