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  #1  
Old 06-19-2014
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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.
CBinRI, nolatom, DRFerron and 6 others like this.
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Old 06-19-2014
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Re: Crewed for the first time yesterday - wow!

Glad you enjoyed it. I always end up with bruises, and usually don't know how I got them.
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Old 06-19-2014
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Re: Crewed for the first time yesterday - wow!

Sounds like great fun! I should find someone who races a C 22, I'd learn how to sail mine better.

Regarding knees: I've been out sailing a half dozen times since I got my boat in the water, most of it single-handing, scrambling all over the deck trying to figure out what goes where. My knees look like they did when I was five-years-old! Filled with bruises and scabs.
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Old 06-19-2014
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Re: Crewed for the first time yesterday - wow!

Bruises. Just wear em with pride. Even with knee pads, they just show up.

It certainly sounds like you're hooked! Glad you had a great experience with a good skipper. That makes all the difference.
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Old 06-19-2014
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Re: Crewed for the first time yesterday - wow!

Sounds like you had an awesome time!

Don't worry about mistakes there are plenty more to be made - trick is to keep it interesting by making new mistakes each time, though it's nice to have a few golden olden mistakes came back and pay a visit here and there to keep you humble...
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Old 06-20-2014
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Re: Crewed for the first time yesterday - wow!

Fun eh? Wait until the first time you're hanging onto a spinnaker sheet for dear life in a little more breeze than you expected, knowing that you don't have an ounce of strength left to sheet it in, spray flying in your face, the skipper trying to keep the boat under the kite and everyone grinning like maniacs
Get some knee pads, even just volleyball type ones, your knees will thank you for it - the first season I was on foredeck with no pads and I pretty much couldn't walk the day after a race.
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Old 06-25-2014
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Re: Crewed for the first time yesterday - wow!

Paul- you raced a whole season with no pads? Ouch! After one race, I bought volleyball knee pads. One of the newbies on my crew keeps telling me she wants to wear soccer shin/knee pads. I have nice scabs on my shins, too.
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Old 06-25-2014
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Re: Crewed for the first time yesterday - wow!

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Bruises. Just wear em with pride. Even with knee pads, they just show up.
After the race shown in my avatar, my wife (the one on the rail in pink) had a purple bruise extending up her thigh onto her butt cheek. It was a real monster. She has no idea how it happened but was very proud of it!
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Old 06-25-2014
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Re: Crewed for the first time yesterday - wow!

Oh hell yeah!!



Way to go CT!

PS - You ALWAYS get bruised racing a sailboat. It just comes with the territory.
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Old 06-26-2014
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Re: Crewed for the first time yesterday - wow!

One race I slipped on the genoa and fell flat on my side trying to remain on the boat, was bruised all up one leg, up my arm and a massive purple monster bruise right across my kidney. Didn't even notice them in the race. I love racing.
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