My first race!

Mel Hawkes

Story of Day One of the Nationals by Mel Hawkes, sailing on Starpac

When my legs had finally stopped shaking and after I had stuffed a roll in my face I headed for the bar. Not normally a drinker I am finding I am quickly making up for that in the last few days. Still in a bit of a daze I found myself being asked how we did. I had no idea so was very surprised to find not only had we come fourth overall but we had been leading for a while on the first race.

The whole experience has been a steep learning curve and another one  I found was probably how to annoy everyone by me piping up I had no idea where we were I was too busy concentrating on my  two little lines that were my job. The correct terms for them would be the topping and the kicker line.

I must confess to shutting my eyes at each start as it looked more like a pack of bumper cars about to attack and judging by a rather loud thud at one point I think that theory was correct.

I have an absolute respect for all skippers especially mine as how they manage to pick their spots remains calm is a new mystery to me. I also have to rethink the theory that men can’t multi task as our skipper apart from helming and trimming the boat prevented me from hanging myself on more than one occasion and hoisting up the bow girl with the pole and that’s just the parts I had my eyes open for.

My goal tomorrow is to try and look up at one point. Baby steps! I started sailing with Pacific sailing school a few months ago after a holiday in st Lucia and I managed to flip a hobbie cat which I am told is pretty hard to do. Few months later I find myself racing in the Nationals way out of my comfort zone. Hank at the school reassured me that girls can be very good sailors let’s see what our skipper has to say at the end of the week.

3 Replies to “My first race!”

  1. Goodonya Mel
    Great news you claimed fourth overall a credit to you and the crew.
    Keep up the good work, will look forward to hearing more progress updates
    You know what they say, small steps Mel
    Look forward to catching up on the weekend.
    Love from us
    Mike & Robyn

  2. Hi Melanie, Hang in there girl we are sure that you will do well. Good Luck from your Melbourne Fan Club.

  3. Australia really suits you and your Mum is extremely proud of you and looking forward to a sail with you. After all I
    have always enjoyed living dangerously. All my love Mum xxx

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