Saturday, April 04, 2015

Something so Sweet

While everyone else was toiling away at their workstation or trying to sort out their taxes, 80 intrepid yachts and their crews sallied forth from West Vancouver Yacht Club for the 47th annual Southern Straits regatta. This regatta starts on Good Friday each year and features four courses that are never the same from one year to the next. The start is essentially beneath the Lion's Gate Bridge in Vancouver and the finish is off Pt Atkinson. Interesting factoid is Vancouver and Seattle are equidistant from Anacortes 69 miles. This regatta has hosted the usual AYC favorites over the years to include Cassiopeia, Teddy Bear, ICON, Night Runner, Passepartout , Alakazam, Pangaea, and many others. This year Wild Rumpus was the sole entry with the scarlet letter flying proudly from the spreader. The delivery can can be just as challenging as the race and this year was no different, WR slipped her moorings at dawn from the Cap Sante boat basin and by supper was safely moored in the confines of Pt Roberts. Everything seemed ok until daybreak Thursday when the outboard would not start and our youngest crew commenced to barfing. Heating the spark plug with a lighter solved the outboard issue and Dylan eventually started feeling better. WR cleared customs by phone at Royal Vancouver YC and the recalcitrant outboard forced a finish under sail at WVYC, if you've ever been there, and if you haven't you should, you will know this is a tricky process. WVYC is a terrific host and rivals our own club with hospitality. A lot has changed since my first ride on Pangaea in 1980 but they still have the members liquor lockers in the bar leftover from when it was illegal to sell liquor in Canada on Sundays.  The start was downwind,big boats first, and spinnakers of every color blossomed under a brisk South Easterly sending the boats down course fast with the Fraser River current. Wild Rumpus was entered in the inshore race. We were able to keep the depth deeper than the draft and were actually leading the race for 3 out of 4 legs. Of course when it counted the squall moved on leaving the slower rated boats to linger in the rain while the leaders were on their trailers by the time the wind filled in enough to sail back to the club and consider the price of scrap aluminum for the still dead outboard. We chose the expeditious style of delivery home on the trailer and were pulling into the driveway in Anacortes just as the boats out on the course at night were enjoying the lunar eclipse. I poured a coffee and sat on the rail of the deck and thought just how much fun those folks were having out on the whale pasture that night. I think next year I will join them and maybe be wishing I was back on my deck, we'll see.....
In other news...
Next weekend AYC is hosting a high school dinghy regatta. If you have a RIB with an outboard that you could donate for a day or two please contact Fred Abelman. This regatta will be a solid training ground for the National regatta that is planned in Anacortes Memorial Day Weekend next year.
Wednesday night racing fleet gets bigger each week and Ian and Joy have done a masterful job of squeezing in as much as the wind and light will allow. Fun to see some new boats and faces around the club. Make sure you make nametags for your crew so everyone can get to know each other faster. The ever popular 'Round Guemes Race is scheduled for Saturday, if you haven't got a PHRF cert. yet simply call Colin Emsley on Monday and make it happen, generally the RC will record your time and credit you for your victory once the paperwork comes through as long as you have made application. This of course is not true for Tulip Regatta coming up fast so you need to get'er done anyway:) Don't forget the club is open for socializing on Friday evenings. The prices are fair and snacks are always welcome. The bartenders are cheerful and if you're careful you might even be able to poach some Emoyeni crew for the race Saturday since Capt Chris is in the land of Mai Tais, bikinis and coconuts!