A photo a day from Oriental, NC, the surrounding Pamlico County area, and nearby rivers, creeks, bays and other waterways of coastal North Carolina.

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Saturday, May 2, 2009

5.02- Sailboat Racing

... Just don't ask about the marker-piling splinters or the dislodged stanchion on the forward deck.

I was thrilled to accept an invitation to be a fill-in crew member on "Tom Tom Taxi," this very cool Thompson Yacht Design T8r, 8 meter racing sailboat. We sailed in two buoy-races today. (that's her captain in the photo, not me)

It was an exhilarating experience (scared the *#%& out of me at times, to be honest)...

The Capt. and 5 crew on a 26 foot long, open-transom, kevlar-sailed, carbon-fiber hull etc. etc. pure racing boat... Winds were in the 20+ knot range. Pretty hot.

This sailboat heeled over, pointed into the wind and boogied like none I've ever experienced, thats for dang sure (for whatever that is worth.)

I couldn't very well take a camera with me on this trip, as everything in this boat is subject to sudden drenching, and usually gets it.

Never mind that keeping this wind-rocket under control leaves little time for even the lowliest of crew/ballast to take snapshots... And it is full-contact blood and bruises action on deck during tacks and jibes.

You can see some pictures of this particular boat design in action at the Thompson Yacht Design page for the T8 ( but I haveta say, the TYD pictures make the whole thing look calm, relaxing and non-physical... I can assure you the experience of racing her is none of those things.)

When I saw the boat rules inscribed on a sticker pasted to the boom, I decided to do my best to comply...

I found out that once you obey the first rule, the other three follow naturally in accordance with instincts of self-preservation:

Well, would say more, but it has been a long long day of wind, sun, water and sailing (cue violins...)

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