Tuesday, July 12, 2011

On The Water of the Red Grant Regatta

I knew right when Will and I rounded the corner to the Raritan Yacht Club parking lot, this was a club I was going to like. As my first time sailing in Jersey, I couldn't help but have images of some grenades and guidos on sailboats.... but luckily Raritan is the exact opposite of any Jersey stereotype one could think of. Sailing in Jersey wasn't my only first adventure on this stop. Thanks to our amazing host family, the Myers and plenty of club members, this stop also included my first Italian Ice, my first time racing in a PHRF fleet, first time painting my nails on a boat, and first time (helping) on bow in competitive races.

After years of one design sailing, jumping into a handicapped fleet was completely different experience. Used to sailing in fleets where every boat is exactly the same, it was refreshing that you can fairly compete in different boats and have a huge variety of designs on the starting line. The Red Grant Regatta's turnout included several racecourses each with multiple fleets- making no room for excuses to not participate. On one hand I was amazed how fun it is must be to rig up your own unique, individual, boat and go racing. On the other hand, handicapped racing brought out a completely new competitive side of me once I realized that just beating another boat wasn't going to make the cut... we had to beat them by 40 seconds! The paranoia of timing the difference between our finish and other boats was a completely new concept for me, and it even worse that there was one boat on the line that actually was the same as ours. However despite the variety of sailors and boats, everyone came together at the Raritan Yacht Club.

No matter your boat, fleet, or "rating", the Red Grant Regatta is filled with good people and good sailors who were all so welcoming. Although there were no guidos and grenades to be found, the Red Grant Regatta was filled with great competitive sailing for all fleets, classes, and ages.

No comments:

Post a Comment