February 9, 2013
The Research Department at Shack Headquarters labors 24/7 to monitor all conditions and variables for upcoming races. All to insure that each and every participant is rewarded with the most positive and fulfilling race experience imaginable. After all, we don't want to set a course to Hiwassee Island and back when conditions are going to lighten throughout the day leaving 75% of the fleet stranded out there... oh yeah, I guess we have done that before. Well we definitely don't want to sketch out a 2 mile sprint that is going to be finished in 30 minutes... oh, you say that has happened before, too? OK, so we have had our share of flops when it comes to race courses. But fortunately they have been very few and far between. Nevertheless, we strive hard to improve and once again we were confronted with predicted light winds that were to diminish in the early afternoon (and not return for about another 18 hours) and the drainage of a lake system that was ferociously sweeping any unchained objects downstream with the barreling current. With all that taken into consideration the RC took the RD's research into consideration and came up with an interesting solution. It must have been a good one judging by the outlandish and unprecedented overall acceptance of the proposed Race 7 course at the skipper's meeting. Therefore we set forward with the following plan:
All we really had to do was hope that the wind lasted until we all rounded Buoy 1 and then we could simply drift all the way downstream to the finish line. I think we threw in enough downstream distance in order to make it from the red side of the course to the green side without getting swept down on the wrong side of the CVP buoy as in last race. The only thing I saw a little troubling with this course was that if the wind DID die out it was going to be a long ride back to home base with that tiny trolling motor on the J 24. Plus, it would also be a challenge for Captain David on Moriah iIi who was completely
engine-less today due to a broken fuel line on the Mariner 36. But with a valor of that found only in the hearts of Shackleton Series captains and crews, David defiantly cast off the lines at the dock anyway and sailed out to the course. In addition to this example of bravery, one will also note how the fenders on iIi are strategically placed - I think the idea is to repel anyone who might bump into the Mariner when Captain David parks his boat across the span of the starting line. And honestly, wrapping your boat in fenders didn't sound like a bad idea at the starting line as there was some tight and quick maneuvering between Maniac, Luna Teak, and PDQ³ when the horns sounded.
You know, it is a funny thing when you think you have set the perfect course for the day's sailing and then something strange happens - like the wind starts to blow. The prediction was for easterly winds at 5-10, mostly closer to the 5 figure and scheduled to drop. What we actually got was a dosage more in the 10-15 range. Honestly no complaints about that kind of wind but had the designer of the course been able to take a 10-15 prediction to the bank, the course would have been longer. So today's contest would end quicker than most - Skipper Tim on Maniac mentioned they were shooting to finish in less than an hour but just missed it by a minute. Too bad, a finish in less than an hour would have rewarded them with... well, nothing actually. After all it is Maniac we are talking about here. They have gotten enough dang
trophies from us over the years and they sure don't need any more points! Hmm... that attitude is a bit of deviation from all that syrupy "fulfilling race experience" rhetoric from above, isn't it? Oh well.
It was indeed another pretty day on the water. Although the good, reliable wintertime winds have been a little elusive this season, temps have been mild and there have been no extra points rewarded for cold or moisture - although there was a great demand for the latter in the fog race a few weeks back.
Today's upwind ride, which only constituted about a third of the total course length, was a blast. And I may have embellished (me, embellish? Nah!) a bit earlier on the ferocity of the currents. Although they were dumping a little less down at the dam than in Race 6, it was still in excess of 100,000 cfs. And with the water level down another foot or two since Race 6, the current did actually seem a little more swift.
There was some fine sailing done by Eric and Christine onPDQ³, sailing perhaps their finest race yet. But it would still be a Maniac victory today. Ditto on the congrats to them from last race, and the one before, and the one before...
Nice job sailing by everyone today on a very pretty February day. Thanks to Chuck and Amy on Camille for the offer to tow me home after Luna Teak finished. But since the wind was blowing nicely, the J 24 was sailing along quite well and I couldn't pass up on a nice sail home. They also waited around to see if iIi would need a tow but Captain David retired from the race and sailed back to the dock in true Shackleton spirit. The sailing back part that is, NOT the scoring a DNF!
Although there has been no formal mention of it, it appeared that the Cruising Fleet had gone into some kind of spinnaker boycott. None of the members of this unofficial fleet flew the colorful sails today, perhaps figuring the current and the wind pushing a foresail would be enough to do the job today - which to be fair, it was. Or perhaps they just all went into cruising mode, but then that whole "cruisers never sail to windward" theory would have been blown out of the water on the very first leg. Hmm... we may never know why their spinnakers did not make an appearance. Then again, it appears that the CF is also on a baking a meal protest as well. Still have yet to see any tasty treats emerge from the galleys of the rebel fleet. There is one race left to impress the RC with culinary creations. Actually, I am on a diet so no need to worry. See everyone at Race 8!
RACE 7 RESULTS
|SKIPPER||BOAT||NAME||PHRF||ELAPSED TIME||CORRECTED TIME||POINTS|
|Tim Chambers||J 29||Maniac||105 (S)||1:01:07||52:53||7|
|Eric Davidson||SR 21||PDQ³||158 (S)||1:13:00||1:00:37||6|
|Eric Almlie||J 24||Luna Teak||168 (S)||1:20:15||1:07:05||5|
|Shawn Douthat||Ranger 33||True Blue||178||1:23:00||1:09:03||4|
|Chuck Alexander||Cheoy Lee 41||Camille||165||1:27:33||1:14:37||3|
|James Drozdek||Tayana 37||Tatiana||204||2:02:42||1:46:43||2|
|David Barrow||Mariner 36||iIi||207||DNF||DNF||1|
|Tim Chambers||J 29||Maniac||53|
|Eric Almlie||J 24||Luna Teak||41|
|Eric Davidson||SR 21||PDQ³||33|
|Chuck Alexander||Cheoy Lee 41||Camille||23|
|Chris Cyrul||Wavelength 24||Whatta Ride!||22|
|Shawn Douthat||Ranger 33||True Blue||22|
|James Drozdek||Tayana 37||Tatiana||14|
|David Barrow||Mariner 36||iIi||7|
|Ginger Noble||Catalina 22||Mother Ship||6|
|Chris Edwards||Hunter 340||Knot on Call||5|
|Andre Rijsdijk||Trintella 33||Dutchess||1|
|Race report written by Eric Almlie. ©Copyright 2013. All rights reserved.|