Shackleton Race 6
January 22, 2006
"I used to like the sea, but I was young then, and could easily get excited over any kind of monotony." - Mark Twain
Meteorology is defined as "a science that deals with the atmosphere and its phenomena and esp. with weather and weather forecasting." It is one of a large number of professions that when you get it right, there is very little acknowledgement. Get one forecast wrong out of 100, and you are improperly branded as nothing more than glorified fortune teller throwing darts at a board and then become the target of ridicule, mostly by local boaters who have nothing better to do this time of year. Being a firm believer in giving credit where credit is due, most of the predictions for today were fairly accurate, unless you count the marina's atomic clock forecast. There was certainly no sunshine for us today. In fact, we were dreading a possible repeat of Race 3, perhaps the most miserable Shackleton race on record. But even with the wet stuff, we were anticipating a little bit of wind, which to us sailors, makes any type of dour weather condition more palatable. One foretelling was northerly, one was NE, one was SE 10 or less, and yet another was "N,S 5-15". Either that means we will have northerly wind followed by southerly or it means that particular forecaster was just covering some extra bases.
Some of us had crew lined up for today but I guess they decided that there were more productive things to do than involving themselves in the merriment of aquatic activity awaiting. Just in the first 1/4 mile of the race alone there were boats over the starting line early, spinnaker hoists, takedowns, and even an anchor set on one boat! Yes, the rush of emotion was overwhelming and even the torrential rains held off. But not to be outdone by the rain, the wind stood us up as well (on second thought, the weatherman didn't get much right, did he?). That being said, I guess it wasn't our quick cat like reflexes that allowed the aforementioned flurry of activity to be accomplished over such a short distance. But the fact that we were able to get across the lake to the first mark (Grasshopper Creek, where else?) before being swept down to the dam should be some kind of attribute to our navigating abilities.
Despite the gloominess depicted on this page, today would NOT go down as the most miserable Shackleton race on record. It would, however, be the shortest, not in duration but distance. This abbreviated course ended not too far downstream and covered a whopping total of 1.4 nautical miles (not including the excess mileage we seemed to sail to allow for the current). In the end it would be Banana Split drifting over the finish line first. Congratulations to David and Christopher for a job well done (as always)! Not only is crossing the finish line first a good strategy but so is being on the proper side of the starting line at the beginning of the race (Hasta La Vista and I Soar were victimized by the current early on and had to claw our way back and start properly.) Adding a little insult to today's events, there was a light NE wind that filled in the entire lake about 15 minutes after the finish! At least it wasn't very buggy out! See everyone at Race 7.
RACE 6 RESULTS
Written by Eric Almlie. ęCopyright 2006. All rights reserved.