Yesterday was the first of a two day race sponsored by the Hope Town Sailing Club. We race on the Abaco Rage, a traditional Class A Bahamian racing sloop built by the famed boat builders on Man O’ War Cay just north of us.
She’s 28 feet long with an even longer, super heavy boom and lots of mainsail. The mast goes up forever.
She has a masterful helmsman and skilled, dedicated sail trimmers, foredeck crew, beer passers and tactician. The rest of us are weight. We keep the boat at just the right heel by moving our weight out onto pries, ten-foot long hiking boards that hang out on the high side of the boat.
I’m on the forward pries – with the blue sleeves. Yesterday’s race was in medium air – there were eleven of us on board, including three women on the pries. Possibly a first.
Here’s the start. About nine boats, all crowding the line.
Goldwin mainly helps with the foredeck: jib trim, outhaul, downhaul and flattening reef, and setting the whisker pole on the downwind leg.
And boom riding.
Here’s my view from the top of the forward pries.
Riding high above that amazing turquoise water.
That’s me on the pries with the blue sleeves and Goldwin on the low side, just under the boom in white shorts. We didn’t place that well in the race – four weather legs really hurt us – but it sure was a fabulous ride.
Today we went out for Day 2. And floated around for a couple of hours.
Counting the sea stars on the bottom. Barely gliding along – hardly a ripple on the whole Sea of Abaco. Just before the scheduled start, the race was cancelled. Postponed until next Wednesday. But wow, what a way to spend a glorious Bahamian day!
P.S. Off-boat pictures by my friend Will, a gifted and generous photographer.