SHACKLETON RACE 3
The sun is shining, skies are blue, light southerly winds are present, and it is 70 plus degrees. These circumstances notwithstanding, Shackleton Race 3, crazy as it seems, would proceed as scheduled! We race regardless of conditions!
Not exactly winter sailing now is it? Yes sailing the Shackleton is supposed to test our limits - not just about racing but also having to deal with the hostility nature throws at us. This is to be the Tennessee River version of the Whitbred. Like Quint said in Jaws, "not like going down to the pond chasing blue gill and tommy cots!" Today's weather would not be demanding on skippers and crew and guess what - we don't mind it one bit. In fact if you had the capability and means, why wouldn't you sail on a day like this?
At 11:15 we began yet another courageous trek - this one down to Soddy Creek and back. Horns blew, alarm clocks went off, timers on knotmeters sounded, and boats began hunting for the wind which was just starting to develop. David and Glynis on True Blue had an excellent start followed by Maniac and Dutchess. "Not too bad for having started the race," Andre said of his start. (Andre was the designated committee boat and once again, had to handle the starting sequence). Thought I could sneak up on him but about the time my anchor was even with his stern pulpit, he looked at me, chuckled, did some kind of hocus pocus magic on his sails, and scooted off.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Race 3 was our lack of crew. With the exception of True Blue and Food Acres all boats were single handed, which is becoming the time honored precept for this series. Since we are still in the salad days of our winter racing and given the fact that it was a beautiful day, it would be impossible to stamp the insane label on the captains so prematurely. So we will just assume that all crewmembers had prior obligations for today and leave it at that.
There were a few inconsistencies in the wind but for the most part, it was steady throughout the race with a few light gusts here and there and a few dead areas as well. It was not a wind that favored Food Acres (alias Green Acres, alias Seaductress). Rodger has come up with a figure to make the S2 more race competitive and this amount is "far less than an America's Cup or Vendee Globe campaign so finding sponsors should be easy." Those interested may contact him directly!
Race 3 also had an unofficial chase boat that sailed the course. Charles Cliett and his sailing buddies, Mike and Terri Torbett followed us in Charles' C & C 27 Ripple. Upon noticing Ripple still sailing the upwind course, Anthony excitedly called over, "are you racing too?" With a negative reply from Ripple Anthony's response was simply, "Darn!" We had thought that Anthony had made an outstanding comeback as he crossed the finish line shortly behind Food Acres. We figured he had wielded a "secret, secret weapon" as his makeshift mizzen mast had been removed on the eve of the race. No, he had simply motorsailed a good bit of the downwind course. Meanwhile on Wavelength, Greg had the right idea and made the autopilot do all the work! (see below left). And speaking of makeshift, some crude rigging allowed me to fly my spinnaker in Comfortably Numb for the first time ever. (below right)
Once again, authorship provides benefit as I have concentrated on the rear of the race fleet so far in this writeup. I have to report from my perspective and if you're just a little thumbnail on the horizon, what can I say? Savor the day - that's my motto (and excuse)! Seriously though, some great sailing by the top finishers in Race 3. Very close results, too. Another ditto for Maniac. However, much to Tim's disliking, the gaps between him and the fleet are narrowing substantially. Noticing this trend it can only mean one thing - the Alliance lives! See you on the course in Race 4! - Eric
Thanks to Tim and Rodger for the great photos!
RACE 3 RESULTS
POINT STANDINGS AFTER RACE 3
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