S/V Delilah

A Blog to track the wanderings of the S/V Delilah, a 37-foot Tayana sailboat.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

My Kind of Regatta

Saturday, February 17
Falmouth Harbor, Antigua

The floor of our new boat was awash, and more water was pouring in through the widening seams. Axel's bailer had gone overboard during a jibe, and the bilge pump wasn't making much of a dent. Many boats had already succombed to the fury of the elements, and the crowd on shore had begun to believe that our boat would sink as well. But Tara, holding the mainsheet between her teeth, paddled mightily, determined to cross the finish line and beach the boat before they both went under. It was woman against the elements, and Tara won, proudly paddling the boat's mermaid figurehead across the line to a chorus of huzzahs.

A mere three hours earlier, our noble sailing vessel, Lady Roger Ring, had been a meager collection of thin plywood, knotty pine 1x1, dull nails, and duct tape provided to us by the Wobbly Club Regatta's organizing committee. Our challenge, as the multi-national corporation, "Bodge It, Cock Up, & Sink Boat Works," (motto "Every job a floater!") was to make a craft that one of us could propel around a short course. The regatta's organizing committee, on the other hand, had a goal of providing us with shoddy goods and selling us quite a lot of cheap beer as we worked in the hot Caribbean sun to build a boat.

Cheating was rampant among the 27 teams who signed up for the regatta, but we on team B.C.S. held ourselves to a higher standard, and cheated only a very little, adding a few extra rolls of duct tape and some wire to our war chest. That duct tape saved Tara from a long swim, holding the short, blunt nails in place and sealing the boat's seams long enough for her to complete the course. Many other boats did not fare so well.

We celebrated well into the evening, toasting our hard work, Randy's excellent boat designs, and Tara's competitive edge. Our excellent team spirit won us a case of beer and a bottle of rum, and even impressed the crew of a 141 foot motor yacht enough that we were invited on board for a nightcap at the bar on their aft deck. Quite.


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