The Sailboat Race:

We have a hypothesis that goes like this; “If you place two sailboats in the same body of water, add some wind and stir, a sailboat race will break out.”

Today we tested that hypothesis and indeed when Regal Jug, crewed by Gary and Judy found themselves close to the Cat Dancing, crewed by Sue and Phil Owen, winds were brisk and indeed a full blown race broke out.

The start was a little rocky. There was lots of current with tidal rips and eddies around the north end of Jones Island when we got underway. Once the sails were up, the Cat Dancing was away over across the San Juan Channel and the Regal Jug had motored into a very favorable position while sorting out our sails.

Well we thought that would not be very sporting, so we turned around and sailed a broad reach back over to their side of the channel. We came up within a hundred yards and slipped back into racing mode and matched their course a little ahead and to windward. This is a very favorable position, and should have allowed us to maintain a commanding position. Unfortunately we failed to account for the cunning of skipper, Phil. He was able to eek out to windward of us and passed us. Skipper Gary then went into the “change something” mode and started pulling lines and adjusting the rig to wring some more speed out of Regal Jug.

When Cat Dancing turned back on the starboard tack, Skipper Gary hatched a plan. “If brute force doesn’t work, try cunning and luck. We stayed on the port tack and kept the boat in the area of maximum favorable current. Luck was with us. When we again crossed trails the Regal Jug was ahead by 300 yards.

We still had a couple miles to go, however, and eventually the Cat Dancing caught and passed the Regal Jug.

Conciliation was that skipper Phil took pity on the vanquished skipper Gary and while strolling around Friday Harbor he bought a round of ice cream cones. I may let him win again tomorrow.

Well we don’t yet have enough data to advance our hypothesis to the status of a theory, but it looks like we will have ample opportunity to conduct further testing in the days ahead. We will see if age and deceit can win over youth and skill.

Meanwhile keep the round side down and stay away from the jagged spots around the edges. Love to all, Gary and Judy.

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