It’s almost time. The curtain is about to rise on yet another season, and in the vernacular of car racing (and with apologies to the ladies), gentleman start your engines. I get so excited this time of year. Eight years ago, I almost missed Christopher’s birth because I was in the hospital cafeteria ordering parts on my cell phone. (In my defense, the doctor told me to take my time, but don’t assume that argument carries any weight whenever the subject happens to come up.) Anyway, I took off the cover last weekend and got the boat ready to go. So far, I’ve visited the hardware store twice, West Marine three times and I’m currently working on my APS order. I asked Christina if she thought it was time to replace the main halyard, and she shot back that if I was asking the question, it probably was. Hey, it’s a Nationals year no breakdowns allowed. But with the exception of a few minor odds and ends, I’m ready for spring series. How about you?
Coming up quickly is our spring clinic on May 6th. Fleet 5 has held spring clinics before, and some were very good. But this is a doozey. This will be the clinic of all clinics. Recognizing that you don’t get Jud Smith, Jack Slattery and Billy Lynn on the same stage very often, we decided to open up this event to the broader sailing community. If the volume of unsolicited email inquiries is any indication, the joint will be jumping. So try to get there a little early to assure a good seat. Also coming up quickly, just two days later on May 8th is a spring measuring day brought to you through the generosity of class measurer Jerry Blouin. You might be wondering why so much emphasis on measuring lately – this is the fourth straight newsletter to bring it up. Well, let me give it to you straight. First, boats sailing Nationals have to be measured. It takes 1-1½ hours to measure a boat, and we’re expecting a turnout of no fewer than 40 boats. If you do the math, you’ll see that there simply isn’t enough time at the event to measure all those boats, so we’re trying to get out in front of that. The second reason is equally important, and in my mind, just as urgent. It’s been years since anyone, other than a small group who routinely sail Nationals, has been measured. We’re supposed to be one-design boats of equivalent performance. Yet it’s been so long since the majority of us have been measured, how do we know we’re all still equivalent? You patch your partners here, get some keel work done there, and before you know it, the boat no longer complies. Hey – if someone beats you on the race course, don’t you want to know they did it fair and square, and not because they had a weight advantage, too tall a mast or too thin a keel? So we’re measuring. For me, it’s a point of pride to sail a legal boat, as I know it is for you too.
Many thanks to Lynn Magiarcina and husband Jeff Shoreman for allowing us to hold our spring meeting in their beautiful home. Thankfully, there were no spills to speak of and everyone behaved themselves, so maybe they’ll invite us back sometime. Thanks also to Doug Trees and Steve Uhl for organizing and running our registration process, as well as to Jim Raisides for making sure no one was thirsty. The meeting was productive and resolved several scoring issues, as well as the two races versus three debate (we’re sticking with two). The minutes of that meeting are buried elsewhere in this newsletter. See you at the clinic on May 6th.