January 14, 2012
A few hours after Race 5, I was having a conversation with Captain Dave from The Blue Moon while he and crew were nourishing the cavernous fuel basin aboard the large cruise vessel. As the numbers started freewheeling at the pump, I thought better of saying something like, "man, your average sailboat doesn't take on that much diesel in it's lifetime!" Rather, I told him that we Shackleton participants try to provide a little entertainment for The Blue Moon passengers while they are en route to or from Hiwassee Island when their tours coincide with one of our races. Dave mentioned to me that he tries to stay out of our way when passing through the fleet. Honestly, I thought a commercial vessel such as The Blue Moon had right of way (yes, it is hard to believe that there is anything out there that would outrank a Shackleton racer) but he informed me that sailboats are more restricted in their maneuverability, so he was acting as the give way vessel and always tries not to interfere with anyone in the race.
It was then that I got a mental picture of Blue Moon picking off boats one by one on the course. Since there seems to be a bit of ambiguity about the right of way rule here, I thought maybe I could offer Dave a little encouragement (Attention shoppers! Blue light special on diesel fuel!) to bully a couple boats out there next race. I could even provide a description of the boats to be on this hit list - which has nothing to do with the picture on the left, nope, no siree, none at all. But you all know I would never resort to bribing anyone and no deal was struck so all boats are safe (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). Just don't think anything if the next race course follows the same path as the Blue Moon cruises do.
It is about this time each year that a portion of our fleet is MIA somewhere in the BVIs. In the past, someone has normally received a text picture (always about skipper's meeting time) from Chuck showing the warm sunny weather conditions they are experiencing in the Caribbean. I guess Chuck is getting merciful as of late since no gloating image was received this year. Of course I am not going to compare sailing in the tropics with sailing the Shackleton Series - especially since I know nothing of the former. But I will say (despite an awarded cold point for today's match) that in all the years we have been doing this, we have had the mildest series so far. And today, we got our best wind of the season to date. It was a good day!
Race 5 could be summed up as your typical Shackleton race - there was the normal groaning when looking at the course map, especially from those who would be working the foredeck during the spinnaker run - actually, runs (plural) to be more specific. There was the usual trash talk emanating from the decks of Moriah, a tight battle between the 2 frontrunners, arguing aboard Luna Teak, and of course, something we have not reported about much this season - groundings! There were a record number of groundings to report in this one - 7 to be total. Yes, seven! I am sure most of you are thinking massive carnage - like some sort of car pile up on the freeway. Actually, one grounding was from David on Moriah, who spent a good bit of effort freeing himself but in the end retired from the race. The remaining six came from Tapatai. Yes, six! I think we have crowned a new champion! Joking aside, Captain Larry admitted they weren't paying too close attention to the channel markers and really weren't that worried about them. Having a swing keel that you can just easily winch up to sail the boat off the bar in such situations can make one a little more daring out there!
Nice job by everyone today. Congratulations to the Maniac crew for a tight 16 second margin win over Whatta Ride! The only bad thing about a good sail on a breezy day is that we tend to get fewer photographs out there - too busy working and competing! See everyone at Race 6! If the wind predictions are correct, it should be a breezy one, too!
RACE 5 RESULTS
|SKIPPER||BOAT||NAME||PHRF||ELAPSED TIME||CORRECTED TIME||POINTS|
|Tim Chambers||J 29||Maniac||105 (S)||1:35:25||1:20:11||8|
|Chris Cyrul||Wavelength 24||Whatta Ride||156 (S)||1:43:05||1:20:27||7|
|Eric Almlie||J 24||Luna Teak||168 (S)||1:56:14||1:31:52||6|
|James Drozdek||S2 27||Carol Lynn||201||2:02:45||1:33:36||5|
|Michelle Cash||Ericson 29||Lady Kiki||233||2:59:50||2:26:02||4|
|Larry Garner||Catalina 22||Tapatai||285||DNF||DNF||2|
|David Barrow||Mariner 36||Moriah||207||DNF||DNF||2|
|Tim Chambers||J 29||Maniac||36|
|Chris Cyrul||Wavelength 24||Whatta Ride!||28|
|Eric Almlie||J 24||Luna Teak||27|
|James Drozdek||S2 27||Carol Lynn||26|
|Michelle Cash||Ericson 29||Lady Kiki||9|
|Shawn Douthat||Ranger 33||True Blue||7|
|Patrick Sweetman||O'Day 25||Stella||6|
|David Barrow||Mariner 36||Moriah||5|
|Larry Garner||Catalina 22||Tapatai||4|
|Mike Miller||Tanzer 22||Asylum||1|
|Ellen Cobble||O'Day 222||Sassafras||1|
|Race report written by Eric Almlie. ©Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.|