Following the windy Friday racing of the 4th, I was sore and bruised and needed some time to recover. Also a couple of days after that dunking in the Charles – coincidence or not – I came down with a bit of a cold. The forecast for WR today was green flag though, I was feeling brave enough to try sailing again.
With Elena running race control for us, the plan was racing in Mercuries. As the first racers were checking out boats, a non-racer was at the dock house looking for informal instruction. Come race with us! the racers urged. When I walked up a moment later, “Sonia, would you take someone for informal instruction?” Perhaps they know I like to give informal instruction, perhaps they thought I would be good at it, perhaps they were dumping on me. No matter; of course I was interested. “And race at the same time? Is she okay with that?” She was.
Allison had her green rating, but hadn’t bothered yet with classes. She had a little bit of experience sailing Hobie Cats. That experience turned out to apply well to Mercuries. You would think they’re pretty different boats, but a similarity is that neither boat tolerates sloppy tacks well. I think the Hobie experience had given Allison an appreciation of acquiring and maintaining headway through a tack.
Also (I’m writing a week and a half late, so I don’t remember well) I think the flag might have gone to yellow. Wind was brisk for green anyway. I like to tell new sailors that sailing is best with both theory and practice. The classroom knowledge is good and valuable but also sailing is a physical sport and there’s a “feel” for it. The feel comes more naturally for some than others and can always be improved with practice. With the nice wind we decided to work a little more on feel and a little less on practice. I coached her just enough to kind-of sort-of get us around the race course and we typically finished last (if at all) but I thought it was excellent practice for just getting the feel of sailing.