Rett and I decided to spent some time in warmer weather this winter and are currently in Venice, Florida. Prior our arrival, I received an email from John Logrippo, Windswept, asking if I would like to crew with him in Venice. John has been doing this for some time and I thought it would be good to spend a little time on the gulf and immediately replied YES..
Today, we headed out to the Venice Yacht Club to meet up with the Venice Sailing Squadron and John Lynch who organizes the races. After the Captain’s Meeting, John and I hooked up with Bill on his Serendipity 43, Fruition.
Once the boat was readied with her #1, we headed out and got some practice tacks & jibes in prior to race start. It was a beautiful day with sunshine, 26C temps with winds about 10-14 knots. The seas started out with about a 1-2 foot swell but grew to about 4-6 feet by the end of the 2nd race. Fruition is a beautiful ride and we never realized the seas were growing until we drop the sails.
I was stationed on the starboard genoa winch and John had the port winch. We discovered very quickly that it takes 2 people to man these winches properly and worked out a system where one would haul and the other would winch during a tack. The first race of two was a real learning experience, being a short course we did a lot of jibing, but by the time we got into the 2nd race it was starting to come together. This was not without challenges however. Quarter way through the 2nd race the hydraulic cylinder on the boomvang started throwing fluid all over the deck and main sail which got real slippery when it got on the bottom of the shoes!
We sail through it and Bill pull off a couple of marvelous maneuvers and we pulled a couple of our best tacks to help him put a number of boats behind us. Our last run to the finish was a wing on wing where we made up a large amount of time on the only boat ahead of us. We were close enough and with Fruition’s pherf, the general consensus was we won the heat!
What a great experience!
I’d like to thank Captain Bill for inviting us aboard Fruition and his patience in my crewing inexperience. I know I sure learnt a lot in the 4-5 hours aboard and hopefully the tiredness and pain I’m feeling right now will subside tomorrow?