Who knew it would be so hard?  I mean, I’ve sailed big boats in big weather and thought I knew something.  Turns out I know nothing when it comes to sailing Schock’s Harbor 20s in a one design racing fleet. 

A friend purchased a Harbor 20 a few weeks ago and we set about racing.  How hard could it be?  It’s a 20 foot, light, tiller boat with a self tacking jib that can be easily single-handed and is the epitome of civilized sailing. 

The first three races we came in dead last.  The fourth race we beat one boat and nearly tied with two others.  Victory.  Oh, wait a minute.  That’s not a victory at all.  So we both jumped at the chance to sit through a seminar with world renowned racer Dave Perry when he came to town - Newport Beach , CA. 

Perry flew out from Connecticut to lecture at Lido Island Yacht Club and then line us all up like little ducklings for drills, and more drills, and then even more drills and starts and mark roundings.  He’s pretty laid back at the head of the classroom but you know that doesn’t carry out on the water since his many titles include US match racing championships, Transpac races, National Championships at Yale and even Olympic trials. 

Perry’s lecture was both inspiring and humbling but mostly it was entertaining. In the three weeks I’ve been “racing”, I’ve had the opportunity to study the lovely transom of the H20 since that’s all I seem to see during a race.  But now I’m armed and likely to be dangerous with my newfound knowledge and tips from Dave Perry.  I’m sure I’ll see one or two bows behind me soon, right?