Yacht racing is a whole different animal to cruising. When you’re racing you’re taking the yacht to its limits, hoping that the extra knot or two of speed will win you the race, and not spell disaster.
Bob and wife Pat lived that adrenalin-filled experience aboard a twenty-eight-foot trimaran—light and fast—in the race from Maui to Honolulu. On a multi-hull yacht like this, the crew is mainly there to act as movable ballast. Shifting the crew’s weight six inches fore or aft can maximize the yacht’s speed.
They left Maui in a fresh wind, making six to seven knots and leaving the traditional mono-hulls in their wake. But when they got out of the lee of the island and into the channel between Molokai and Oahu, the winds picked up until the yacht was hurtling along at fifteen knots in a big sea.
With one eye on the knot meter and one on the wind angle, Bob could just keep the yacht under control. It was at that point that he thought it would be a good idea to launch the spinnaker for some extra speed. He was soon to be proven wrong! Continue reading