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Thread: The Port Townsend Dash

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  1. #1
    PNW Editor Ballard Sailor's Avatar
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    The Port Townsend Dash

    The Port Townsend Dash (or PT Dash) is an old time story of drunken (or otherwise) IOR sailors that wanted to "borrow" someones fast lookin' boat and rip it downwind in a blow from Shilshole Bay, Washington to Port Townsend, Washington. Regular comments on the boats included "Drive it like it's rented." They just wanted to see how fast these things could go - and of course race from one bar to another bar!

    So the story goes - these sailors would pick a day, usually in the early spring, that the wind and tides would match up to make an epic and quick run to Port Townsend. They would start off the balcony at Ray's Boathouse (stories of the Bartender starting them off) and then try to hold it together as fast as they could for approximately 30 miles to finish off a bar's Balcony in Port Townsend, now known as Sirens.

    You hear stories (and they are just stories, there seem to be no records) of Climax losing their mast in a windy attempt, of a small multi hull rigged with a kite, of the Perry designed Miller Marine 70 'Meridian' holding the record and then getting beat by a little Santa Cruz 27, 'Norn,' sailed by a Ballard Icon, Arne Hammer.


    Norn, SC27

    Now this is no easy little run down a lake in warm water and sunny skies. This is the Pacific Northwest - with 17 foot tides, 52 degree water and 52 degree air. Marine traffic is abundant with freighters trundling up and down the sound and at times really messing with your course choices.


    Meridian, Perry 70

    Yet in today's world of Let's make it fun and people will come out sailing, the PT Dash is gaining popularity and it's time to get it going again! So here is how it's gonna be done:


    All times are to be taken with GPS time - a photo of the GPS with the starting area or finish area in the back ground would be great, but times are fine too, be honest.

    The race can be run at any time of the year!

    The starting line is between the North Hamburger Buoy (tug boat Buoy) at Shilshole and a white painted rock you will see directly east on the Shilshole Breakwater - record your start time as you cross this line.

    Marrowstone Island must be left to Port. There are no other marks in the course area.

    The finish line is between the Red Nun Buoy North of Pt. Hudson Marina and the entrance to Pt. Hudson Marina - record your finish time as you cross this line.

    Report your finish time here and/or email to pnwpressuredrop@gmail.com

    As times develop we will fragment them into classes (for example - 30' & under, over 30', Sprit boat, Skiff, Multi-hull, etc...)


    Little Blue Dune Buggy, SC27

    The first attempt at the "Modern" PT Dash is happening this coming Saturday. In a forecast 10 to 20 knot southerly, with a 10' ebb. Sponsors Pressure-drop.us and Ballard Sails are excited that the Santa Cruz 27 'Little Blue Dune Buggy' is getting this fun challenge race going again! Fast is Fun!


    Last edited by Ballard Sailor; 02-09-2011 at 11:41 AM.
    A little disorganization goes a long way toward fun sailing.

  2. #2
    OK. So what is the elapsed time record? I'm thinking an F18 could do it in about 1.5 hours or less in the right conditions... Wish I wasn't sick or I'd give Alex a run for his money this weekend!

  3. #3
    PNW Editor Ballard Sailor's Avatar
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    If my memory is correct, it's something like 3:27:??? on Norn. I'm sure that's not accurate but close. I'm sure an F18 could do it faster if it doesn't capsize...
    A little disorganization goes a long way toward fun sailing.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Ballard Sailor View Post
    If my memory is correct, it's something like 3:27:??? on Norn. I'm sure that's not accurate but close. I'm sure an F18 could do it faster if it doesn't capsize...
    Oh if we were pushing it we would capsize! At least twice! But you could still do it in 1.5h!

  5. #5
    Thinking about going for it the 26th on Lunch Box if the breeze is right

  6. #6
    PNW Editor Ballard Sailor's Avatar
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    Nice!
    A little disorganization goes a long way toward fun sailing.

  7. #7
    Sweet! Broken boom, ouch... Guess those "lightening" holes are a tad too big! Well, I guess the record is worth it though.

  8. #8
    I bet it was pretty epic out there today!

  9. #9
    Nice job Alex, I think a moore needs to try it soon...........Ben? are you listening?

  10. #10
    Way to go Alex and crew. Bare knuckled smack-down. Is there any kind of official recognition for breaking the record, like a trophy or something?

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