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Ballard Sailor
02-28-2011, 09:05 PM

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“Hey, My boat’s up in Anacortes - do you want to do the Girts Rekevics Memorial Foul Weather Race?” After a quick look at the forecast of 15 to 25 out of the South, a look at the course that snakes itself through the San Juan Islands from the mainland to “Sin City” on San Juan Island - Why Not! (just simply ignore the temperature).


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There is nothing better than sailing through the San Juan Islands, even when it’s only 28 degrees out and snowing, before wind chill... 15 boats made it out for Anacortes Yacht Club’s Foul Weather Race and they all were treated to a perfect downwind run through the islands (again ignoring the frozen toes). The Seattle based Santa Cruz 27, ‘Little Blue Dune Buggy,’ owned by Alex Simanis, was so excited they got out there to the starting area an hour before the gun to enjoy the scenery, wind and snow. While their friends where posting on facebook about the “Epic” ski conditions in the Cascades, the 5 crew and one Labrador aboard the Dune Buggy huddled aboard the little boat, nursing headaches from the night before, wondering what in the heck they where doing out there?


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That question was answered a few minutes later by the Wild Pole Dancing Rumpass Girls aboard Stephanie Schwenk’s yellow SC27 ‘Wild Rumpus’ as they sailed by screaming “ULLR!” and tossed over half a bottle of the famous ski area liqueur. That’s it: We’re out here to have a good time racing against friends! Moods lifted, frozen body parts forgotten, it was time to get the jib up and ready for the start.


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The 15 boats started together in one class - the fastest rated boat being the F31 ‘Son of Raven’ (with a rating of 9) to the slowest rated boat the Columbia 28-1 (with a rating of 243). Off we all went into a nice spotty wind shadow North of Fidalgo Island. Chris White’s J80, ‘Crazy Ivan,’ pushed through on the most southerly line while Tom Gilbert’s Soverell 33, ‘Graphics,’ and Bob Brunius’ J120-2, ‘Time Bandit,’ led the fleet out of the middle lane. While sailing close to Fidalgo Island didn’t make sense ‘Crazy Ivan’ pushed through the shadow quickly and was into the breeze coming up Rosario Straits at a fast clip.


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Soon the rest of the fleet was into the wind, those that stayed high got into the wind first and quickly took off from the competition. Those boats that came off the line low had to wait their turn and then follow the fleet towards Thatcher Pass. The Southeasterly breeze had the poles forward and hands on the vang on many of the boats but Pete Shainin’s 47’ ‘Passepartout’ slowly built up speed and eventually, with white bow waves shoving out in front, they motored back into the race mowing through the lightweight competition.


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Easy sailing from Thatcher Pass to just past the Lopez Ferry Dock, but once around the point into Upright Channel the fleet had to traverse a huge hole behind the island. Sailing almost all the way across the channel to find wind, the fleet dropped their spinnakers, raised their #1’s and close reached West in the gusty southerly - some rounding up in the strong breeze - a tough reach through the channel. Once around the SouthWest tip of Shaw the Chutes came out and it was off to the finish off of Friday Harbor. The Fleet rolled in after only 2 to 3 hours on the course, smiles on their faces from the amazing winter racing in the San Juan Islands.


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In the end, Chris White’s J80 ‘Crazy Ivan’ made the best tactical choices while keeping his boat speed up and easily won the day, correcting 2 minutes in front of the 2nd place boat, Alex Simanis’ ‘Little Blue Dune Buggy.’ The Great Arne Hammer sailed the mighty ‘Norn’ into 3rd place followed by Tom Gilberts ‘Grafix’ that won 4th by only 5 seconds over Pete Shainin’s massive ‘Passepartout.’ Great work everyone making it through the San Juans safely on such a cold winter day. Finally a great excuse to have Ullr on a sailboat and we found out how many people it takes to get water through the scuppers on an SC27 at the dock. Thanks Girts, your memory created a fun, challenging race.


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aA
02-28-2011, 09:17 PM
great report and sweet pics. mac's gf just gave a couple of pats to the mrs. saying "awww mac"


not jealous of the temps but i am jealous of your lovely wife's bitchin line 7's

Ballard Sailor
02-28-2011, 09:32 PM
Thanks, that made her feel better, her beetle is very broken today...everyone Ok but she is sad.

Charlie Tuna
03-01-2011, 09:35 PM
Nice write up. You folks is crazy!

Ballard Sailor
03-02-2011, 08:04 PM
Good times!