Eunice Lin sailed 113 days on the water in 2016. Here she answers some questions about what the Century Club (and sailing) means to her.
I got back into sailing after a 10 plus year hiatus due primarily to work (I was the General Counsel for a large DC publisher) and shoulder and elbow surgeries. During the summer of 2011, my company was in the process of being sold and my “vacation” was a J World weekend spinnaker course. I never would have imagined how much my life would be changed by that decision. I now regularly race on a J/105, J/80, Pearson 37 and I occasionally race on a J/70, Cal 34 and my own boat, an Alerion Express 28. I skippered a 37’ Pearson in the HHSA Women’s Regatta and raced in a couple of double-handed races.
1. What was the best part of reaching 100 days on the water for you?
I had close to 80 days on the water in 2015, so my friend Ted suggested I go for the 2016 Century Club, and I'm not sure I would have made it had he not pushed me go out on more day sails. Tim Mooney (a member) advised me to make a plan for the year. Good advice because getting enough days was harder than I thought, especially after the regatta season ended and the weather got colder. I even delayed getting my boat hauled out so I could get in a couple more days.
The best part about making it was the satisfaction of achieving that goal. The effort to get out there also gave me more experience with boat handling, docking and navigating - I feel more comfortable taking my boat out by myself.
2. What were some of the biggest obstacles?
Life gets in the way although, being retired, I really have no excuse. I was going to try to get in more days during the August break between regattas, but then I decided to take a three week 2600 mile drive up the West Coast, so that set me back (I did manage to get in one day on the ferry). The heat was really tough to deal with this summer. It sounds crazy, but I will race in any weather or temperature. However, when I had a choice of leisurely cruising in 98 degrees and 100% humidity and staying inside, I often chose the latter. Those are lame excuses, I know.
3 .What is one thing you learned this year, either about sailing/paddling or about yourself?
I learned that I'm a pretty good skipper and that I liked sailing with newbies and explaining things in simple terms.
I also still love a challenge, especially as I get older (maybe that's another way of saying I have an ego). This year I did foredeck on a J105 and it was one of the toughest things I've done, both physically and mentally. I survived. Barely. What this year emphasized for me is that racing is a full contact sport and it can be one hell of a workout. So I'm keeping the gym membership.
4. Would you rather be on the water by yourself, or with someone else?
It depends. I enjoy sailing with my friends, but I also enjoy single handing my boat - it's very peaceful and can be challenging and rewarding. The ability to single hand was the primary reason I bought the Alerion and I'm really happy that I can sail it by myself.
5.What’s next for you?
In addition to my regular racing schedule, I'm hoping to race my boat more next year. I'll also be more involved with the Herrington Harbour Sailing Association by serving on the Board and Competition Committee. I also will be the newsletter and Facebook editor. I hope I can race with the Alerion fleet in more regattas. And, of course, I'll be aiming to make the Century Club again.
To read Lin's full sailing log for 2016, click here.