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Bristol 29.9
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.
 

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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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Kynntana (Freedom 38)
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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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Remember you're a womble
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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 :D
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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2008 Jeanneau 39i S/V Grace
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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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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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Remember you're a womble
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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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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Love the idea of the volleyball knee pads. I will definitely be picking up a pair.

A few days after the race Mr. cthoops pointed out that I had a bruise on my butt cheek. This was while I was hobbling around because my back was rebelling. Starting to do some core work is also on the list before the next race.

It was most definitely all worth it - can't wait to do it again.
 

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Freedom isn't free
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Yeah stick with this crew if you can! Spinnaker runs on the Cat 22 are a riot... the spin is small enough that even in a decent blow you can just muscle it... and under the right conditions you might be able to get the little boat to surf!

NOTHING cooler than watching a 22 foot SAILBOAT kick up a 3 foot wake! Although it's a bit intimidating when you see the roller is higher than the stern of the boat!

Congratulations, or is it condolences? You are now hooked on racing. Sounds like you've discovered why they call some of these small boats "pain boxes." It took a bit of googling for me to figure out that reference, but once I did I loved the Sci Fi diversion to one of my favorite movies.
 

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We took a newbie with us last night racing Jib & Main on Sandusky Bay aboard my S2 7.9. I think he had fun - esp. since we won majorly.
We always seem to do better when we take a newbie along - must be the karma.
I never sail without knee pads, in part because of my age (69), but also because kneeling on the non-skid of a 7.9 is similar to doing it on a cheese grater. Suggest the garedning type. You don't want a slippery surface on the outside.
 

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OK, at last a subject I can contribute my expertise to. ;-)

Other than the usual scraped knees, pinched fingers and onomatopoeia of the boom, I had one odd injury this last season. During a race, I slipped and fell backwards, ending up sitting hard on a horn cleat. I injured my coccyx and had to give up sailing entirely for the rest of the season. :-(
 

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OK, at last a subject I can contribute my expertise to. ;-)

Other than the usual scraped knees, pinched fingers and onomatopoeia of the boom, I had one odd injury this last season. During a race, I slipped and fell backwards, ending up sitting hard on a horn cleat. I injured my coccyx and had to give up sailing entirely for the rest of the season. :-(
Coccyx. There are no pads for that.

I think this one deserves a prize.
 

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My husband was wearing knee pads the second day of our lessons, and I thought he was a wimp! I didn't realized they were standard racing equipment! Cause my knees were killing me. So were my quads, but that was from squatting so much. Ouch.

Can't wait to do our first race! My big fear is falling overboard, too - not because Im afraid I'll drown, because I swim very well, but because the crew will be pissed at me!
 
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