Diary of racing sailor competing at 93rd Larchmont Race Week

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Name: Gabby Ahitow

Age: 13

Boat: RS Feva (a two-man sailing dinghy)

Club: Huguenot Yacht Club (I’ve been going to their junior sailing program for four years and they offer a variety of regattas to attend)

Regatta: Larchmont Race Week (a three-day regatta that offers racing for lots of different boats)

Day 1: July 15

6:30 a.m.: I woke up (would have continued to sleep but my little sister woke me up), ate a big breakfast because it’s very difficult to eat lunch on the water, packed my bag and sun screened up.

8:00 a.m.: Left for Larchmont Yacht Club.

8:15-9:39 a.m.: Arrived, met up with my skipper, rigged the boat and ran around like a crazy person because we were having problems with our spinnaker. Larchmont can be very chaotic, especially on the first day.

10:15 a.m.: Went to the skipper’s meeting. (I’m crew but everyone goes to the meeting.)

11:30 a.m.: Harbor start: Everyone pushes their boat into the water and sails to their assigned courses. First race was postponed because of the lack of wind. Among the sailors and coaches, race week is known as “Larchmont Drift Week” or “Larchmont Storm Week.”

12:48 p.m.: First start: The course was set with a windward mark, offset, leeward gate and finish. I had never done this type of course before, so I was very nervous.

2:00 p.m.: Second start: The wind was almost dead so this race took forever to finish. The was so boring because barely anyone moved.

3:30 p.m.: All races were called off for the day because there was no wind. When I say no wind I mean no wind. Our coach had to tow all our boats in.

3:40 p.m.: Got to the docks and de-rigged. It took a bit to find space on the dock because there were 50 Fevas on a small dock.

4:05 p.m.: Hung out with the other people from my club and talked to my coaches.

4:40 p.m.: My mom picked me up.

5:00-730 p.m.: Showered; being a sailor on the sound means you feel very salty at the end of the day. Wrote day one of this diary and ate dinner

7:30-9:00 p.m.: Watched the new season of “Good Witch” and went to bed because I was so beat.

Day 2: July 16

7:00 a.m.: Woke and was still really tired. Sailing takes up so much energy, it’s not even funny. I ate breakfast, and my sister got mad at me for eating the rest of the waffles. Packed my bag and sun screened up.

8:00-8:20 a.m.: We left and there was traffic, so we got to Larchmont a little late.

8:20-10:00 a.m.: I met up with my friends, rigged the boat, didn’t have any problems today (thank goodness). I packed my lunch and hung around with my friends.

10:00 a.m.: Harbor start: The wind was basically dead, so it took an hour for everyone to get out of the harbor.

11:00 a.m.: Race committee called postponement.

11:48-11:55 a.m.: First start: It ended up being recalled because it was taking so long for everyone to go over the line; the wind was still dead.

1:30-2:10 p.m.: Second start: Somehow the wind was decent.

2:20-2:25 p.m.: Third start: Race was called off for the same reason as the first start

2:35-3:40 p.m.: Fourth race: Wind was okay till we rounded the offset. The wind shifted and everyone became stuck. They had us finish the course even though it took one hour. I was so done after that. It ended up being the last race, so we were towed in by our coaches.

3:50-4:20 p.m.: Derigged and headed in to sign out.

4:50 p.m.: My mom came to pick me up.

5:00-7:30 p.m.: Showered, wrote part of day two and got ready for the regatta dance.

7:30-10:20 p.m.: Went to the dance. Larchmont hosts a dance for everyone to hang out and get to know each other. It’s always a great time, even though the next day you can barely keep your eyes open.

10:20 p.m.: Dad picked me up, and I went to bed as soon as I got home

Day 3: July 17

7:05 a.m.: I woke up feeling very tired, but I had to kick start my day. I ate breakfast, packed my bag and sun screened up.

8:20 a.m.: Left for Larchmont; again, traffic was terrible.

10:00 a.m.: Harbor start: There was amazing wind. It only took 30 minutes to get out of the harbor.

11:05 a.m.: First start: Race committee issued a general recall. This means too many boats were over the starting line, so instead of making them do their penalty turns, they recalled the race.

11:12 a.m.: Second start: I can’t even describe how great the wind was. There was an incoming storm so the wind was picking up.

11:50 a.m.: Third start. It was really hard for our boat to get off the line, but as soon as we did, we were flying.

12:36 a.m.: Fourth start: Race ended up being called off because lightning and thunder started to roll in. And let me tell you, when you are out in high winds riding a lightning rod, it’s scary. The next half hour was a blur. We got picked up by a race committee boat, and they towed us in. We were able to dock our boat and derig. I had so much adrenaline running through my body.

1:00-5:11 p.m.: I hung out with my team till the award ceremony at 4:15 p.m. We went swimming, ate lunch and played games. My mom picked me up after the ceremony. Sadly, no one from my club placed.

5:30-8:45 p.m.: I got home, showered, wrote the rest of this diary, practiced violin, ate dinner, hung out with family and went to bed.

Larchmont is one of my favorite things about summer. Racing is one of my favorite activities, and in the two years of attending race week, I’ve learned you just have to work with what you’re given.