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Great Windjammer Racing

Good morning everyone. I apologize for the long hiatus in this Maine windjammer blog. Frankly I have been overwhelmed these last few weeks with so much going on that I can’t even begin to stay up with it all. This past weekend was the first time in weeks that I have actually had a few hours to get a project done at home. The busyness is all good but it is very busy. Our cruises have been wonderful and the crew is settling in nicely with each other and with the boat. I am delighted with each of them.

This week we are participating in the annual Great Schooner Race hosted by the Miane Windjammer Association. The race was yesterday. I try to keep the perspective that this is just supposed to be fun… although there is a twinge of excitement when the winds favor us and Mary Day has a chance to show her stuff. The starting line ran east/west from Holbrook Harbor where we all rafted up Monday night. The raft up was a hoot with 11 windjammers present that we could climb aboard and tour. More than few folks admired Mary Day’s wide open decks and the fireplace that kept the chill of the damp night air at bay. Tuesday morning we started at 1030 to race up wind in a very light southerly that took us around Cape Rosier and the islands. The wind died for a while so we decided that rowing would help us keep momentum. Out oars and with tow line attached to the bob chains we managed to gain a tenth of a knot and keep the bow pointing in the right direction.

Again the wind came up and away we marched through the fleet. Even with a longer course to steer we managed to keep up and pass vessels that started 20 minutes before us and sailed a course that was a full mile and half shorter. In the end it was only Mary Day and Stephen Taber left standing. With a comfortable quarter mile lead in the dying wind we finally dropped the yawl boat and called it quits for the day. Most of the fleet anchored up in a nearby harbor together but I was yearning to put some distance on a fine day of racing in the fog. We motor sailed under the bridge and down the Eggemoggin Reach to anchor in Brooklin for the night. Mary Day showed her stuff once again and we are pleased to hang on to the trophy for our class for another year. Kudos to all of the windjammer captains who deftly sailed their vessels in very limited visibility and such light airs. I figure any one can sail in a gale of wind but sailing in light conditions takes real a fine touch. The captains of the Maine windjammer fleet demonstrated that, when properly handled by passengers and crew, these vessels are able to gracefully glide on a whisper on wind.

Have a great day. Be well. Do good.

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