Season Update: I've done 2 more races after that first one of the season where I scored a 5th place and my first "wood".
Next race was Myakka city, known for its many water crossings and a challenging enduro cross section that I elected to skip.
I learned how to do the water crossings without getting soaked and blinded but not until the first lap was over and I did the first 3 crossings with too much speed getting soaked in the process and losing a ton of time. You just can't race in the dark woods with smeared up goggles, and going slow meant the goggles took forever to clear up. I ended up in 8th at this one, not very happy with that, but lesson learned about going much slower thru the water sections. This was also the second race that I ended up in dead last right at the start... I was running hard in 5th or so thru the first 1/2 mile, then lost it and stalled in a deep muddy pit when I got blinded to the trail ahead by following guys too closely. I crashed and the bike ended up leaning downhill and stalled, which never ends well. The whole field of 20+ passed while I was restarting. So once again I had to work my way thru the whole field of riders. I was able to come back to score an 8th place. No trophy on this one.
All who wander sure as heck ain't lost