Armed with proper race committee gear (course maps, official time keeping device, camera, helmet, body armor) I was now prepared to make way down to today's skipper meeting. Word had leaked out that I was not a very popular guy this morning, having yet again, scheduled the race on the wrong day of the weekend.  "It SHOULD have been yesterday," I was told as the prior day was indeed warmer, windier, and most importantly, drier! But here at command central we are armed with the latest weather radar tracking device (a computer with internet access), which indicated the episode of showers presently dowsing us would soon be coming to a halt. Therefore, we delayed the start of the race to 11:30 to let those light green blotches on the radar pass. Pretty smart thinking, eh? Yep! So smart we duped ourselves out of an extra point, and still got a little wet anyway from prepping our boats in the rain before the start of the race.

Okay, so perhaps that wasn't the most ingenious plan. But  at least our faces weren't pelted by a stinging rain while skimming across the water at 6 or 7 knots.  For that one would need rain...AND actual wind. Yes, the despairing wind forecasts for today led us to pencil out perhaps our simplest race course yet in the history of this series. Normally skippers and crew spend several minutes studying the hieroglyphics on the course maps distributed at the skipper's meeting. Conditioned to count anywhere from 5 - 10 buoys on average (using conservative figures), participants were caught off guard only counting to "1" today - and the "1" wasn't even the Grasshopper Creek Nun! I have always said, each race course map is a masterpiece, and today's 4 mile frolic would be no exception.

Southerly winds were more consistent than predicted today and we began the upstream leg once exiting the Sale Creek channel with spinnakers blossoming. In the past I would have normally typed something like, "...and the fleet was led by those annoying J Boats." Now that I find myself skippering one I am hesitant to inscribe those words permanently into the Shackleton annals. But I am certain that anyone who is not sailing on an annoying J Boat would still describe them as such, so who am I to break tradition?  It was Maniac, Beatnik, and Boat X (still waiting for the official name) taking an early lead. Andre and I had Scott "The Ringer" Cline crewing with us on Boat X. Scott has been crewing on Opus Dei, Ugly Red, and a J 92 over the past few years in The Shackleton Series. Scott has also been sailing J 24s for a quarter century (somehow that sounds more impressive than saying 25 years) so he knows a thing or two about their characteristics. And although  Beatnik is one of those  being lumped in the annoying group, everyone was quite happy to see the red J24 out and about today, after having suffered some bulkhead and deck damage when a chainplate pulled through the deck after race 1. An unfortunate event for sure, but we had no doubts that Captain Mike and crew would have Beatnik back up and running!

Making up today's NAB Class (yes, NAB stands for non-annoying boat) wereCarol Lynn, True Blue,Asylum, Nightwind andLady Kiki. The pumpkin in the cockpit of Lady Kiki is a nice adornment on any sailing vessel this time of year. Better yet is the husky perched the sliding hatch. Not only is Kody the perfect mascot for The Shackleton Series, a good watchdog on board seems like a stellar idea! Just think, a good dog to keep an attentive eye on the crew. Properly trained, they could growl and bark when a crewmember isn't doing their job properly or herd the rail meat from one side to another more quickly on tacks. Having a snarling and slavering beast with bared teeth would be rather intimidating on board and snap any slacking crew into shape! Oh, wait - that would be kind of redundant since that pretty much describes your typical captain, doesn't it? Never mind.

With only one buoy this race was virtually one of those simple windward-leeward courses we have heard so much about. We sailed to it and sailed from it - what a novel concept! Even with its simplicity, it was a fun course to sail. Unfortunately, not very interesting in terms of plot development for your average race report.  I mean, if one missed a buoy here, they have some pretty big issues that would have been exploited in this write up for the main purpose of, well... exploitation. But no one obliged and all in all, this was a very clean race with no strange phenomena or heralding events to report. Except...

Although it is a gory topic and a subject matter suitable only for mature audiences (mainly because of the language that ensues), we must report all groundings. There were two today, one of which resulted in, as Skipper Bob fromNightwind described, a DDF (Dummy Didn't Finish).  Those are the worst kind.  Well Bob, we have all been scored a DDF at some point in time and will all be scored one again at some point in our future. One of the myriad of risks Shackleton Series participants regularly encounter!

In the end boat for boat, it would be an annoying boat sweep for the top three spots. However, that is before those magical and mystical formulas are factored in which gave the advantage to Carol Lynn to knock out Beatnik for the number 3 spot. If we have to tell you who won you have not been paying attention to our race reports over the years. But to keep consistent with the formalities, hat's off to the Maniac crew again for another victory. Good job by all on a day that turned out to be much better than the forecasters predicted. Race reports 3 and 4 (which have already taken place as of this publication) will be online... when they are online! If you want up to the minute details, well, you gotta come sailing with us! See everyone out there!



Tim ChambersJ 29Maniac108 (S)1:14:541:07:428
Eric AlmlieJ 24Boat X171 (S)1:22:351:11:117
James DrozdekS2 27Carol Lynn189 (S)1:31:051:18:296
Mike BurrusJ 24Beatnik171 (S)1:30:421:19:185
Shawn DouthatRanger 33True Blue153 (S)1:34:581:24:464
Mike MillerTanzer 22Asylum243 (S)1:44:591:28:373
Michelle CashEricson 29Lady Kiki2111:59:551:45:512
Bob RupeS2 24Nightwind241DNFDNF1


Tim ChambersJ 29Maniac15
Eric AlmlieJ 24Boat X13
Mike BurrusJ 24Beatnik10
James DrozdekS2 27Carol Lynn10
Shawn DouthatRanger 33True Blue7
Mike MillerTanzer 22Asylum3
Michelle CashEricson 29Lady Kiki3
Bob RupeS2 24Nighwind3
Race report written by Eric Almlie. ┬ęCopyright 2011. All rights reserved.