I was lucky to have WoodenBoat‘s senior editor Tom Jackson sail with me. We competed in a grab-bag class of “non-catboats.” That’s one of our class behind us nearing the end of the long deep reach that made up the first leg. They started ahead of us and we passed and held them in fairly light going. Local knowledge and an extra ten feet of waterline length finally got the better of us. They went on to win the class.
We had a tough few minutes beating back towards the narrows. Clearing our centerboard of weed, it jammed in the case! We made surprising ground to windward with nothing below our hull. Although we did sag to leeward some. In a move of desperation – there isn’t any way to force the board down – Tom went forward and jumped up and down. His weight forward gained us a little lateral plane. After an interminable few minutes, with a soft “thunk,” the board went back down. We were back in the race!
We lost our chance to catch the nearest Bay Bird, our local nemesis, but later at the awards ceremony, we were pleasantly surprised we’d earned a third place in our class! There were near a hundred boats in the race.