Saturday, April 19, 2008

Snow in April - YES!

The 2008 Hein Bank race got off to a soggy start at 0930. The current was ebbing at over 3 knots in decidedly chilly conditions - the entire fleet was so far back from the start line that they couldn't see the starting signals - not sure if it was the distance or the snowflakes!

Figuring the fleet wasn't coming, the start boat decided to start on their own and managed to be the first over the line (is this fair?), shortly followed by the rest of the fleet. The red boat had another cluster at the start and nearly managed to impale themselves on the channel marker - looked like half their crew were trying to set the kite while the other half believed they were tacking!

Most boats set their spinnaker shortly after rounding Shannon Point and then reached down Rosario Strait in ~15 knots of breeze before rounding Davidson Rock. The red boat hoisted their asymetrical kite and managed to pass the Worm and Night Runner in this leg, only to nearly lose it again by cutting inside Colville Island (bad back eddy). They managed to barely hold on to the lead and round the Hein Bank buoy first despite a stiff challenge from Night Runner.

The beat home saw numerous lead changes with the red boat and Night Runner engaging in several drag races in a shifty NE breeze, with the Worm behind in the distance. The red boat elected to short-tack in the flood current next to Burrows Island and in doing so won line honors, followed by Night Runner, the Worm and the rest of the fleet!

A great day on the water - despite the snow, hail, rain and bitter cold!

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