• Whidbey Island Race Week 2011 - Picks and background

    Whidbey Island Race Week is quickly approaching and you can see boats out practicing in every single evening event in the area to shake off some cobwebs, find where all those ropes go and wake up their livers for this fun challenging Adult Summer Camp. With so many boats entered and with racing going on over 5 days in Penn Cove it’s impossible to keep track of all of them but here is a little background on some of the boats and classes - It will be interesting to see how things shake out after the week is in the bag. Keep up on the racing and results at the Whidbey Island Race Week official website (http://whidbeyislandraceweek.com/)

    Class Zero

    White Cloud co-owned by Steve Johnson and Dave Lynch is a cool old Cookson that they have been racing well for years. Now known as “Brown Cloud” due to their black water tank exploding in the middle of the over night Winter Harbor to Eucluelet leg of the Van Isle 360 race. See http://www.pressure-drop.us/forums/c...7-Van-Isle-360 for more light reading on that race. I would expect these guy’s to do well.

    Jack Rabbit owned by Chester Hibbert is for sale and this will probably be the last WIRW for the current owner with this boat. His crew hijacks the boat every year for WIRW, paying the fees and making Chester bring the boat up. A fun group of people to sail with and could end up on the podium at the end of the week.

    The OD35’s are cool old Carrol Marine boats that didn’t work out as a one design class but make a really good PHRF platform for racing like this. Shrek owned by John Hoag usually dominates with his boat. He and his crew have been sailing together since Abe Lincoln was in the white house - they make very few mistakes.

    Adalgisa owned by Lynn Adkins (guy) is a new boat in town (brand new J111 out of the J factory) that he just received 2 weeks ago. It will be interesting to see how they pull it together and how the boat preforms to it’s rating.

    Picks - 1 Shrek, 2 White Cloud, 3 Jackrabbit

    Class 1

    Sort of a fast sport boat class - all of the fleet is between 33 and 30 feet, light powerful boats.

    Gardyloo owned by Eric Nelson always seem to be having a great time and have been sailing the boat for awhile. They should be organized and ready for the podium if the conditions are right

    Nefarious owned by Dan Randolph does well - they are new to the sport boats having owned a Ranger 26 until a bit ago they are learning the boat quickly and making it perform well.

    Prowler and Tiger Lilly I don’t know much about - they are Flying Tigers designed by Ballards own Bob Perry along with the sailing website Sailing Anarchy. They where made to be cheap fast boats built quickly in china. They did this well, can sail to their ratings and have held up in conditions that will surprise you.

    Picks - 1 Nefarious, 2 Tiger Lilly, 2 65_Red Roses

    Class 2

    This will be the class to watch and I’m guessing no one will dominate this class - it will be exciting.

    Tantivy (often called Tan Titties) owned by Stuart Burnell is very well sailed and usually does well - they will be ones to watch

    Elusive owned by Jeff Whitney is a fun boat with some very nice people aboard - they could be on the edge of the podium on any given day.

    The J35’s are classic sailboats designed and built back in the 80’s. Great platforms and can sail to their ratings really well - they can perform - so if sailed well could be on the podium on any given day.

    Absolutely owned by Charlie Macaulay - This is a what is known as an old I.O.R. War Horse from another time in sailboat racing when hundreds of boats raced, bloopers flew and Line 7 was the name of choice. These guy’s sail well and will have one of the owners of Ballard Sails aboard to help make her go. They will be ones to watch

    Dangerous When Wet driven by Chris Winnard has a very organized and well prepared Crew. This is a new boat to them, so I’ve never seen it nor seen them race it. Chris is a sailmaker with Ullman Sails and knows what he is doing - these will be ones to watch

    Shoot the Moon (also known as Shoot the Hut - ask Don about this if you get a chance) owned by Don Wills. Another IOR War Horse and a boat that is well sailed and usually does well. Don has done every single race week, really. These will be ones to watch

    What? A Trip owned by Gary Morgan is another old IOR War Horse -well sailed and with a great crew. They always have a Keg of Beer aboard for WIRW and have Captain Morgan flying proudly on their spinnaker. These will be ones to watch

    Picks - 1 Dangerous When Wet, 2 Absolutely, 3 What? A Trip

    Class 3

    This is a combined start with 2 different One Design classes. Combined due to their small entry numbers.

