Winter racing, Vancouver style

This weekend was our third Quicker Crew course for this winter race season... and it was the exact opposite of the last two.  Check out our latest video, featuring ICE, so much sunshine and even some wildlife!

After de-icing the entire boat with a tried-and-true mixture of salt water and stubborn kicking, we headed out of the shady marina and into glorious sunshine.  It was immediately warmer and even the winches finally started to thaw out!  

Light wind sailing may not provide the same pumping adrenaline as the last two race days with their stormy conditions.  Instead, we had the chance to focus on cunning tactics to get ahead of our closest competitor.  

We had a fun leisurely upwind 'battle' with them in which we could consistently point much higher (i.e. head in a direction closer to the wind and therefore closer to our end goal of the upwind mark) but they had more speed than us.  Then we had one great run into the shore where we knew we would be out of the tide and able to sneak around Point Atkinson more easily.  When we came back out, we crossed well ahead of our competition who had stayed further out fighting the tide.  Yay!  

We made a few other smart choices to capitalize on our lead and were feeling pretty good about ourselves.  So we made the choice to brave the adverse tide in favour of what seemed to be obviously stronger and more consistent wind.  It was for a while, as we rode a little channel of breeze up into the tail end of the race division ahead of us.  And unfortunately that's when the wind died and we found ourselves inching forward very slowly while our competitor caught up and slipped past along the shoreline. They also had very light wind but at least weren't trying to fight against the tide.  We took a gamble and it didn't pay off- hats off to the boats that stuck to the shore!   

The one bonus of staying further out in English Bay was that we had a few visits from wildlife!  Three porpoises crossed right in front of us, looking very sleek and black as they sliced through the mirror-like water.  Unfortunately I didn't get the camera out fast enough, so you'll just have to take my word for it.  We also had a lazy seal pop up next to us and float by slowly and snorting at us (probably laughing at our tactical error).  

All in all, it was an awesome day.  We didn't finish the way we wanted to, but it was such a beautiful day to be on the water and we had a great time strategizing and trying to get the most out of the light breeze we had.  Looking forward to the last race and last Quicker Crew course of the year!