Location: West End, Tortola

Hey everyone!! It’s Manola here, coming to you with today’s blog.

This morning wasn’t like any other morning, as today was race day. Although this was just a drag race (mini race), lasting around 45 minutes, we were very excited, and a new sense of community and competitiveness surrounded the air today. As our skipper of the day, I was tasked with representing our lady Monarch alongside our captain, Krisz, at the skipper’s meeting. This meeting was compiled of every sail-side boat in the fleet’s skipper and captain. While the meeting was brief, it consisted of a brief overview of the course and a chance to choose where along the starting line we wanted to be. Every boat was given a chance to choose a number out of a hat, and when it came to my turn to reach in, I grabbed my paper and unfolded the number two. In brief, this meant that we would be the boat 2nd closest to windward. I won’t bore you with a long-sailing explanation, so I’ll just say that this was a good choice. Krisz and I made our way back to the boat, and the boat prep began. Once we were ready to race, I took the helm and selected Samira and Rhylee to be on lines. We got our main sail up thanks to Davis, Wil, Rishi, and Aditya, and finally, the race began.

Since your loved ones aren’t exactly here for the inside jokes, I’ll let you in on a little secret. GoBeyond is not the most “cool” boat in the fleet (obviously in the eyes of the rest of the fleet…). I guess being the kids spending their time mostly away from the rest of the fleet doing community service doesn’t earn you the best street cred, if you get what I’m saying. Anyway, because of this, we were considered the “underdogs” of this race, as well as it, was the first time GoBe was even allowed to participate, and the fact that we were competing against a bunch of kids either with a ton of sail experience or sending their trips learning to sail. To be fully honest, we drew the short end of the stick. Instead of letting all this get us down, we used it as fuel to motivate ourselves to prove everyone wrong. Even though we started behind the line, we quickly caught up.

In a matter of minutes, we had surpassed Beso Del Viento, Friendship, Second Wind, and many more. We were ahead of the rest of the fleet. Topping out at 9 knots, we were flying (quite literally at some points). And almost to the finish line, with everyone so far behind us that the win was practically guaranteed, and then our main sail broke. Yep. You read that right. Our speed drastically slowed, and the finish line grew further and further away. Calls began to come on the radio, asking if we needed any help, but there was nothing we could do. So close, yet so far. Slowly but surely, those same boats we had passed by so long ago began to surpass us. Although bittersweet, kind gestures were made by the rest of the boats. As each one passed by, their shippies held up little hand-hearts as a sign of their sympathy. The race ended, and we finished 4th-to-last. In my opinion, not too shabby for a boat sailing with merely a jib.

Although disheartened, we made it to West End and were allowed a bit of shore time. Talula and I went out and got bagels, and I saw many, many snacks being bought. After our little shopping spree, we made our way back to the boat and prepped for a 3-hour journey to another dock. Once we got here, we did a little boat clean and made our way to the pool. After the boys played a game of Marco Polo and the girls engaged in a little chit-chat and reading, we got back to the boat and showered. Everyone got ready for dinner, and we headed off.

At the late hour of 9:30, I am absolutely ready to go to bed. Goodnight all, and we are all very excited to get back home so soon!!!