    For the J105s I would expect Allegro Vivace owned by Lorenzo Migherini (yes he is Italian and talks with a funny accent) or USAWI owned by Robert Blaylock to do well.

    Picks - 1 USAWI, 2 Allegro Vivace, 3 Dulcinea

    For the J80’s I would expect it to be dominated by Chris White on Crazy Ivan. He is a very good sailor, has good crew, and a well prepared boat.

    Picks - 1 Crazy Ivan, 2 Skye Rocket, 3 Taj Mahal

    Class 4

    A one design class of Melges 24’s. Probably the most active sport boat in the USA the Melges have seen a resurgence in the PNW recently and have added a bunch of new boats to the fleet.

    The boats to watch are

    PeTeron owned by Dan Kaseler. Dan is a great sailor, maybe one of the best to come out of the Port Madison Yacht Club junior program. He has recently been sponsored by Velocitek (you can read his racing blog here http://teamvelocitek.wordpress.com/a...c8b5b78241ce1/) Dan has been building professional windsurfing sails for years and has recently purchased Quantum Sails Seattle. We expect big things out of Danny.

    Area 51 owned by Jason Rhodes should be one to watch, if he keeps his stuff together they can be unstoppable.

    Mikey owned by Anacortes Yacht Clubs Kevin Welch (owner of the big blue sled Icon) is also one to watch. Great guy with some good local sailors around him.

    Fast Forward recently purchased by Darrin Towe will be one to watch if he puts together a good crew. Darrin has raced professionally in the past and is alway’s going at 110%.

    Picks - 1 Peteron, 2 Area 51, 3 Fast Forward

    Class 5

    The “Fast is Fun” revival with the SC27 One Design Nationals. Getting 14 of these fun old boats together for WIRW is an amazing feet. All of its momentum can be attributed to one special little Port Madison Yacht Club Junior Sailing product - Stephanie Schwenk. Steph (now an Anacortes Yacht Club member and wife to Andy Schwenk of Northwest Rigging) has cheer leaded this fleet into existence. Many of these boats where rotting away on trailers or in slips just a few years ago. Her perseverance and style got things rolling.

    Little Blue Dune Buggy owned by Alex Simanis. Alex is the other owner of Ballard Sails and sails with some very experienced crew. Alex recently sailed on Terremotto in the Vic Maui race getting first to finish on that challenging race. Known as the “little swedish boy” even though he is Latvian, Alex is the hardest working most positive person you could meet. In his 20’s and he’s already a very accomplished sailor, having sailed the med cup professionally on a TP52 and a business owner. These guy’s will do well.

    Hanalei owned by Rob Schuyler is from Cali and is the defending National Champion (that he won on Huntington Lake last year). He has won the last 3 years and I’m sure is looking for a 4th to up his hat-trick performance.

    Sumo owned by Jim Livingston (another Southern Boat) has always finished in the top 4 in his fleet. I wouldn’t expect different here.

    Cookie Monster owned by Chuck Tidgrington of AYC will be one to watch. He is new to the boat (about a year) but has shown some amazing speed and is a great sailor. If Chuck puts together a good crew he will be one to watch - he knows penn cove well.

    Picks - 1 Little Blue Dune Buggy, 2 Hanalei, 3 Cookie Monster

    Class 6

    Another Sport Boat Class but this time made up of small sport boats that don’t have enough momentum to get their own One Design Class.

