There’s a lot of fun to be had on land, but I also love the adrenaline rush and feeling of freedom that comes with hitting the open water.
Our community of Nashotah, WI, is home to two large twin lakes – perfect for setting sail. Most boaters might enjoy lounging on a pontoon boat or casting a lure for bass … but I prefer something a little faster and physically demanding. An activity that gets your heart pumping and requires a strong, reliable partner to cross the finish line.
Batten Down the Hatches – Here We Come!
Catamaran sailboat racing isn’t for everyone, but I can’t get enough! I fell for this sport – hook, line, and sinker! – several years ago. There’s nothing quite like it. I’ve entered many of these races on a high-tech, 16-foot vessel. But this isn’t a solo sport. I’ve been fortunate to mentor my young partner, 16-year-old “Fast” Eddie Hanson, since he was just 10 years old. He is getting bigger, stronger, and faster – while I’m getting bigger, weaker, and slower! (It must be an aging thing!)
To be honest, the crew does most of the work on this style of race boat and I very much enjoy spending time with Eddie. We enjoy deep conversations on the water when we aren’t fully focused on navigating the course and doing our best to stay afloat! We’ve shared many memorable moments together and I look forward to more.
I vividly recall taking the lead the moment the gun went off at the start of a regatta in Oshkosh, WI. Then there was a race in Green Bay, WI, where Eddie and I hit a cruising speed of about 25 mp/h. He controlled the spinnaker, a large three-cornered sail that helps us catch more wind, and, you guessed it … get a bit more speed! I’ve done it before – and I’d have to say there’s an art to it! I recall being harnessed in and hooked to a wire at the top of the mast. I had to use all this body weight (as previously earlier) to hold down the boat so Eddie and I didn’t tip over! Nobody wants a “man overboard” situation!
If you’re thinking about it … Catamaran racing is a blast. I encourage all water enthusiasts and adventurers to give it a try. For sailing information, check out the United States Sailing Association’s website. And if you’re a patient of mine, just ask about my latest racing adventures. I’d be more than happy to share my tales!
Time to scope out another race … until next time.