Dear Suer, Yes. On that first night, the wind might go from 15 knots to 25 knots in a couple of minutes, and then back to 8 knots, and then back to 25, or even to 34 knots that we saw, and then back to 8 knots. This might take place over a half hour or so, and the result is that sometimes you have too much sail up, and you’re trying desperately to get some down, or you don’t have enough sail up, and you’re trying to get enough up to get going faster. When the big squalls hit, and the boat took off like a rocket, but everything on the boat is loaded to its maximum and I worried that something might break. The boat was laying way over, water was flying everywhere, big volumes of water washing into the cockpit, dark as a cave outside, and what I thought about was that I was incredibly scared at these speeds, but for short periods of time, and some of the truly great skippers in the race are able to sustain that fear or anxiety or worry for long periods of time, and I do not have that capacity, and don’t know how they do, but they certainly have my respect and admiration.
Question submitted by Suer, Rocky Hill, USA