Windward mark

The racing fleet is a scary thing. 

I remember arriving back in Chesapeake Bay from points south, bound for Annapolis. It was a summer weekend; there were blinding white sails and colourful spinnakers wall to wall. 

As we converged with the first pod of boats we could hear the crews shouting at each other to assert right of way, the boats at full tilt seemingly inches apart, half the fleet on starboard, half on port. It appeared inevitable that we’d become embroiled in an almighty pile up, a watery version of a multi-vehicle motorway crash. But then they were passed us, hell bent on the windward mark somewhere astern and the next pod was in sight.

Yes, a scary thing is the racing fleet.