"It's 7:20am" is all I hear Jason say as I stir from my sleep. I get up to find the skipper and the rest of the crew alreayd gone, finishing up work on the damaged daggerboard I suppose. I dress quickly and get all my belonings together. Jason and I head down to see the state of repairs.
Left: Mike in the closet doing repairs.
Right: Getting the board back into the boat.
Kim and Mike are just finishing up sanding the board as we walk up. It looks really good, Mike did an awesome job patching it up. We get ready and head down to the boat to get the board back in, the mast back in place and all the rigging set. Unfortunately its not easy to just run the daggerboard line in the trunk before we can put the board in, so Kim strips down to his bathing suit and just jumps right in. We get everything set up and are motoring out of the marina with less than 10 minutes to the start.
Lookout! Skipper below!
Its very busy at the pin end of the line and as we get under one minute to start we start working our way down towards the shore end of the line. The gun goes and we're off to a good start heading so we'll just clear the breakwater. After a couple of tacks up the shore we decide to head over to the right side of the course where Flash is headed (Wayne Gorrie of Redshift is on board). In the past the right side has been the favored side and early on it looks to be paying off. We're doing well staying ahead of the majority of the fleet not far behind Flash and Mystic.
The wind is shifty and fairly light, but we're still doing well under screecher. As we're getting closer to Hornby island it appears that Dragonfly and Blue Lightning have made huge gains up the left shore. Thats not the way its supposed to be!
As we're passing Hornby island the wind is shifting around, the boats behind us have switched over to spinakers. That predicted south-easterly is finally filling in. Flash, ahead of us has switched over to the chute and the shift hits us as well and we switch over. We start to real in a couple of the monohulls ahead of us, Mystic and Caseopia. Unfortunately it looks like there is more wind to the left and Dragonfly, Flash and Blue Lightning are leaving us behind.
As we get closer to Comox the wind builds a little more, so up goes the small jib so we can double slot and get a bit more speed. We start gaining on Blue Lightning, but behind us we can see Bad Kitty has switched over to Big Blue and is charging through the monohulls and sailing deeper than us. It looks like Blue Lightning, Bad Kitty and us are going to be finishing pretty close together.
The wind is picking up now and we are charging hard, 17 to 18 knots. We're looking for the finish line now, its close, but there is a big bar at Comox that we have to finish on either side of. We can see the commitee boat, so we'll finish towards them. We're now ahead of Blue Lightning and Bad Kitty is chasing them down. The wind is really starting to blow now as we're finishing. We tuck inside the commitee boat and get the spinaker down quickly as we can't sail into Comox with it. Only a few minutes behind us Bad Kitty nips Blue lightning at the line by just 9 seconds. Great racing!
The Finish: Bad Kitty on the right, Blue Lightning on the left.
Now you're probably wondering why I named this post "Bad Kitty strikes again!" Well, if you've read the past stories you'll know that at Swiftsure 2002, Bad Kitty put a hex on the Monkee when the snuck a paw print sticker onto one of our sails. Well the crew of Bad Kitty were kind enough to lend as a step from their boat to aid in our daggerboard repairs. This morning Bad Kittens were hanging around the Monkee commenting on how a slice of one of our lifting foils would make a nice replacement for the step that we borrowed. So, after we finished, we forgot to put the daggerboard back down and were reaching along at about 20 knots when BAM, there goes the lifting foil. Ripped clean off right at the bottom of the hull. Bad Kitty, your replacement step is now sitting on the sea floor at the Comox Bar. The top half of the foil had to be coaxed out quite roughly, took quite some time and caused a little damage to the bottom of the hull. So Mike, the "glass man", had to do another emergency repair this evening.
We were met at the dock by our host couple, they were very friendly and brought us some treats to tide us over until we could get some dinner. The were very patient and helpful as we tried to start our repairs. After we got the broken foil out and got everything set up we headed over to the awards. The positions for our division ended up:
Congrats to Mark and his crew for a great job today! After the awards we went out for dinner with them and had a great evening.
Tomorrow the predection is for a strong south easterly that eases in the afternoon. This should be good for the Monkee as it means a spinaker run with the wind dying later and stranding the slower boats. But we'll see how accurate the prediction is.