Monday, July 22, 2013

What a week it was....

Whidbey Island Race Week is the last surviving remnant of a series of Race Weeks hosted by Yachting magazine that used to be held in every sailing hotspot in America, as well as Penn Cove, Washington. Anacortes Yacht Club has a long history of sending it's finest yachts and skippers to compete and this year was no different. Let's consider this for a moment; where else on Earth can you set a crab trap on the way to the start line, compete in a sailboat race, eat ice cream in Coupeville while you wait for the next start, watch a pod of killer whales eat seals, hold your ears while the Navy protects our freedom overhead, sail a third race, pull your pot on the way in and drink free alcohol for an hour with your sailor pals and do it all again tomorrow? Sound like fun? WIRW didn't get it's nickname "Adult Summer Kamp" for nuthin...

This year Two boats flew the scarlet letter, Gray Hawken's Teddy Bear and Mikey owned by Kevin Welch representin for Team Big Blue. The Hawken's competed with three generations aboard and missed having good 'ol Fred A in the cockpit. (Get well soon!) Div 1 turned into a 4 boat shoot out in a 5 boat class. Teddy Bear was on the podium each day bringing home a boatload of prizes. Kevin Welch along with AYC members Ian and Joy Sloan absolutely demolished, dismantled and destroyed Div 5. For people trying to learn what sailboat racing is all about this is hard to understand . It's supposed to be a tightly controlled one design class and each boat identical. Well it didn't look that way on the race course with Mikey winning every single race all week long and many by a landslide. The Mikey crew are training hard for the World Championship this summer in San Francisco.

Div 7 had an Anacortes flavor with Jim Lee's fleet of Left Coast Darts, constructed right here in A town doing battle with Team Schwenk split between the two Sierra 26's. Stephanie Schwenk sailed with the Bainbridge High sailing team all week scratched out a 1/2 point victory over the top DART. Many other AYC sailors and crews were spotted on the course and on the stage at the after party and another WIRW is now in the books.

Mikey flying downwind on Wednesday