Our next pass across the course is all business as we shoot past the starting line and I see the crew note down the time displayed on the committee boat. I’m not overly familiar with match racing, but when I hear one of the crew start counting down, I begin trying to figure out where I will sit. Up until now, I’ve crouched statically just port of the center beam, but as Artemis tacks, I see their spectator move to the high side.
My goal so far has been not to interfere, but I don’t want to hinder the boat either, so I mentally pick my spot, further out and toward the hull, for the next tacks. We’re now into the last 30 seconds of pre-start as I hear the crew count down “Trente-trois, trente-duex, trente-et-un…” Movements and speech are quicker now, and voices are louder and clearer as crew and captain call back and forth to one another.
(Pictured: AC45s off Fort Adams in Newport Harbor)