SHACKLETON RACE 6
January 31, 2004
Temperature at the skipper's meeting - 20 degrees, wind chill 7 degrees. In other words, another perfect day for sailing the Shackleton series. When one envisions a group of sailors participating in a regatta, the image usually depicts the participants donning khakis and polo shirts, not ski masks, parkas, and similar type gear suitable for ice fishing in Nova Scotia. In the walk down the dock to our respective boats, the only pronouncement David Freye could make was, "cold" - about 8 times I believe. Yeah, it was definitely that, but it's like when a group of people go swimming and the first guy who jumped in the water always said, "come on in - you get used to it."
A strong NE wind received mixed greetings while we exited Sale Creek. On the one hand it was welcome since we were expecting light and variable and nothing is worse than drifting around in a dead calm. Conversely, more wind equals more cold and amplifies the "brrrr factor." But once the competitive blood started flowing and the sun relocated to a higher angle in the sky, everything was okay - just another fun day of sailing.
A great amount of credit in this race has to go to Andre, even though I will tell you right away that he didn't win. But that's not what's important here though. As always, he developed another fun race course. He has handled the starting sequence in every race of this series (except the first one), and has recently begun taking some very fine pictures including the one below, which shows him well in front of the fleet en route to the first mark, even after successfully performing all of the aforementioned tasks.
One could not argue the impressiveness of this accomplishment - and he was sailing single handed! Unfortunately while snapping these action photos, Andre had inadvertently gone outside the last secondary channel marker. "Whoops, gotta go back and pass on the proper side", he thought. So he did just that and went from 1st position to 9th, even behind myself where I was demonstrating rather successfully to my crew how to properly NOT start a race. After all that effort, however, it was realized that the secondary marks were insignificant at this point in the course and that we were only to be concerned with them when returning to the finish line. It was only recommended that we stay between them going out - so he had gone back around unnecessarily!
His recovery although swift, was short lived as just after the first mark, there was a collision between Dutchess and Ma˝ana. Since there were no eyewitnesses to the event and no protests filed by either party, we cannot make a judgment for or against either one. However, David Hoover had a good point when he said that having a collision with Andre sailing is like having a car wreck with a police officer. Regardless of who is at fault, you are going to get a ticket. There were no penalties or DSQs handed out, damage to both boats was very superficial, and Andre sailed with a determination afterwards that would still put him in contention. Meanwhile, at the post race press conference, Jeff stated that Team Ma˝ana was about to make a move that would have surely propelled them into the lead and the race would have been theirs!
The first boat to take advantage was Food Acres. Commenting on behalf of the team was Captain Rodger, "Let the record show that Food Acres was in first place for a brief portion of the race, that she rounded the Sale Creek green can with extreme fitness, and that she was in second place until the dreaded downwind leg, but politely pulled aside to get some shots of the other boats from a different angle." As one can conclude, it can be an overwhelming experience when one combines the duties of captain and official race photographer. Most simply can't fathom the amount of pressure on the average Shackleton skipper!
Anyone care to guess who took over first place from Rodger? Anyone..., anyone..., Beuller..., anyone? Yes, it didn't take long for Tim and Lynn on Maniac to make their move and build a comfortable 72 boat length lead. Lynn did comment that her winter gear she was outfitted with was worn last weekend... while skiing. And it was more appropriate for that activity and never meant to be worn during the present one taking place.
Cold weather or not, once again, Maniac would emerge victorious. I think we need to start requiring a mandatory victory lap to give a little something for all the fans out there - don't they do that in NASCAR? Seriously, great job as always!
The intense race for second place was between True Blue, Duthcess (told you Andre made a comeback with a vengeance), and Food Acres. We would have to fire up the computer and plug in the numbers back at the dock to determine the order of finish. The PHRF didn't make any difference though, as they corrected in order that they finished, but all very close. David and Glynis took 2nd, Andre 3rd, and Rodger and crew 4th.
But a word of warning to the front runners...there is a dark horse on the horizon. Yes, today the wind gods smiled on Endurance and Anthony edged out over Comfortably Numb and Enchantress with his PHRF correction. Good work, Anthony!
We would like to thank those who showed up to volunteer their crewing services - David and Robin Wooten sailed with Rodger on Food Acres while David Brude sailed with me on Numb. All did a great job and we look forward to seeing them again (that is if we didn't scare them off).
A fine job of sailing by David Freye who sailed solo and only with a working jib. Unfortunately a mark was missed and a DSQ had to be scored to Banana Split. Nevertheless, had the mark not been missed, David would have once again had to leave early due to another coaching conflict (his basketball team remains undefeated though). Robert also did a good job sailing under the same circumstances as he is pictured on the right with Rodger before the start of the race. Next race will be on February 21st. Crews from ESPN are standing by.
All photo credits go to Rodger and Andre
RACE 6 RESULTS
POINT STANDINGS AFTER RACE 6
ęCopyright 2004. All rights reserved.