The Girts Rekevics Foul Weather Race got underway in fine style on Saturday morning. Big fluffy snowflakes and a light southeasterly breeze greeted the 20 hardy race boats in Guemes Channel. 15 boats from AYC (and guests!), and 5 from Canada. The start got off right on time! Especially if you were reading the AYC race packet, and not so much if you were reading the NOR. But that's another story...
A fine job by Colin and crew, and if we were able to tell time on the Rumpus crew we surely would've been right there on the line! Grafix won the pin end and had a fabulous round up to prove to the rest of us that they picked the windy end of the line. They dashed away with Crazy Ivan and left the rest of us sitting there wishing we had thought of that. The "boat" end of the line was packed with like-minded sailors as us... planning for a big blow and a big push to the left. In the end, it was a tight crowd of kites and boats of all shapes and sizes, drifting along between gusts.
By the time we hit Thatcher Pass, the wind had built to 15 knots or more and you could hear the sound of wipeouts and flogging sails behind you but you didn't really dare spend too much time turning to watch them. It was a lively ride all the way to the Lopez ferry dock, where most of the boats hit the wall... You can't get too close to the corner of Lopez or you'll get trapped, but the farther away you go, the longer the distance. Someday I will learn to round that corner... then 15 minutes of close headsail reaching, and it was time to hoist again and head for Friday Harbor. Another fabulous run in 15+ knots, snowing lightly, and we took our time and sailed into the harbor.
Once again, the dock party was super fun with many of the boats tied up in the same neighborhood. On the Rumpus, we put up our new white trash silver tarp boom tent, turned on Mr. Heater Buddy, and turned up the tunes, and pretty soon there was at least a dozen sailors on board drinking our rum and having a great time. Dinner and Awards followed at 6:00 at the Downriggers restaurant. Chris Roethle and crew put together a fabulous event, and it all came together with times, scores, dinners, shirts, and all the other things that make an event.. Kyle Saum took time from the dock party to score the race (thanks!). Judy Rekevics, Roger Jewett, the Thomson's, the Rubber Chicken and many wives and friends came to celebrate.
Victory went to Chris White on the Crazy Ivan, then Little Blue Dune Buggy and Norn (go sc27!), Grafix in 4th, then (an amazing comeback by...) Passepartout. Rumpus came in 6th, then the mighty Syn-di-Cat, and the rest you'll have to look up in the results. There was an after-party at the China Pearl, and many of the sailors danced the night away into the wee hours of the morning. A huge thank you to all the boats and crews and volunteers that participated. A big shout out to the guests of AYC who delivered boats to Anacortes in the snow just to join us: Time Bandit and Norn from Orcas, Waioli from Lopez, Blackfoot from Bellingham, Little Blue Dune Buggy from Sloop Tavern Yacht Club, plus our new Canadian friends. It would've only been half as fun without our guests. Also a huge thank you to Dave Malsed and the Friday night cooking crew and bartenders. They were given short notice that we were having extra guests for dinner, and put it all together with a smile and everyone left the club happy that night. Here's to a great year! Just like Girts would have wanted it!