Re: Merrily Against the Wind and Dumb and Dumber? I set out for my sailing club several hours early today, because I had several things I wanted to do. It also takes me some time to get into the groove of efficient boat setup, so I gave myself plenty of time. I towed our “new” boat up to the reservoir, number 159059. We got it for fleet building, but John likes the artwork on it so well that he wants to keep it for him. It is a ’96 Olympic Centennial edition with some leaf artwork on the wide red stripe. Very nice. When I got there, I raked some leaves out of my boat space. We cleaned the club up yesterday, but there were some leftovers under the boat that got moved from the space afterward. I also put some zipper grease on the zippers of my dry suit. That’s something I could have done at home, but I never got around to it. I would need the dry suit, since the water temperature was somewhere just north of 40 degrees F. That’s 4 and ½ degrees C, y’all. The wind was around 8 knots with some gusts, all from the south. So I rigged the boat and meanwhile, John arrived. He was on Race Committee. He doesn’t have any coldwater gear, so he won’t be sailing for a while yet. John helped me to get the boat out onto the Laser dock. That dock is very low to the water to make launching easy. When we got the boat out there, I saw that the lines I had tied to attach the clew of the sail to the boom had stretched. I asked John to retie it for me. When he touched it the knot that I tied came undone, so it was a good thing that I asked him to retie it. So anyway, he was working on it with the boat facing east and the boom was out perpendicular to the boat with the south wind. Suddenly a rogue gust at 25 knots or more hit us. It was shifted to the SW, and the boat and dolly skittered across the dock and partially into the water. All didn’t end up in the water because we leaped up and caught it. We were hanging on when our Junior Racing coach, Scott, who had been rigging his Interlake, ran over to help. He saw the whole thing and said it looked really spectacular. Well, I'm glad something good came out of it. We got the boat and dolly back up on the dock. I glanced over it and everything looked fine. So we fixed the rigging and launched the boat. I sailed off, but not too far, until John could get a crash boat ready. I headed upwind and a gust at around 15 hit and I let the sail out. The mainsheet was wrapped around my leg though and acted as a brake. Over I went, but the capsize was slow enough that I was able to step over the back and stand on that little shelf they put there for that. You know, the centerboard. I righted the boat and was on my way again, sailing up down and around in front of the club. It kind of freaked me out though, thinking about how cold the water was, and I really did not want to try my dry suit in it. I was having some trouble with my upwind speed. I was two-blocking, plenty of vang, some Cunningham, some outhaul. I should have been screaming along, but the boat was sluggish. I began to think maybe I wouldn’t go to Indianapolis Sailing Club’s regatta next weekend, because my skills just weren’t there. Maybe next month after some practice I’ll try a regatta. So I was sailing downwind past the club and the boat just wasn’t performing at all. The Junior Racing coach called out, “Janet, you are awfully low in the water!” So I sailed up to the dock, and I realized that I had been sinking. There was no white of the hull left, only red. He suggested that I’d forgotten to put the transom plug, but I had remembered, and it was still there. John and Mike, the club member in charge of docks this year, ran over to help me. We looked the boat over and found a hole about the size of a half dollar on the bottom near the bow. We holed the boat when we capsized it on the dock, and then I went sailing in it. I think that it hit either the guide piece on the dolly or a cleat on the dock. So we spent some time de-rigging with the boat in the water and capsized the boat over the dock. We removed the spars and blades, and very slowly John towed it to the ramp after pulling the transom plug. I caught the boat and me and Mike put it on the dolly while it was still in the water. John went off for his race committee duty. Gradually Mike pulled the boat up the ramp. He held it on the slope for some 10-15 minutes while water poured out of the hull from the transom hole. We very slowly and gradually pulled the boat out of the water up the ramp while it drained. We chocked the wheels and went to collect the rest of my stuff. Thoughts--Next time any rigging will be better done off of the dock. I’ll pull the boat up to solid ground and point it into the wind. A rogue blast could still get it, but that’s the best I have. I will also look more carefully at the hull if there is ever such an incident again. I have 20/20 hindsight. We are very fortunate in that several club members offered to help with the repair. We’re taking up the guy who is known to give the smoothest gel coat finish. I feel a little bit in mourning for that beautiful boat! Soon it will be fixed.