Who schedules a midweek racing night to start the first race at 6pm? This is the question that launches every week’s Tuesday Night Shuffle.
Sure your calendar shows you blocked out at 4pm, it’s even shaded that odd dark red that signals “out of office” for anyone (who looks) to know that it will be impossible to schedule a late meeting with you that day. Unsurprisingly, that seems to only attract the sort of last minute firedrills that can ONLY be resolved by you, today, right now, and without interruption.
Which leads us to the late afternoon call to the rest of the crew that my attendance on the boat is now in question. Quick discussion about the potential of them waiting for me…will we still make the first start…did I notice that it’s almost 80 degrees, the wind is forecasted at 10-15, and also by the way it’s Seattle in May, so it would be an unmitigated tragedy to NOT go afternoon sailing today…ok this isn’t helping
Next call, it’s now just past 5pm. I’m clearly not going to make it. Try calling their cellphones. No answers. I leave a message with Bill who is on his way. Don’t wait for me…
Call to my desk at work at 6:30. It’s Chris. I can hear the wind in the background. They’re DFL as usual, but it’s a great night. Will I make it down?
I drive by on my way home, finally, way after 7, and roll through the parking lot. All the boats are out, sunset on the water. It’s a postcard. The conditions look terrific, of course. Lucky bastards. I don’t bother to stop and watch.
It’s 9:30PM on Tuesday and the reports start rolling in. I tear myself away from the deep deep depression that has set in by missing the race this evening.
A few missed calls on my cellphone, one from Bill, probably on his way home from the race. Another is a text message from Peter that scrolls by on my phone’s small screen making it seem REALLY long and making me wonder if he typed it from home on a proper keyboard, or if he sat in his car with a windblown smile frozen on his face typing it slowly into his phone’s 10 key pad: “2nd to last in 2nd race and almost 2nd to last in third race – had to do penalty turns”
First of all you have to take my word for it that that message takes like a decade to scroll past on my cellphone, and second (if you’ve been following this blog) that a 2nd to last (i.e. NOT LAST) is like saying “we came in first” in our book. It was a monumental night on the race course. I check the standings on the CYC Website to confirm. After the weeks of trying to race just one clean race without a major tangle, tactical mishap, or fiasco, I have got to hear this one…
It’s noon on Wednesday and I meet up for lunch with Bill. He’s typically pretty analytical and critical of our performance. Today his is BEAMING. He’s positive about the entire 2nd and 3rd races. Even excited about the tactics they tried on other boats that didn’t work, because it was the first time we’ve been in a position to try any at all. There were tales of fast boat speed, upwind and down.
It was epic.
It was the week I was still at work.
It was the Tuesday Night Shuffle.