February 23, 2013
It looked to be yet another one of those races. A light wind day with just the right amount of river current flowing to make things
With a last ditch effort for Cruising Fleet Rights (rumor has it they will picket at the courthouse next week), Chuck proposed that the CF take "Option B" while the remainder of the fleet sail the 4.8 mile course. Perhaps it was just due to the fact that I am worn down at the end of the season (holding the office of RC will age one rather quickly) but I honestly agreed with this plan...provided that anyone choosing the shorter course understood that they would have no way of beating those who dedicated themselves to the sailing the longer and more grueling race, regardless of finish times. But this compromise was not favorably received and once again the RC-CF peace talks ended in a stalemate. But never fear - relations between the RC and CF remain amicable, aided in part by the biscotti that Kristen from Tatiana served at the Skipper's Meeting. Although not baked in the galley oven on the Tayana (as the CF bylaws dictate), a hungry bunch of sailors is hardly the discriminating type and the variety of biscotti presented was quite delicious. Thank you, Kristen!
As is always the case, it is never too late to enter The Shackleton Series, and two new contestants would make their debut in this season's finale. Olivia Barrow, daughter of David, known for skippering Moriah (and its other aliases), was in charge on the O'Day 22Ambi Grati. Meanwhile Larry Garner who sailed with us some last year in his Catalina 22 would be single handing his Hunter 34 Happytat today. Although odds of either of today's fresh entries taking the series trophy was a mathematical impossibility - in fact not even a Jim Carey-like "so you're saying there's a chance" probability - all these two skippers had to do today was finish and beat another boat and they would leapfrog ahead of Andre'sDutchess in the standings, as he would not be racing today. Sorry, there would be no freebie type points handed out in this one - whether they be for cold, moisture, no wind, too much wind, too much current, my boat bottom is dirty, my sails have holes in them, I have a hangnail, I have a hangover, et al. - so these two captains would have to earn it! And for the first time ever for an entire season in this series, we did not award any extra points for conditions. It has been the mildest and driest Shackleton Series ever and with that I think we set an all time record for asking and hearing the question, "hey, do we get extra points for...?"
Today's race was scheduled for a noon start but it was decided that if the wind failed to show up on time, we would delay...as late as a 1:00 - wind or no wind at that point. There was a little bit of breeze as we approached countdown and the decision to proceed at noon was made. The first reason was that, although winds were less than 5 mph, the thinking was "this may be as good as it gets, so we better get this thing going!" Secondly, and most importantly, was that there was some sort of major fishing tournament going on at the moment. And apparently that very section of Sale Creek secondary channel we were temporarily occupying just happened to be the gateway to the supply of lunker bass lurking in the waters below. The fleet was buzzed frequently during the pre start maneuvers - then again, we did our share of taking over the vicinity from the bass boats trolling the secondary channel in search of their trophy fish. During this I imagined some fisherman out there blogging a "fishing report" similar to our race reports:
After easing out into the main channel most of us probably would have bet good money that we would be sailing the short course today and that boredom would indeed ensue (of which the threshold on a sailboat is anything less than 0.5 knots - that is unless it has built up to that number from an hour or so of 0.0.) But as we sailed downstream, the light southerlies began to build into a nice breeze that would eventually be in the 10-15 range. The RC should have followed Eric's advise from PDQ³ - he had suggested a 10 mile course at the docks earlier this morning. By the time Maniac, Luna Teak, andPDQ³ rounded Buoy 1 there was no doubt that we were sailing the longer course today and no course change would have to be announced on Shack Radio.
It was nice to see Knot on Call venture up from downstream again and return to the arena. With Happytat also entered today, we were able to compare two generations of Hunter 34's side by side on the race course. Although not present in every race, with the efforts Captain Chris put forth on Knot on Call in order to participate throughout the season - approximately 3 hours of motoring in each contest, and occasionally in not so pleasant conditions - he may be a shoe-in for this year's Special Shackleton Award. You know the one where we give out a prize to the participant that best exemplifies the true Shackleton Spirit - the top finishers are ineligible for this coveted award.
Did we give one of these out last year? No, not the leg lamp! But the special award? No, I do not think so as it is still sitting in the office here now that I look! Come to think of it, the prior year's award before last year's might still be in here as well. And thinking about it even further, I wonder if participation would be skewed towards vying for the special award IF it was indeed a leg lamp. Heck, even Sir Ernest might have pushed even a little harder for the South Pole if there was a leg lamp waiting there for him upon his arrival.
Speaking of awards and such, it was clear even before we cast away our dock lines today that Race 8 was not going to solve anything in the overall standings- at least in the top four positions. Maniachad 1st place sewn up since Race 5... of 2010 (some scholars will argue even before that). By the way, since the guy at our regular trophy shop has given us such grief over not being able to beat Maniac, the RC has outsourced the design and construction of this year's Grand Prize to David Barrow. Don't be surprised to see the name plate from iIi affixed toManiac's hull, or riveted to the mast or something. Regardless, congratulations to the Maniac crew for some outstanding sailing as always. Unable to convince 12 other boats to let me beat them and them beat Maniac (or at least beat UP the Maniac crew or their hull so they couldn't sail),Luna Teak would take 2nd. And their first season was a great one for Eric and Christine on PDQ³ as they would take 3rd - we are looking forward to seeing them compete even harder next year - we want to see that boat up on plane!. Although the next spot was up for grabs betweenCamille and True Blue, Shawn and Brandi unfortunately were unable to sail in the final match due to other obligations. So very fittingly, the Chuck Award would go to... Chuck and Amy - who would also unofficially take first in the Cruising Fleet. But that is by CF guidelines and not the stricter Shack RC scoring standards. The only meal shared with the RC was this morning's biscotti. So really the award should go to Tatiana. However, the argument still could be made in favor of Camille, since if sources are correct, they were the only ones to bake a meal in their galley during a race (although we are STILL in mourning over the lost brownies - see Race 3 for those horrific details.) So perhaps we could call it a draw between these two.
With that we close the books on yet another fun Shackleton Series. We would like to thank EVERYONE for their participation - this is indeed the most fun bunch of people to spend time with on the water, fair weather or not. It seems as if I am forgetting something, though. Oh yeah, explaining what happened in today's race - yes, there was one of those. It was good, it was fun, results posted below. Great job everyone! See you all next year!
P.S. Excellent job today by Olivia onAmbi Grati as they were able to correct out for a 5th place finish. All that and she had the privilege of giving her dad orders on board!
Until next year...see you out on the water!
RACE 8 RESULTS
|Tim Chambers||J 29||Maniac||61|
|Eric Almlie||J 24||Luna Teak||48|
|Eric Davidson||SR 21||PDQ³||39|
|Chuck Alexander||Cheoy Lee 41||Camille||28|
|Chris Cyrul||Wavelength 24||Whatta Ride!||22|
|Shawn Douthat||Ranger 33||True Blue||22|
|James Drozdek||Tayana 37||Tatiana||17|
|David Barrow||Mariner 36||iIi||7|
|Ginger Noble||Catalina 22||Mother Ship||6|
|Chris Edwards||Hunter 340||Knot on Call||6|
|Olivia Barrow||O'Day 22||Ambi Grati||4|
|Larry Garner||Hunter 34||Happytat||2|
|Andre Rijsdijk||Trintella 33||Dutchess||1|
|Race report written by Eric Almlie. ©Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.|