Staying Sharp in the Heat
Published on August 28th, 2018
by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
The 1989 US Snipe National Championship was in Miami, and the June schedule gave us daily thunderstorms and plenty of heat. It had been a hectic week of triage as we broke a rudder and bent a mast, but we were in the lead on the final day, and now were dealing with a lengthy postponement as the wind struggled to build.
Recognizing the drain of the sun, we strategically rafted up with a friend for idle conversation … in the shade of their mainsail. When the race committee was able to roll into the start sequence, we were still fresh while others had baked.
“With the ultra-hot weather we had in Chicago, staying hydrating and out of the sun as much as possible were key. On Saturday, we drifted around for quite a while in postponement in the blazing heat and sun.
“We had a nice lightweight sunshade on our boat to cover the cockpit and companionway. It’s made of spinnaker cloth, weighs almost nothing, and protects not only the crew from the sun but also the mainsail.
“Having the sunshade allowed us to motor around slowly to create some breeze, a much better option than being in a steaming hot cabin with no ventilation. Many other teams sat out in the sun and baked, and I truly believe the sunshade made a difference in the only race of the day.
“We stayed nice and cool and out of the sun, and when it finally came time to race midafternoon, we were sharp and ready to go, not sunbaked. We won the race. Contact your local loft today to get one of these secret weapons!”