Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Eliza Eagle Paulling - Race

I started sailing in Maine during the summers my family spent on North Haven Island in Penobscot Bay. My parents signed me up for sailing lessons at the tiny yacht club where I learned the basics - all the parts of a boat, how to get water out of the boat after you capsize, that rudder pintles need to fit into the gudgeons or your rudder will float away, and that when you finally learn to tie a perfect bowline, you need to put the painter through the ring on the dock in order to keep your boat from floating away from the dock. Capsizing in the frigid waters and required swimming tests did not really warm me up to the sport, but nonetheless, I continued to occasionally sail (mostly sit back and watch, actually) on various family and friends’ small dinghies in Maine. After moving to San Francisco in 1992, I only got on the bay for occasional cruises sailed by others. In 2003 my friend Heidi and I decided to take lessons, which we did in the Caribbean. We hated our teacher, but managed to get our Basic Keelboat, Basic Coastal Cruising and Bareboat Chartering certificates from the ASA. Many months after returning, Heidi put us on a crew list; I insisted we start just with casual cruising and not racing. It was winter, however, when the winds are calmer, and we ended up agreeing to race on the Bay on a Santana 35. We quickly met other sailors and were soon on a Beneteau 30.5 that summer for the beer cans, then in 2005 sailed a full Bay racing season on a Beneteau 40.7. In early 2004, I met my husband Tom during the Corinthian YC mid-winters regatta. Tom had been sailing since he was a kid in the Richmond Yacht Club junior program and racing on Express 37s for over ten years. The next year he brought me along as extra crew on the Express 37 Golden Moon, and after a few guest appearances, many beer can races on the Oakland-Alameda estuary, I became a regular part of the crew in 2006. I would not have had the great fortune of joining the crew without the great coaching from Kame and Sally Richards, my wonderful husband Tom Paulling, and tips and support from many of the great sailors who sail on Golden Moon. For the 2006 and 2007 seasons, I sailed with Golden Moon, including two Big Boat Series where we placed 2nd both times. With more and more time in the SF sailing community, I also had the occasional sail on several other kinds of boats as opportunities arose. I met Dave and Sandy the summer of 2007 when racing beer cans on Golden Moon. Toward the end of the series, they asked me to participate on the Compromise crew for Pacific Cup. I join a three generation legacy of Paullings participating in the Pacific Cup, including my father-in-law Randy Paulling, brother-in-law John Paulling, sister-in-law Ruth Paulling Schock, husband Tom Paulling, and niece Marissa Paulling. I will be toasting all of them with one of those marvelous Mai Tai’s in Kaneohe! Mahalo!

1 comment:

CaMebirds said...

Mom and Dad are closely following from the island home in Penobscot Bay in Maine. The water temp is 58 degrees, just cool enough to take the edge off! Fair winds are our wishes to all.