Sixteen boats lined up for the start of the Farr 40 Midwinter Championships

Sixteen boats lined up for the start of the Farr 40 Midwinter Championships

Day 1 of the Farr 40 Midwinter Championships was a tough one for Huckleberry 3, the boat I’m crewing on. One of the few amateur boats against a field of seasoned professionals, a charter boat that we’ve only had in our hands for a couple weeks of practice, and a crew that was only fully together for the first time as we left the dock for the first race. In retrospect, it’s no surprise that we’re tied for last place. But we managed to finish ahead of a few boats in each race, and were in the leading pack in the last one before we lost our spinnaker and retired, so there’s hope in the remaining three days of racing.

It’s quite a change being part of a competitive one-design program in a class with lots of professionals. Every move on the boat is choreographed to the smallest detail, and the racing is intensely close. I have no doubt that I’m learning a lot by sailing with Jim and his crew, and it’s tremendous fun to be part of the Huckleberry 3 program.

My arms, back, shoulders and legs are all aching with the dull pain of a good day of sailing in a solid breeze. I have no doubt that by the end of the week they’ll be in agony, but it’s all for good fun.