The second week of Wednesday night racing is in the books. First though to get to that story, I'll start with a little background on how I came to be racing at all. Obviously since I own a sailboat, I enjoy meeting people who also sail and of course if I was dating anyone, they had to like sailing, a mandatory requirement to say the least! And so It is because of sailing that Brad and I met. Really though, it is because of match.com... I had put myself on the site, yes, I did, after I got out of a long term relationship. I decided I'd like to just date and meet some nice people and maybe, maybe, find a good and decent guy eventually. Clearly that worked out as coincidentally and fortuitously, Brad had also done the same thing after a friend of his said give it a try. Lucky for me, Brad did a search based on sailing and up I popped and the rest is history.
But I'm jumping the gun on Brad a little as there was a guy who I dated for a couple months at the beginning of the summer of 2010. This guy raced on a Cal 25 on Wednesday nights and I would go and sit at Carrol's Creek Cafe with a girlfriend, and watch the finish of the race across from the Annapolis Yacht Club. Afterward, Dinghy (another story for another day) and I would meet up at The Boatyard Bar & Grill, where many of the racers go for a beer and to watch the video of the race. About mid July, when Dinghy was no longer, I thought to myself, "why am I just watching, why am I not out there racing too, I can do that?!" I asked around the marina (I lived on CALIX at the time) if anyone had a friend who raced and needed crew. It turned out that there was in fact someone and they raced on the Magothy River on a boat named "Fun". Thus began my illustrious career as a wicked good crew person.
While I didn't do it the very next day after Dinghy flaked out, I put my profile back up on match.com and within a few days I got a message I wasn't sure about responding to. The guy only had one picture at a little distance, so I wasn't sure exactly if he was attractive, but he could write a full sentence, had a decent profile write up and well, what the heck. We chatted through the match site, then talked on the phone, and I jokingly said our first date should be sailing. The guy, Brad, took me for serious, borrowed a friend's J34 "Zeus" for a day sail and that turned into going on 3 years of still sailing together.
Woven into the beginning of our relationship, was my first big boat racing event, the 2010 Annapolis Race Week. That was pretty awesome and mostly I was just rail meat but also helped get the spinnaker down. I was hooked and had to get on more boats, but the problem was that I personally didn't know a lot of sailors or yacht club people, etc. Brad, having been a member of AYC, I figured might know someone, but he'd long since gotten over buoy racing (he still does ocean races) and didn't have those kind of connections anymore. I called upon my friend who got me onto the Race Week boat and they again came through for a one night stint on Bucentar for the last night of Wednesday night racing in 2010. Now I wanted to get on a boat in Annapolis!
I've taken a nice winding path to get to Wednesday night racing. Racing on Fun continued for summer of 2011 as well as joining our good friend Bob on Schematic for the 2011 Governor's Cup overnight race to St. Mary's. Somewhere along the middle of the summer, a girlfriend asked me to join her on her boyfriend's boat for Friday Night Beer Can Racing, put on by the Eastport Yacht Club. I've been with N'Surgery going on two years, last year, 2012, being a banner year with us winning our class and both series - lots of silver to take home for the skipper.
To add to the mix, I got to race a Bermuda fitted dinghy, snagged a spot on a Chesapeake Bay log canoe, and filled in for day during the 2012 NOOD on a Viper. Talk about covering the bases!
Here I am at the end of my story about racing starting this season and me finally getting to Annapolis Wednesday nights. Brad had been telling me to just keep asking around, and so I did but nothing was turning up. It turns out though that conversation with unlikely people is how things happen, as it usually does, and the fellow who I'm working with on a project at work, asked if I'd like to join his crew on his friend's Etchells. We'd already talked a ton about boats, yet he'd never mentioned his racing before, but after getting to know each other via work and learning more about our love for sailing, his asking if I'd like to come race on his friend's boat was really cool and an obvious yes! And so here we are, current day with the Wednesday night video of the first race of the season. Sadly, there's only one shot of the Etchells, but at least it includes our boat and you can see me in my white jacket. Pretty cool, great night, great fun boat, great crew and a great season unfolds.