I sailed on Huckleberry 3 in the Farr 40 North American championships in Long Beach two weeks ago, and it was a fun four days of sailing, but very tough racing for us. The level of competition is incredibly fierce, and a couple errors on the first (windy) day cost us multiple places in every race. A jib sheet I’d improperly left on the winch in a tack got seriously fouled and took ten or fifteen ugly seconds to clean up. In the last race a bad hoist wrapped the kite and we watched four or five boats sail past us as we struggled to clean it up. These are mistakes that can be made up for in handicap races, but are unforgivable at this level of one-design competition. We ended the day pretty frustrated, as we’d been in the middle of the fleet before screwing things up.

The breeze was lighter on the second day and we brought our A game. Our boat handling was better than it had ever been, and our maneuvers this time were flawless. But the other boats had improved as well, and this time we found our boat speed to be just plain lacking. We ended up at the tail of the fleet the whole day, and the next two days as well.

This was a pretty frustrating exercise, but I learned a lot, made some new friends, and my arms and shoulders have doubled in size from all the pulling lines and grinding winches! Check out the photos from the event on Joysailing’s page.