Tuesday, April 2

Grenada Sailing Week 2013

We participated in the Grenada Sailing Week on board s/v Patronus (click the link and go to photos, find Patronus to view all the pictures).  It was our inaugural race aboard a sailboat bigger than 19 feet, in waters other than a small lake.  We were super excited to be invited to be crew in the "fun" class.  It was also the first time their kids had been in a sailboat race.  Chris and Erica, on the other hand, are race veterans.  They make a great team and we were very appreciative of their non-aggressive yet serious approach to the racing scene.  It was great to experience the thrill of a real race and watch Chris demonstrate different tactics and learn the many racing techniques and terms. The kids had a blast hanging their bare feet over the edge and learning when to move to the other side carefully and quickly.  Craig and I did various jobs like handling the jib lines as we tacked, adjusting the traveler and sitting on the rail with the kids.  The race was held just outside the St. George harbor along the beautiful coast of Grand Anse.  The first day of racing was gorgeous, sunny and warm.  The second day we endured both gusty and light wind under cloudy skies with a little rain added for drama.

Don't forget that Patronus is a cruising boat, with kids and all their stuff, and not a racing boat.  Chris unloaded as much weight as he could by removing the anchor, paddle board, kayak, dinghy and motor.  He was a little nervous about racing his 'house', as he put it.  He wanted to make sure that his printer would't fall off the shelf and the kids bins of 'stuff' wouldn't go flying!!

 DAY 1 (race week day 3 of 4):  Patronus opted to only race 2 of the 4 days mainly because it takes pretty much the whole day, 3 races per day.  We had places to explore for pete's sake.
Erica conducts a pre-race meeting explaining what to expect and answered all our questions

The laminated card with the many different race courses that could be used depending on the wind conditions.  We'd have to wait and listen over the radio to find out which course our "fun" class would be racing.

The kids learning when and how to be 'rail meat' - switching sides each time we tacked to keep the boat level and fast.  

Great job!

The more serious race classes at work.  It was exciting to watch the boats weaving in and out, dangerously close to each other.  

Chris, expertly and precisely steering us to a win while Craig cranks the jib in

Our stiffest competitor

The race committee boat

One of the many markers we had to go around

Snack time between races

Flying the beautiful spinnaker as we race to the finish line

We won first place!  2 firsts and a second place on our first day of racing.  Not too shabby for a bunch of rookie crew members.
The grown ups celebrating a great first day

DAY 2 (race week day 4 of 4):

The mean and serious pirates of Patronus.  The kids wore their patches as we passed by our competition hoping to intimidate them (in a friendly, sportsman like way of course).

Group hug for Erica

Pretty in pink

Olivia practicing her racing skills

Dangling feet

Photo taken by Tim Wright.

We were out raced on Day 4 and sailed back to the marina without a win.  But we had a fun day despite the 2 - 3rd places and a 2nd place.

Awards Ceremony, Dinner and Live Band:

All dressed up and lookin' good

Great family shot

All the sponsors involved with Grenada Sailing Week

Sampling of the trophies given away

Group photo of all the kids from the "youngest crew" boats

Receiving the 1st place overall on Day 1

The whole Patronus gang

These are the 3 trophies that Patronus walked away with:  1st place win on day 1; 3rd place win overall in the 4 day event; and the youngest crew members.  In fact, there were 3 boats with kids on board as crew and each one received a trophy.

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