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Black Watch US 71 IRC 1
BW Blog 2/24-25
It culdn't have been more beautiful. Black Watch was pounding away on port tack between St. Martin and Monserrat in that perfect quarter moon the RORC 600 fleet had been enjoying. The leeward rail and heavy #1 genoa were scooping up and dipensing a broad white froth illuminated by the moon. As pretty as this may seem, and it did to us, it was our downfall tonight.
"Bang!, zzzzzzzzzzziiippp..." The tack of the sail blew and as each stitch and bronze hank received an exponentially growing load, the sail was unzipped until it trailed from its clew and the genoa lead.
There's nothing like a catastrophe to test a team and aboard Black Watch, all that yucking it up at the bungalow and learning about echothers lives and jobs during time on the rail, showed. Positions were called out, all on deck, sail down while staysail was being loaded and by the time the shredded mess of snapped bronze hanges and dacron was being pushed down the varnished companionway, the staysail was up and drawing.
Back to 8.7 knots and not a breath of discontent. "How ya doing Joe?" I asked the owner. "Couldn't be better!"
This is one of the beats he team sneered at when initially going over this fantastic course. More than 120 miles, almost a fetch, maybe one tack in 24 hours.
Early in the day a light downwind run betwen St. Barths and St. Martin revealed a small Humpback Whale and some drying out time. Steaming hot shepheards pie for dinner. It's pretty hard to dampen a spirit in this race, challenge and reward...repeat.