14 July 2008

HeyItWasGreat, NoReallyItWas.

David and Megabyte are taking the drive
Today to the mountains, will arrive by five
Expectations are high on Huntington Lake
To generate content for Heyitwasgreat.
But, how great can it be when you finish mid-fleet?
How great can it be when you suck wind every beat?
When your head hurts from the high altitude,
When campsite neighbors are so loud, how rude!
How great can it be when a Laser beats you in the end
(Intend no offense to Tillerman and friends.)
When your mom gashes a hand on the bear box,
When your daughter barfs peaches on her white socks.
So, how great can it be?
Just perfect actually.

Well, at first, I felt that I would have to skip the heyitwasgreat writing project on account of my somewhat disappointing race results at the High Sierra Regatta this past weekend. After all, how could finishing dead-mid-fleet be great? So, it wasn't great the way I had hoped, or maybe it was the way I had hoped: family, friends, learning, sailing on new water!!

It's been 36 years since the family made the trek from the Bay Area south to Huntington Lake for the High Sierra Regatta, and this time I was the dad racing the boat. My mom came along, too, with Bill, and had lots of good stories to tell of things I'd long since forgotten. "Did you know that after rounding the weather mark, I would always pour a cup of tea for your Dad for the long run back down the lake?" I wondered if it was just an English thing (the boat was named 'Limey too' after all) or if it was a gesture to psych out the other Mercury Class competitors. The trip was also made special by cousins Rod and Dody with Garret and Addy making the drive up the hill from Fresno to join us for a night of camping. Rod left me the most touching blog comment on Monday. Made me cry all my racing woes away and remember how great it all was. Thanks for that, Rod.

Of course it was also great to race against Dean and Charles again and Mack and Craig for the first time. In fact, the whole Folsom crowd was something special from incredible shore-side support (wading out in the cold lake to help launch and retrieve us), hosting parties before and after racing, and swapping stories of what works and what doesn't on this lake--apparently, I got those two mixed up. And, hey, I even recognized Benicia sailing bud, Murray, half way down the run. Had a nice little chat as I sailed by.

Family and friends, that was great. So, what did I learn? My starts still suck; my tacks still suck; I can't read windshifts; my tactics are naive; and that all leads to being a hell of a long way behind after a 3-mile beat to the first mark. The good news is that I was pretty dang fast downwind. That practice steering the boat with body movement is paying off.

But what about the drive? Well, this is what TK shared with us:
If you want to be a really great sailor, you have to get off your home lake and travel the boat . . . The rival lake that always cleaned our clocks in the regional regattas had sailors who traveled all the time! I had the drive, but what I needed to do was drive!! White line fever!!! And I did. I hit the road and regattad more than almost anyone in the class. Frustrations. Growing pains. Always another lake to figure out . . . And then it crystallized. All of a sudden everything got easier. Starting in big fleets. Figuring out the breeze and the local lake effects. Staying with the really fast guys. And I started to win. Even a lot.
It was and will be a drive worth taking. Thanks everybody for a great weekend!


O Docker said...

The blogosphere is certainly a small place.

Referred to your post from Tillerman's blog, I read about 'Craig', 'Folsom', and dinghy racing. Hmm, was that the same Craig?

Took just a few Googles to confirm it was. About 25 years ago, when I was starting as a photog for the local rag, Craig needed some exposure for his new sailing program and I needed some 'weather' shots. Things 'clicked' that day for both of us.

Glad to see he's still winning in Banshees, as he was back then.

David said...

Hey, O-dock. Yep, that must be the same Craig Lee. He's fast in all kinds of boats. This was his first regatta in the Megabyte and he really pushed Charles, our perennial fleet champ, to work for every win.

O Docker said...

Oops, sorry.

Craig I was thinking about was Craig P, who won the Banshee class at that regatta. Nice write, though.

Carol said...

WOW! I really missed out on the family reunion at Lake Huntington! I definitely will make the 10 hour drive next year, but after talking to Mum about the hard ground, I'll probably rough it in the lodge! ;) I'm so sorry I missed your big race "as the Dad" this time. I remember bouncing around with you and Michael in the Mercury; I also remember Ruff jumping out of the water to chase the duck! Those were good times.

Love you loads!


Dean Fulton said...

I guess it's the journey getting there, not where you are in the standings, that make it all worthwhile. A 3 mile beat? How 'bout some mark roundings? Guess that gives the pack a chance to spread out. Hopefully next year we'll get some V15's up there. 36 years since you were last there is a long time. I just got back from a week at a Montana ranch at which I was there 27 years ago. Time flies. Did mum and Bill bring their motorhome? They sound like groupies.

David said...

Welcome back, Dean! Mum and Bill, groupies? I guess they are. That's weird but good.