February 18th, 2012
Gig Harbor race
Well…the weather didn’t cooperate for increased attendance. Racing in Gale warnings is not for the weak and we had a few DNS’s and a few more promises that didn’t materialize. However we managed a 60% increase in attendance from Quartermaster, which was held in mere small-craft warning conditions.
The start had a bit of an ominous beginning beyond just the wind and sea state. When we contacted Vessel Traffic they stated that there was a 100-yard quarantine around the vessel “Green Point” anchored by the Blair Waterway. The message was given with a sense that they really wanted no boat to violate this rule. The thought in my mind was one of a ship with Military hardware aboard. On channel 68 when I gave the final instructions to the fleet I relayed Vessel Traffic’s “Green Point” request. Luckily our first mark on this race is the Hylebos Buoy therefore the fleet should easily leave the Freighter in question well clear.
The “Green Point” all during the day gave wind direction, wind strength reports and their Anchor dragging report. We learned they had 9 shots down (90 feet per shot, 810 feet of anchor chain) and where dragging with engine on and requested to drop another shot.
Now back to the race. At the start all was clear beating towards the Hylebos with Gardyloo taking an early lead in 30 knots of wind. As the boats rounded the Hylebos and sheets were eased they flew towards Gig Harbor. In Dalco Passage they had a bit of a land mass shadow dropping wind speeds a bit, but they got slammed when their bows poked out around Point Defiance. They made the mark at Gig Harbor in short order and the reach to the next mark, Manzanita Buoy was a bit more full as they piled on the speed. This is the leg that let Gordon and his crew on Les Chevaux Blanc overhauled Blown Away II. However, maybe the toughest leg of the race was yet to come, the final beat from Manzanita to the finish line off Browns Point.
We saw Gardyloo’s lead shrink to Jeopardy on this leg but Jeopardy couldn’t reel-in the Gardyloo giving Gardyloo line honors but Jeopardy won on corrected by 83 seconds. It was that final beat that gave them the win. Third to finish was Forrest German and the crew of Blue Moon crossing with great panache. Fourth to cross was Les Chevaux Blanc, they seemed to be enjoying the day and well they should winning Class II and correcting to first in fleet by 1.4 seconds over Jeopardy. Blown Away II crossed the line fifth and corrected to fourth in fleet. And they didn’t make the RC wait for long to end this one. Elapsed time for Blown Away II was 2 hours 44 minutes and 18 seconds. Look at the Velocity Made Good numbers! Honestly I think those that competed were all winners. Races like these are more of a celebration of life.
Now back to the Green Pointe, upon return to Tyee we noticed the Green Point a car hauler out of Mobile Alabama off the Tyee Marina breakwater. Wow! If they had dropped anchor near the Blair Waterway they had dug a furrow about a 1000 yards long. Then later that night we heard that there might have been murder aboard. That explained the quarantine.
The RC once again did great work in very trying, wet, ugly, cold conditions. Big thanks to Gary, Greg, Don, Dan, Dana, Jerry and Soo. They made it a lot easier than it could have been. Next race the RC wants a drifter.
Race Chair CYCT