    The Sierra 26’s will do well. They are sailed by some amazing sailors with crews that have been sailing together for years on various boats. Both Port Madison Yacht Club boats, and actually the only two ever built, are both Co-Owned by Brad Butler and Paul Faget. Uno will have Brad on the bow and some amazing driver like Ian Beswik at the helm and Dos will be driven by Uncle Paul (as he is affectionately known) with some amazing crew in front of him.

    The Rocket 22’s are a variation on a old Gary Mull design, the Pocket Rocket. They haven’t taken off as class yet but continue to try and build momentum. No one boat has shown dominance on a regular basis yet...that I know of.

    The Vipers are relatively new boats on the scene and seem to gaining momentum. The smallest boats out there in the class, I would expect to see Dragonfly owned by Rafe Beswick to be giving the Sierra’s a run for their money.

    Picks - 1 Dos, 2 Dragonfly, 3 Uno

    Class 7

    First Edition owned by Rob Alexander is a great old Gary Mull Designed Humboldt Bay 30 that hasn’t been out in a long time. She is being Hijacked by the crew of the Moore 24 ‘More Uff Da’ for this week. They’ll be trying to figure out a new boat and trying to have fun in what will become another fun fleet to watch.

    Hear & Now (known to everyone as Beer & Now due to their boisterous racing style) alway’s does well. Owned by Pat Denny the J29 is driven by the loudest most fun loving little guy, Gary Harr (known as the Mower, he landscapes for a living). They have a guy onboard known as THE Bucky - usually flying off the mast with a superman outfit on at some point in the week. These guy’s will do well.

    Kiwi Express owned by Reinhard Freywald is usually well sailed and if the conditions are right for the Farr 1020 they should be on the podium.

    Xcentric owned by Gay Morris is a great PNW boat. Gay has been sailing well for years and should perform in Penn Cove conditions if his crew work is solid.

    Picks - 1 Here & Now, 2 Kiwi Express, 3 First Edition

    Class 8

    Blue Martini owned by Laney Gale (girl) has been doing amazing things since she purchased her. They put together a great crew and are very hard to beat.

    Symbiosis owned by Lance Staughton normally lives in Hood River Oregon. Lance has sailed her up the coast, as he does every other year, to do WIRW. It is a well sailed boat that should be seen on the podium a few times in the week.

    Imzadi owned by Doug Ullmer is trailered up from Eugene Oregon and the Fern Ridge Reservoir every year for WIRW. They sail her well and if they can find clear air at the back of the fleet they will be on the podium.

    Kowloon owned by Ken Chin is a usually well sailed boat but they have had to put together some new crew for this year so I wouldn’t expect them to do as well as they normally do. Who knows though, if he picked the right crew that boat can win.

    Picks - 1 Blue Martini, 2 Symbiosis, 3 Imzadi

    Class 9

    Lucky Jim owned by Jim McAlpine is one we all cheer for. One of the nicest oldest guy out there, it’s always great to see his smile and positive attitude.

    Bob owned by Steve Wier will be one to watch. They generally sail well and if he has put together the right crew should be on the podium.

    Arturo the Aqua Boy owned by Dan Westra (if you haven’t read the book about Arturo the Aqua Boy you should and I want to ask Dan why he named the boat that). Dan has owned the boat for a bit over a year now and I think has her organized and ready to perform.

    The rest I don’t know much about but would expect them to jump into the podium at various stages in the week. Things should mix up in this class as conditions change.

    Picks - 1 Arturo, 2 Bob, 3 Skookum Too

    Class 10

    the slowest rated boats in the fleet - they spend the most time out there, get the most sailing in for their money and generally get to have the most fun. I don’t know a lot about this group except that most are from this Penn Cove area and know the bay well.

    Alert owned by Brad Blymyer (an old PMYC member from my Childhood) is the smallest slowest rated boat out there and I would expect be the one to watch in this class.

    Skamokawa owned by Mitch Rinella has done will in races up there throughout the year and if sailed well could be one to watch as well.

    Picks - 1 Alert, 2 Skamokawa, 3 Magic Juan

    Lets hear some your predictions and background info over in the Forums!