Last year we entered Grenada Race Week but the boat wasn’t ready in time. We were all so disappointed because here we are, smack dab in the middle of the racing events and we can’t play. We even hosted the J24’s on our dock! But not this year! Our J 105 boat, Dogsmile, was ready this time! She is a fast & sporty but yet stable enough for our Discover Sailing courses and our 101 Basic Keelboat courses.
In October, the LTD Sailing Team attended a five day Performance Race clinic with J World Performance Sailing School. Yep, we went back to school! We even got to participate in two races with 20 other J 105s. THAT was exciting! But COLD!
LTD Sailing closed down for the week to do what we love to do – SAIL! We spent three days training on Dogsmile learning our positions and working as a team. We even practiced a little YARRR. It’s important to be a well-oiled machine to prepare for the rum squall. (And by well-oiled I mean saturated!)
The first two races were on the windward side where our office is located in Secret Harbor. The weather was bleak with lots of rain and wind predicted. We spent some time tweaking the rigging and getting rid of any excess weight. (On the boat mostly, not much lost on the crew.)
Race Day 1 & 2- It was pretty sporty out on the water for our first day. Our spinker seats were great in our pre-race practice but we lost the kite in the water at one point. Those of us in Adventure Land (foredeck) with the help of Kilmer (our station) managed to stay calm and safely recover the spinnaker while those in Fantasyland continued to race.
Layday – Pirate Party!
Race Day 3 & 4
On Race Day 3, we started at Secret Harbor and ended near St. George’s anchorage. On Day 4 the winds died down considerably. The boat went quiet with no movement as we ghosted up to the mark. Boats were just drifting and some were even going backward. We went wing 0n wing and suddenly we started moving! We came in inches of one race boat – looking them right in the eye. We waved nervously not really knowing what was happening. After rounding the mark, we were pretty much alone. No one said it but we were thinking it: “I think were WINNING!” And we did we came in 1st & 3rd for the day for an overall second Race Day 4. Wow!
Next up: Dogsmile is going to Bequia Race Week!