Kevin Welch and the crew of ICON absolutely shattered another record this weekend. What started 30 years ago as a fun race to get boats from Oregon to Victoria has now become a premiere race in it's own right.
The Oregon Offshore Race begins at the R-2 buoy at the entrance to the Columbia River, takes sailors North to Duntze Rock and finishes at the entrance to Victoria, BC. The start was at 8am sharp on Thursday, boats had 72 hours to finish, 30 hearty crews showed up. The largest SC-70 Neptunes Car, the smallest a trio of SC-27's. The wind was a steady 15 from the South and soon built to over 35kts. Rumor has it ICON averaged over 17kts for the first 150 miles.
With Neptunes Car and a speedy 44' hot on her heeels she was headed down the Strait of Juan de Fuca before supper was on the table. The other blue boat in town, Passepartout, skippered by Pete Shainin was also in attendance his crew of AYC regulars also enjoyed the stunning conditions and was battling in class C. There were the usual sea stories of broken gear torn sails, the kind of things you might expect on one of the roughest areas of the enitre Pacific Ocean. ICON actually carried full sail to the point the knot meter(fun meter) was recording in excess of 25kts!!!
72 hr time limit? Hardly...less than 15hrs later and 193 miles from the start line ICON was headed for the customs dock. Ian and Joy and Stuart and the rest of the Iconians can sleep well knowing that is a record that will stand the test of time. Nearly 5 hours off the previous best. Passepartout slipped in for a solid second in her div., and two of those pesky 27's slipped in in less than 24 hrs.
In other news: The annual Windermere Regatta is fast approaching (3 weeks)so call that diver for a nice little bottom scrub and get your chores done early. There is room for everyone to lend a hand. If you don't plan on competing call Andy and Steph to be part of the on the water crew or Eric Beemer if you prefer a duty on terra firma. From hospitality to clean up whatever you are good at, need practice at or want to step out of your comfort zone and do something completely different, the sun will be out and it's your club so come be a part of it all!