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Scuttlebutt News:

Closing out the Beer Can season

(October 2, 2006 - Scuttlebutt received the following story from Omar Webb, who reports on the last Wednesday night race of the season in his area. Sailing the shortest waterline boat in the fleet, known amongst his colleagues as the ‘Hotfoot on Steroids’, Webb provides some insight on keeping the sport fun during the season finale at West Vancouver Yacht Club, BC, Canada.)

click to enlarge
Finding West Vancouver Yacht Club on Google Earth
It's a sunny 20 degrees. Both my best crew show up on the same day, the wind is a light inflow, maybe 5 knots, the Esky cooler is groaning under the load, and there is another very distorted plastic bag with beer can bumps on the surface. We decide to make enough room in the cooler for the items in the bag. It's a safety issue, as you can't have loose cans whizzing about the place. They may come open, and then what?

On our way to the start line, we decide to hoist the 75 sq. meter asymmetrical spinnaker, although we were rated for only the 22 sq. meter in this series. We arrive in the starting area just a tick before our class flag, and now must resolve another critical safety issue. Inside the five-minute gun, our crack team had to empty and stow the half full aluminum liquid containers empty. This used up most of the time required to peel to the legal assy sail. The helmsman calls for a show of hands on what to do, with the unanimous sentiment being that the peel would be "Too Hard."

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The 'Hotfoot on Steroids'
We start dead nuts on time, and then jibe to keep clear so as to not affect anyone else's race. We start to overhaul the speed ship of the club, close crossing them on port on the first cross of the weather leg, and decide it was time to transfer some of the liquid ballast from the leeward Esky to the weather rail. With the bonus sail area and “hard crew work,” we reach the finish line so far up that our division champion is worried that he won’t make the 30 minute cut off and maybe get scored DNF.

Just as we get under a boat length from the finish pin, we ease sheets and go around the end. No one red flags us, no one calls us aside at the dock, and yes, we gave up points that count to the overall Boat of the Year award. While the call of the "Pickle dish" is strong, our crew doesn’t race Wednesdays for a PD. This race was really about as much fun as it gets. Rules be damned, but we respected the course and the competitors that followed them. Some people seem to think they are defending the America's cup on their Wednesday club races. To them I say to look in the mirror and give their head a shake, as their Brain is stuck. - Omar Webb

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