The race started with a beat down Rosario Strait from Lydia Shoal in 30-40 knots and lots of big chop. The fleet quickly separated with some dropping out and taking the inside route to Roche Harbor while the bigger & heavier boats quickly left the smaller ones to suffer. The thumpn' continued to build around Davidson Rock with monster 8-12 footers sweeping in making it very difficult to maintain a consistent course. Some boats launched their kites in this mess only to suffer gear failure and multiple knockdowns. One boat was dismasted and another lost their rudder. Many boats set new personal speed records in the blast. Most boats then had to jibe and then put headsails back up to fetch the finish line.
At Roche Harbor the carnage rolled into the dock over the afternoon - most soaking wet but with a big grin on their face!
Sunday was a completely different game - light winds and calm seas. One boat lost its engine after backing out of the slip and had to sail out of the marina to the start. The start was a typical light-air downwind event, with most boats launching their kites after clearing the line. The fleet didn't separate as fast as Sunday, with all fleets being mixed together until Turn Point on Stuart Island. The winning move appeared to be to head over to the Canadian Side and short-tack the beach in maximum favourable current. The wind continued to shut off and in the end only three boats had sufficient horsepower to cross back over to the new breeze on the US side and made Patos Island (half-way point) before the race committee called the race.
Great fun was had by all - in 2007 it was counter clockwise with less followed by more. This year is was clockwise with more followed by less.
Check out these great pictures taken by Sean of http://www.pacificfog.net/ before he lost his gear over the side!
Thumper taking a Thumpn'
Time Bandit making waves down Rosario Strait