The Girts Rekevics Foul Weather Race kicked off another year of sailboat racing for the Anacortes Yacht Club with great style. Chris Roethle has done a phenomenal job of putting this race/cruise on for as long as I've been a member and it is truly one of the highlights of our year. Chris and his family deserve a big thanks from all of us for the dedication they put into the event. Each year we've participated has provided a unique story for me personally, and many of them are instigated by getting to the dock 4 hours prior to dinner with nothing better to do. I'm pretty sure the majority of the over 100 sailors and cruisers at the event experienced something uniquely similar.
This year sailors were met with a sustained breeze of 18 knots in the bay prior to the start that made for some commotion while the race was getting kicked off. The current was ripping down the Guemes Channel and the winds continued to pick up to the 22-24 knot range as boats passed the Bellingham Channel. Reefs were popped in and the small sails were dusted off as sailors made their way to a pile-up at Thatcher. Some shifty light breeze and back eddy's made things interesting as sailors worked their way through the pass on the way to more big breeze and the beat up Lopez. Throw in some reachy stuff in Upright Channel on the way to the finish boat Ruffian, manned by Brad Blymer, and you have yourself one heck of a race. Fleet 1 was paced by Count Enrico and his court on Jah Mon while Fleet 2 (and overall) was won by Gavin Brackett on Avalanche. Thanks to all those who came to share in the fun, the San Juan Island Yacht club for the hospitality, along with Brad Blymer, Kyle Saum, and Chris Roethle for their volunteer efforts. The fun has now begun!