Contact and Cracks on Cloud.

I finally sat down with a little discipline to go through the long videos I took of Flying Cloud the other weekend on the Chester River.  The best part was the start where contact was made with Island Blossom, and not our fault, but thankfully not a crash.  Island Lark got somewhat close but, it only seemed worse when it was live than later while watching via the video.

Today I was supposed to be on Cloud in the Governor's Cup Race in St. Michael's, hosted by the Miles River Yacht Club, but instead I'm sitting here typing a log entry because yesterday did not go so well. 

First up, Cloud popped a jib halyard and the sail and spar (rigging link) went crashing into the water.  It was still attached to the bowsprit so it was hauled out as fast as possible and we kept on going, twas but a scratch...  Needless to say the balance was off now, so I was tending the main with a little more ease and the foresail doing most of the work.  

Next, while on the final leg of the race downwind, we put up the staysail and we were cooking along until CRACK!  The main mast had cracked under the pressure, oh, forgot to mention we had some pretty good wind yesterday, predicted at 10-15 gusting to 20, but I think we had somewhere in the low teens at this moment.  We finished the race without further ado and limped back to the club for further inspection and well deserved beers, but there went my job for the rest of the day.  The main was out of commission and I was going to join the crew on the boards for the afternoon race.

During the lunch break, the jib halyard was fixed and we started the second race feeling good about our chances of doing reasonably well regardless of our being down a sail.  That all came to an end too.  We weren't even done with the first leg and right after a tack with everyone hiking up the boards, we hear a horrible breaking sound and see people and wood flying into the water.  One of the boards had just split in half with the result of having to stop and get the crew back onboard.  Valuable time was lost.  Thankfully no one was hurt badly, but there was some blood from a few cuts; nothing a little beer can't clean out and torn t-shirts can't wrap.

At this point, we were all lamenting DFL (dead fucking last) when way ahead on the course, a boat went over.  While technically we would still be last, as that boat would score a DNF (did not finish), that was enough given the events of the day.  And to add insult to actual injury, we were out of beers!  Calamity!  After the finish, we came pretty close to some friends of mine anchored off the St. Michael's harbor for them to launch a squadron of cans, but we had to gybe and so that didn't work out, but fear not and from an unlikely source, a couple of jet skiers offered up a couple of beers and we passed around our score for all to sip.

Back at the dock, it was time to put Cloud away and send her home for repairs.  Not the end to the weekend of racing any of us had had in mind.  If nothing else, the day was beautiful and the setting on the Miles River hard to beat.  Until next year!  Please enjoy the last video from the July 13-14 weekend when Flying Cloud and Island Blossom make contact: