Sunday, February 28, 2010

Foulweather Fun!

The 2010 version of the annual AYC Girts Rekevics Memorial Foulweather Race/Cruise got off to an on time start provided by Colin Emsley and Commisioner Rubin. 19 boats made the starting line 15 in the racing div and 4 cruisers. Grafix nailed the start and all set course across Rosario Strait for Thatcher Pass.Wind was puffy and a strong ebb current, coupled with rusty crews from a winter spent watching the Olympics, made for interesting spinnaker trim and odd sail handling. 

Of course a ferry and a tug and barge that seemed intent on getting close up views of the lone multihull Kinetic Ki added to the action. Icon was soon striding out to a comfortable lead chased by the two Schwenks, Steph on Wild Rumpus and Andy on Ol' yeller desperately trying to keep it shiny side up and recording speeds to 14 knots. Passepartout was out of retirement with a crew of 12 charging through 3-4 slop with a few that seemed larger. 

Thatcher Pass was not the parking lot of old, Icon gybed twice and was gone heartening the crew of Celebration who did a little bottom surveying last year. Emoyeni survived a wild gybe but mangled a mainsheet shackle and knotted up 12' of line to 12" with a quick fix. The boats that ran North up the Blakely shore were able to get some current releif and we still weren't an hour into the race!!! 

Syndicat and Handyman heated up the old rivalry as they dodged crabpots on the run to Upright Head. By now all the laundry the crews could hoist was flying and a newcomer from Lopez, Waioli was turning the heads of the grizzled veterans on Hoerndag.The turn into Upright Channel had skippers scratching heads as to which headsail to risk. The fractional rig of Pulelehua is a plus here as the giant main is deadly on a reach. 2008 champion Blackfoot dueled with the best race/ cruise organizers on either side of the Skagit river (thanks guys!) Jim and Staci and crew aboard Celebration. 

Now it was a slide in a building breeze to the finish as Icon wove her way back through fleet making the skipper of Kymodoce wonder if he would have to score a two lap race! The cruisers arrived and all boats were parked along G dock for a good old fashioned dock party. Rain threatened and crews hunkered below decks then the sun broke through and foulies were traded for dinner attire (or not) Thanks to Downriggers for a fine meal served in fine style. 

Congratulations to Bart Maupin and BYC for taking home the trophy for 2 outa the last 3 years. Next time a state patrolman finds reason to pull you over look for a big smile and some salt on behind his ears, it could be the 2010 champ.

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