June 28, 2011

Ceilydh's Excellent Prowess

No doubt you will soon be reading in Lat 38 about our amazing feats in the Tahiti Moorea Sailing Rendevouz. We narrowly lost the sailboat race by about 2 minutes to a local racing catamaran (that was not burdened with any typical cruising gear). We came from WAY behind to get 2nd place.
We went the wrong way for the first half of the course, after making a risky tack in the hope the wind would fill in and were in some despair at the light <5 knot winds. But around noon we heard that the trades were filling in from the E. We tacked over and sloooowly made our way to the wind line where we started to pick up speed. Then Diane decides we must put up the chute. Good idea except (a) we thought it was going to be a light wind upwind race so it was still in its locker and not rigged. Then (b) when I hoist it the snuffer, the snuffer's snuffing rope managed to twist into the ropes from those hard plastic pearl farm floats we were using to buoy chain. Great excitement as they made like South American bolos about 12' above my head twisting into the snuffer line. But a long boat hook brought them down safely, without damaging my head.
Now the light winds at first made 30 boats turn on their motors and try to get there so there were only 9 boats still racing. We were so very far behind that we thought we had no chance (and could only just make out the colourful kites of the lead boats on the horizon). But we closed rapidly, hitting 11's and 12 on the surfs, and making a steady 8+ in the 15 knots of wind. With great excitement in our hearts we realized we were passing all the cruising boats we knew, including a MacGregor 65 who had been holding the lead. With excellent crew work (and a wind dance) from Maia and Aeron (temp crew seconded from Don Quixote) we dropped the chute as we crossed the finish line to the sounds of Polynesian drums.

the girl's team wasn't quite as skilled...
  In the outrigger canoe races our team of 4 guys; me from Ceilydh (and the guys from Piko, Britannia and WGD) managed to pull off the narrowest of wins. We had to race 3 times in our heat, semi, and finals. As we crossed the finish line (bow over but not the whole boat), our boat capsized!! We are not sure WTF the happened, but Di was in a photo boat with Andy Turpin from Lat 38, and the sequence of shots makes it look like our Polynesian stern paddler leaned way out and carved us over with his paddle. No idea why he would have done this as we were very nice to all our pro paddlers but maybe he was just having fun with us--or perhaps the other team bribed him.
puddle jump kids
 We ended up with 3 T-shirts, a Lat hat and croakies and strangely, some peach/guava/passionfruit tea. Got to dance with lots of hula type dancers wearing coconuts but the photos will have to wait until we are back in Tahiti with a bit more internet access.

For cruisers in our wake--don't miss the rendezvous. We felt a little like we sped through the Tuamotus--but the chance to meet up with 40+ boats we crossed with (and beat them all in a race) was worth the effort.
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1 comment:

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Excellent tactician-ing there. Evan and Di. Sorry about that capsize tho-weird... hmm.