The most beautiful @southernstraits on record gave us spectacular conditions and great training for our all-student crew! #Paragon flew her battle flags to the start and then got serious after a messy start with boats stalled on the line forcing us to duck and weave our way through. We held a respectable spot in our division for a good chunk of the long 50 mile upwind beat to Sisters Islets... but then our heavyweight genoa gave up on life and even aggressive duct tape repairs on deck couldn’t make the old gal keep fighting.
Some difficult peels in building breeze had us fall back in the pack, and by the time we rounded Sisters about 11pm conditions were downright sporty with a good swell running and gusts in the 25-30kt range. We made the call to avoid traumatizing the student crew and/or avoid deconstructing more sails, and stuck with a J3 and reefed main until things subsided enough for a full main... but without another viable headsail we stayed very under canvassed until the bitter end. Still flew along surfing the waves at up to 10kts boat speed!
With about 20min to the finish line, we figured we had to fly the kite to stay ahead of competition hot on our heels... thus began a short lived exercise in almost-upwind kite flying, probably providing good entertainment to the patient volunteers at the finish line!
All said, it was a great race with lots learned and a not too shabby 10th place in our division. Not bad for sailing 96 nautical miles under white sails only!! Next up? @roundsaltspring and then the big kahuna in June: @vanisle360 We have room on our race team for new sailors wanting to expand their horizons!