The First Team Meeting
Today (Saturday), we had the first meeting of the women from the New Mexico and Rio Grande sailing clubs interested in forming teams to compete in the Adams Cup sailing race.
The plan is for the women of both clubs to work together, rotating boats and crewmates, with lots of coaching, pretty much every weekend from now through May and whatever midweek occasions we can manage, with the goal of putting together two excellent teams by the May 6 area finals. (Our area consists of New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Nebraska.) What has me really charged up is how much support we are getting from how many people. We actually have an organized coaching staff, with some very experienced sailors who are giving their time to help us all to get in shape and coordinated. A couple of our best racing skippers have made themselves available so that any time any of us can get to the lake, they will make time to come and help us, which is especially useful for people who can get extra time to work on building skills.
There is a huge time commitment involved in this whole racing team thing. Through some sort of odd karma or fate or cosmic alignment of the universe, I’m actually going to have more time than usual this term – every single weekend will be a four-day weekend, because I not only have Fridays off (aside from the occasional faculty meeting), but I will also have Mondays off, too. Two of the other sailors on the team – one trimmer, one foredeck – are retired and so don’t have to worry about the work week, and so it is likely the three of us will be doing a lot of work together.
However odd it may seem, right now, the concept of racing actually doesn’t look so hare-brained. Having a bunch of truly awesome coaches helps. They have more confidence in me than I have in myself, and I’m getting the idea that maybe I really can take the helm of a racing boat and do something with it.
Back years ago, when the all-women’s America3 team was sailing in the Americas Cup, Pat, Gerald, and I were coincidentally in the right place at the right time and got invited to join a behind-the-scenes tour for VIPs and big-money contributors, and we got to see things like the sail loft and the gym, and we saw the team come in from practice, with the crowd cheering for them. Now it feels like I am on the other side of that – I’m one of the ones getting cheered for. I sure hope I don’t let the fans down.