Friday, December 10, 2010

Half Pint o' Rum Race: A drinking race with a sailing problem

This is it, it is finally here, we have reached goal 2. The Half pint of rum race is an epic trial of strength, swimming, sailing, and drinking. All things I love.

Our first goal was to refinish the mast before the Ancient Mariners Yesteryear regatta. We met that goal and finished 37th out of 47 boats. Not a great finish but it was the first race on the boat. Let's just say there were a lot of kinks to work out. Goal number two was to haul the boat and paint the bottom before the Half Pint O' Rum race. Well, as you know, we hauled the boat and have reached the second marker.

We have had the boat at the dock where I work all week in preparations for the race. We got a new coat of varnish on the cabin sides on Sunday because everyone knows that looking sharp makes you go faster. The next step was to address the weight. We live aboard and have literally everything we own on board. No storage units, no cars, it is all there. If you came on our boat you would be surprised by what little possessions I own. None the less, we have a lot more than you would find on a racing boat. So, I have been clearing out the boat all week to make it lighter and thus go faster. This will serve two purposes. One: it will make us lighter and faster obviously. But more importantly, Two: it gives us a chance to deep clean and purge things that we don't need. We really don't ever have a chance to do this so it feels good to take everything out and reevaluate what we actually need. (My shoes are staying by the way)

So, the race is tomorrow. The dock call is at 9am. We will be making breakfast on the boat and anchoring near the start in South Bay. Excerpt from the Sailing Instructions:

The race begins off the beach southeast of the Naval Sailing Club along the bay side of the Silver Strand in South Bay.  An entry fee is a fifth of quality rum that is deposited into the AMSS keg. This is the only race of the year where at yacht’s handicap may depend on the quantity and quality of the entry fee. Also, the Race Committee has great latitude in assessing penalties as well as time awards for 
exceptional seamanship or costumes. The race is followed by a raft-up in La Playa where crews reflect on the race (tell lies), awards are given, and the remainder of rum in the keg disappears into some of the finest rum drinks to be found.  

Traditional Format (Beach Start) - Racing and Cruising Classes 
Boats in the Traditional format classes anchor off the beach with sails down. The Owner, or pre- approved designate, rows or swims ashore for the skipper’s meeting held on the beach.  

At this time the entry fee is inspected and deposited into the keg and the Sailing Instructions are reviewed. The Traditional Format start will be signified by a long single blast at which time skippers row/swim out to their boat. Only when he/she has made contact with the yacht can the crew begin to hoist sail and sail off anchor (no motors).  After sailing the course, the finish is on the sandy beach adjacent to the Shelter Island launching ramp, across the street from Silvergate YC.  A member of the crew must row or swim ashore with his/her own cup, find the Race Committee and drink a tot of rum.  Upon finishing the rum, the Race Committee records the yacht’s finish time.   

 I will post pictures and post race comments after the race. Wish me luck!

"The only way to drink all day is to start in the morning."


  1. Nice title- "A drinking race with a sailing problem". Can't wait to hear about the actual race!

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