What Do Sailors Do When There’s No Wind?

RS Aeros at Sarasota One Design Midwinters – Day 2

The official RS Aero Class regatta report for Day 2 of the Sarasota One Design Midwinters was written by the multi-talented and extremely handsome David Solnick…

Day 2 started with a hangover from the champagne of Day 1. After a long morning postponement the wind began to fill in and the fleets launched. A pleasant sail with dolphin sightings was enjoyed on the way to the course, but the wind failed to check in with the committee boat, so the bobbing began. The locals were undaunted and made assurances it would fill in. The fleet bobbed, chatted, discussed trimming, practiced roll tacks and did some swimming – everything but race. Eventually racing was cancelled and the boats returned in a combination of towing and “sailing.” Then the wind arrived.

What? There were dolphins? I saw no dolphins. I guess I need to get my head out of the boat a bit more.

I do remember the bobbing. Yes there was certainly a lot of bobbing. 

And I did practice my roll tacks for at least three minutes.

And there was certainly a lot of chatting. Actually there was even more chatting in the morning as we huddled in the club house like drowned rats watching the AP flag hanging limply in the heavy rain showers.

What do RS Aero sailors talk about when we have hours to waste? Apparently David Solnick managed to get into a discussion about trimming. I must have missed that one. But in the morning I did have a long discussion with David about my frozen shoulder – see my blog post about my frozen shoulder – until he begged for mercy and made up some excuse about needing to go to the head to get away from me.

Then I bulldozed myself into a discussion about the recently completed sea trials in Valencia which are intended to help the bureaucrats at World Sailing project an appearance of objectivity about the choice of the singlehanded dinghy for the 2024 Olympics.

The general consensus among my pessimistic RS Aero friends seemed to be that, although we know that the RS Aero is by far the most deserving class to replace the Laser in the Olympics, the winner is actually going to be the Devoti D-Zero because either (a) it has lots of twiddly bits you can adjust on the water and Olympic sailors like twiddly bits you can adjust on the water or (b) the Italians cheated.

Really! Someone actually used the C word. I thought that was very unsporting, so I made an excuse to go to the head to get away from all that negativity.

There was also a very excited discussion about the prospect of holding an RS Aero regatta in Brooklyn. Maybe it was because, believe it or not, four of the RS Aero sailors in Sarasota for the regatta actually belong to the same Canoe Club in Brooklyn. Quite why so many RS Aeros sailors have joined a Canoe Club in Brooklyn must have been part of the conversation that I missed. Anyway, the idea of sailing in Brooklyn was enthusiastically supported by several of my RS Aero sailor friends who were not even from Brooklyn.

I have some very strange friends.

And then there was the embarrassing moment when a fellow RS Aero sailor whom I greatly respect said that he admired me for being “objective.” I thanked him and asked him what the hell he meant and it turned out he was talking about some of my writings on the Interwebs.

Objective? On the Interwebs? I think I must be doing this Interweb thing all wrong.

I am sure we must have talked about other stuff but it’s all a bit of a blur now. But I do know that I loudly refused an offer to get towed in after racing was abandoned for the day, or more accurately when bobbing about and not seeing any dolphins was abandoned for the day. Instead I worked on my light wind speed on the sail back to the club and discovered that if I adjusted one of  the twiddly bits on my boat in a different way from what all the experts recommend I could increase my boat speed from 0.9 knots to 1.0 knots. That may not sound like much but it adds up to a 5 minute advantage in a 50 minute race. Do the math.

I love twiddly bits you can adjust on the water. Maybe I should buy a D-Zero?

And so to Café L’Europe for a delicious European meal with Tillerwoman.

Here endeth the second day.


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