Friday, February 14, 2020

On the Harbor: Sailing aboard Only Child with my wife and first mate, Jennifer

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As you know, today is Valentine’s Day and on the 20th it will be my 27th wedding anniversary. Therefore, I can’t think of a better time to thank my beautiful first mate, Jennifer, for putting up with all my temper tantrums and feet stomping when things don’t go my way on the racecourse, hence why my boat is named Only Child.
About six years ago, Jennifer decided to sign up as my teammate aboard my Harbor 20, and as I tell everyone who expresses any type of interest in joining the fleet, that sailing with my wife has been one of the best things that has ever happened to our marriage. With me being on the heavy side, I always needed to find small crew and quite often these crew people turned out to be female. After about three years of seeing different female crewmembers next to me aboard Only Child, Jennifer felt it would be better joining me, rather than wondering who was sailing with me throughout the season.
Like any team sport, it was not easy for her to jump aboard and start competing at the level I try to compete at. She had difficulty with the close proximity of the other boats and would exude terror as we ducked or crossed our competitors and harbor traffic. She has grown somewhat used to my temper tantrums and at the same time, I have had to demonstrate better control of my emotions. Last weekend during the NHYC Winter Series, a competitor asked for room at a mark. I felt they clearly did not have an overlap when we entered the mark rounding the zone. We rounded the mark without incident, yet the request for the room was irritating and my mouth started moving before much thought. After the race I said something of the sort, “I am getting rather tired of your stuff.” Jennifer also gets upset when I bicker with our competitors and said, “We almost made it through the day without you having to do that.” Believe it or not, I have reduced my bickering at competitors and the race committee. The funny thing is now that Jennifer understands the rules better, she can be heard chirping at our competitors when they bump into us. As we sailed back to the starting area Jennifer said, “You know if they really had an overlap, they would have been yelling a lot louder.”
Each season it is more enjoyable to sail with her as she can provide me with more information. “They are going faster than us over there or they have just stopped,” she will tell me. The kinetics in a Harbor 20 is continuously improving each season, which means that the movement of our weight is working together to better our boat performance during maneuvers. She will now get rather upset with me when I blow a big lead and let someone slip by us and she still tells me we will get to the weather mark a lot faster if I could sail faster than everyone else and directly into the wind.
Over the last couple of seasons, we have been getting better and I can’t think of a better person to do it with. She was aboil for two days after we won one of the NHYC Winter Series days and we will be bringing our best effort out to the racecourse this weekend as the H20 Mid-Winters sail out of BCYC.
The moral of this story is to make sure you go boating with your partner, be it a Harbor 20, Duffy electric boat or something that can take you to Catalina or further. Like I always tell my customers: “Make sure it’s our boat, not your boat.” 
• • •
Some winter sailing results:
The BCYC Hot Rum Series sailed on November 17, December 15 and January 19. Robert Bents, sailing one of UCI/City Newport Beach Sailing Clubs’ J-22s could not hold on to the first place pickle dish in PHRF Class C with a 1.1.5 which allowed Don Albrecht and his Cal 25 Valkyrie to catch him with consistently finishing in second place throughout the three-race series with a 2.2.2. C fleet had seven boats on the starting line and if you are looking at value along with finding a way onto the racecourse, the UCI/City of Newport Beach Sailing Club is the best value in town. In Class B, there was a three-way battle between the Rosene Family on Radical Departure, Joe Degenhardt’s Lickity Split and John Szalay’s PussycatPussycat sailed to a 1.2.2 and received top honors within the five boat fleet. Three boats competed in A fleet with Tim Harmon’s Cirrus first onto the podium.
Over at NHYC, the 2019-20 Harbor 20 Winter Series sailed the first Sunday of November, December, January and February in a 16-race series with 49 boats entered. Like any series, 50 percent is the attendance with about an average of 30 boats showing up each month. With an average of nine boats showing up in C fleet, Michell and Jeremy Quinton who sail out of Dana Point Yacht Club, were one of three teams with perfect attendance. Team Quinton never won a day, yet sailed the most consistently and won the popular vote. So glad I encouraged them to compete. Bob McDonald finished in second followed by Debra Haynes.
In B fleet, an average of eight boats show up each month with three boats having perfect attendance, of those three boats, Brad Dwan took home the top prize sailing in this best form throughout the series. Second, also with perfect attendance, was Kathryn Reed, followed by Steve Schupak in third.
In A fleet with an average of 13 boats showing up each month and five participants with a clean attendance record, third place went to Adam Deermount and Bill Menninger taking turns at the tiller. They missed one day of the series, yet took it two days of the four-race series. In second place was Jennifer and Len Bose with a perfect attendance and winning the first day of the series. In first place and sailing the most consistently thought the four-month series was Phil Thompson with a clean attendance record...winning one of the four-day series. 
The sailing season will soon be in full swing with the Mid-Winters this weekend, The NHYC Islands race on February 21 and 22 is followed by the SDYC Puerto Vallarta Race on March 6-14 with six Newport Beach eateries. Next up is the BCYC H20 on March 8, then the April 5 Weiss Series. Of course, the Newport Beach to Ensenada Race takes place April 24-26. As always wish us luck!
Sea ya!
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.