Yesterday we raced in the B division in a Whangarei Cruising Clubs Winter Series yacht race. The whole day turned into a series of mistakes and bad decisions that turned the result into a whole lot of 'If Onlys.' Events soon made me feel like I was having a Glass Half Empty day.
If only the skipper had put the spinnaker up at the start of the race instead of just thinking about it.
If only the skipper had changed to a bigger jib earlier in the race.
If only the skipper had changed down to a much smaller jib and reefed the mainsail when the wind started to blow at gale force making the boat was so over powered by the wind that she staggered up the last leg and lost all her hard won gains.
If only the crew hadn't put too many turns of the jib sheet onto the winch, jambing it up so that at one stage we did a 360 degree turn with the jib back winded, while everything close by sailed right past us.
If only one of the crew and the skipper weren't trying to haul on ropes with wrenched shoulders so bad they spent the day sailing and popping pills.
....... so on went the race amongst the breaking waves and the howling wind. We came from behind to lead the B Division, only to see our lead vanish by being over canvassed and by fundamental handling errors on the long beat to windward to the finishing line.
But, the spray flew, there was a grim camaraderie, the big jib that had been recently repaired held out despite 30 knots of wind and at times the sun broke through and shone on Mount Mania and the surrounding green hills. It didn't take long for the glass to become half full again.