Carrie's Sailing Page

Adam's Cup 2006 - Team BGP
Edgewater Yacht Club, Cleveland, Ohio
13-17 September

9/13/2006 - 11:00am - We made it to Cleveland late last night, after some last minute changes at the airport with our flights. Bruiser was the first one to the airport, and upon arrival learned that our outgoing flight from Columbia was delayed by enough that we'd miss our connection to Cleveland, which happened to be the last flight of the night from Memphis to Cleveland. We were switched from a route through Memphis to a route through Newark. We didn't expect to see Lady Liberty on this trip, but we got to see her from the air when we landed in Newark. Cool!

After a couple of beers (Coors light on tap?!) and some long-sought-after nachos in the Garden State Diner in the airport (where the rest of the team translated everything the waiter said for Mama Bird!), we found ourselves in the last couple of rows on the flight to Cleveland. Baby Girl wore Bruiser's seat cushion as a life jacket while Bruiser checked out what it would be like to be Pee Wee's height until there were threats of bodily harm.

The hotel in Cleveland for last night (the only one, thank heaven!) made us all recall life in the dorms in college. Packing everything in one bag weighing around 50 pounds seemed like a good idea to both Baby Girl and Pee Wee until they had to wrestle those monster bags up the stairs to our second floor room - what kind of place doesn't have an elevator? And why do the fire evacuation instructions tell us not to use the elevator in the event of a fire?! What elevator? And Mama Bird is convinced she got bit by bed bugs last night, but it's really just a mosquito bite to remind us of home. We're looking forward to being with our host family tonight!

9/14/2006 - What a day! This was not the sort of sailing we're accustomed to on Lake Murray! To summarize the way we felt on the boat, it suffices to say that Bruiser had Apple Jacks for breakfast and Apple Yacks for lunch. By the end of a very long day on the water (9am-5pm - this is like a job!), we were ready to head home and hit the hay.

This picture is from the third race on the first day. We're in the near boat with hull #4. You can see Mama Bird dressed in yellow steering, Pee Wee in red and white flying the chute, Baby Girl in blue in the middle and Bruiser in red (and navy blue shorty-bibs!) at the mast pulling down the jib.

9/15/2006 - It was a much better day of sailing for us in the sense of everyone on the boat feeling better, but it was still a pretty rough day. Bruiser's thumb got a bit smashed during one of the boat exchanges. Along with other mishaps during the exchanges, including a sailor-overboard, this ultimately led race committee to call it a day after only three races. This gave us plenty of time to enjoy the keg onshore with the other teams before heading out to dinner at Don's Lighthouse Grille with our hosts, Bob and Liz, and the team from Toronto, along with their host.

Here we are getting undressed in the parking lot at the end of the day, talking to another team. Check out my shorty-bibs - they're awesome!
Here's an action shot from the same day. It's funny how the waves don't look nearly as daunting in this picture as they felt while we were lurching around in them! The camera may add five pounds to people, but it seems to subtract 5000 pounds from waves!

9/16/2006 - Now this is our kind of weather. With calm seas and winds of 2-5mph, we showed 'em our stuff! We finished seventh in the first race on Saturday, but then we had two consecutive second place finishes! Yahoo!

We were pretty tense during dinner because we were protested by another team about a leeward mark rounding, but eventually the protest was thrown out. Bruiser got to see the inside of a protest room for the first time as a witness. The judges said later that they were impressed by her ability to say "I don't know" when it was true. Who knew that was such an asset?!

To celebrate a bit, the team went to Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Cleveland for nachos and beer after the blender party ended at the club. To wind up an already interesting day, we found that we were celebrating with lots of African-American female body builders who were in town for a body building competition. Bruiser talked to one in the restroom who wanted to know what the technical term is for riding around on a boat! Is 'sailing' really a technical term?!

9/17/2006 - We were full of hope and zeal heading into the last day of racing. The boat looked awesome; it was hull number 5235, so it's pretty new. It was the only carbon-fiber pole Bruiser got to play with during the whole regatta! However, the seas were not kind to us. First, we encountered a giant fresh-water whale who swallowed us up and then eventually spit us back out. Next, our vessel was boarded by pirates and we ended up having to sacrifice the virgins on board. Then we decided to sail out farther north to check out the racing going on out there on another course...

All of this is to say that we had plenty of time on the race course after everyone else finished racing to make up this tall tale. The teams on shore were most impressed that we all told the same tall tale - it must be the truth then, right? If we were lying, then you'd expect to find some discrepancies in our stories...

When it all finally shook out, we came in eighth in the overall standings. On the one hand, 8th out of eleven boats doesn't sound that impressive. But then we realized that it was an incredible honor to be 8th in such an amazing, top-quality fleet. In a way, aren't we actually 8th in the nation in women's sailing, after all? In addition to this honor, we were also awarded the Seamanship Award. Here we are accepting the prize. You can see from the smiles on our faces that we really had a great experience at this regatta.

Finally, I'll end with a note Pee Wee wrote to the folks at our club, summing up how we felt about the weekend.

I know that I can speak for Sarah, Allie, and Carrie that it was an honor to represent CSC at the Adam's Cup. On more than one occasion, we had folks come up to us and tell us that CSC is (and I quote), "the most hospitable club I've ever been to."

Another gentleman from Edgewater bragged to his fellow club members that CSC was his second favorite club (after his own, of course) and then went on to talk about how well he was treated at our Easter Regatta and how he can't wait to come back. We were his favorite team and he wore his Easter Regatta shirt to show his solidarity. He checked on us after each day of racing to make sure we had what we needed or wanted.

Several J-24 sailors expressed to us how Easter was their favorite regatta, from Race Management to food to the forgiving scales at weigh-in to plain old hospitality. Others had not been fortunate to visit CSC, but they knew who we were from our reputation.

While our scorecard wasn't what we had hoped, it was very easy to represent such a great club.

It occurs to me that while a new shiny clubhouse will be nice, it's the heart and soul of our club that always makes me most proud. It's simply something that you can't build with nails and wood -- it takes something much much more than that and longer to build.

Looking forward to telling ya'll our stories on the front porch -- well, maybe not ALL our stories!