The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me Boyz.
Another banner windy weekend. Missed the Mausoleum tour at Roche but heard no one was lost and no fires started this year.
Was a little late for Race 1 starting at Limestone Point outside Roche. My crew bailed so I single handed the 20 mile beat from Ganges to the start only to find the buggers left without me. I could still see all 5 so I double reefed the main into blade formation, furled the jib and started slicing into the heavy chop, rain and 25 knot winds. Since I was the official start line I knew I had to pass them all to actually start the race.
Soul Thyme loves the rough stuff and she played all the shifts and eddies to perfection. Auto pilot was right on! Passed Pacific Lady off Jones, then caught Electra just past Pole Pass. It took me all the way to Thatcher to get by Riot and Joyant and I had Caliente in my sights but she skittered across Rosario and finished just minutes ahead. This of course should have disqualified her since she never passed behind Soul Thyme to start the race, as was clearly laid out in the sailing instructions. But after such a hard sail I thought she deserved to be scored.
Some have suggested I could have been motor sailing based on Soul Thyme’s exceptional speed and pointing ability that day. Fortunately there were no red flags, hails of protest or boat name calling and, being a responsible race officer, I hid out on other people’s boats until the official protest deadline passed. Rules on the Boyz Cruz are “if you don’t get caught cheating then it never happened”.
Got lucky that evening …picked up 3 crew including one lady. Actually MH’s son Kyle and new wife Flor (flower in english and she was). Best find was new secret weapon Richard, an experienced local sailor. I was hoping for a long reach on the first leg of the Foul Race but it turned into a bad beat. Most of the fleet was through Thatcher well before we got there and the wind had dropped leaving Soul Thyme crawling along. That’s when we discovered Richard’s other talents. He’s a retired opera singer so we thought it would be nice if he sang a few bars. As soon as he started the wind began to fill, came round on the beam and launched Soul Thyme on a wild ride thru the stalled fleet. We couldn’t understand a word but memories of that powerful voice and the wind he called up will stay with me forever. It was also pretty exhilerating watching us fly by all the boats becalmed just a few hundred yards to the east.
MH joined us enroute from Victoria and we barely beat him across the finish line. He foolishly reported that he was not in the race so the committee boat did not score him. I thought that was unfair after such a long sail, so Tracks is in the BCruz results. Dinner at the new digs (SJYC) was great and the giant chicken was back (see photo courtesy of Vincent). We (Canadians) lost the Stanley Thermos but we did drink all the contents. It was accidentally stolen in the first place so now we’ve given it back.
Next came bowling. Jim, skipper of Senang, was on fire and he easily won the ugly trophy which MH had unloaded on me at dinner. Soul Thyme usually does better at non-sailing events but we were pretty exhausted or pickled or both and I think my crew had never bowled before. Anyhow ugly is gone for another year.
Last day a few boats left early, not unusual, and Pacific Lady started early, but was forgiven after getting nailed in 30 knots gusts and broaching wildly across San Juan channel. Spinnakers quickly came down (except Electra) as everyone ran for Spieden where the boats split for home. Did the nine miles in a little over an hour so we were moving right along.
Final results Electra and Soul Thyme tied for first, Tracks second Senang third. I feel sorry that all the fast boats got sewered in holes this year. Maybe next year! I hear a Gulf Island Canadian cruz may be in the offing. Stay tuned.