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 Accidental Cruiser in the West Indies

Yole Race (27 images)
Yole Racing in Martinique

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Noticing all the commotion on the beach, we stumbled upon some of the most exciting sailboat racing I have ever witnessed. It starts with big tractor trailers hauling in giant wooden hulls, acres of sail and a small forest of painted spars. The beach is packed with teams and their fans. Getting the heavy, unstable craft put together and aimed out to sea is the first challenge. The ballast is provided by incredibly skilled and coordinated teams who hike out and scramble back in as the huge sails attempt to capsize the boat. The mast is held upright by knotted lines attached at the masthead and running down to another crew member. Steering is provided by a long, heavy oar dragged from the stern.

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