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Adkins, Benedict take top two spots in 43rd Shaw Classic
By Hank Snider, SJIYC Fleet Captain, special to the Journal
After two months of sunshine, dawn broke grey and wet on Saturday, Aug. 10 for the 43rd Shaw Island Classic sailboat race.
Hosted by the San Juan Island Yacht Club, the Classic race is unique in that Shaw Island is the only mark and boats can choose to circumnavigate the island in either direction. It was an “either way” race this year, but you wouldn’t know that from the start.
Fifty-two boats struggled over the line in light winds with slower divisions starting at noon, followed by the faster divisions at 12:15 p.m. After clearing the harbor most of the fleet picked up the southeast 8-knot wind on a port tack and headed counterclockwise for Upright Channel. Only three boats chose to sail clockwise on a run up San Juan Channel.
The counterclockwise boats made good progress until they reached Harney Channel, at which time the winds calmed and stalled the turn at Hankin Point.
Lynn Adkins, skipper of Adalgisa, a J111, finished first in PHRF division A and was first over the finish line.
“Our move at the east end of Shaw Island is what made the race for us," Adkins said. "We saw boats struggling on the Orcas side of Harney Channel and decided to do something different.”
Adkins and crew found a breeze on the south side of the channel and picked up enough wind to pull ahead of the counterclockwise fleet and never looked back.
Meanwhile, the clockwise boats had sailed that southeast wind up San Juan Channel and rode the ebb current through Wasp Passage. It was a two-boat race to the midcourse line, where Moon Doggie, a C&C 110 was first over, a full 10 minutes ahead of the opposing fleet.
The afternoon wind had moved to southwest and increased to 10 knots, making a fast tack down Upright Channel. The wind died at that crucial pinch point between Canoe Island and Flat Point, where the now flooding current stalled progress.
After 30 minutes, the wind picked up enabling the boats to make the entrance of San Juan Chanel where, combined with the two knots of flood current, it was a fast track back to Friday Harbor.
In the end, it was a great race. The sun broke through and winds were variable but sufficient for 39 boats to finish, including two of the clockwise boats.
Adalgisa crossed the finish line at 3:44 p.m., winning on a fastest elapsed time of 3.50 hours. Juliet, a Wilderness 21, skippered by Phil Benedict, won first place overall on corrected time and in the PHRF D division.
When asked about strategy, Benedict said, “I just wanted to finish that darn race.”
Prizes were awarded in all divisions that raced. Full results are detailed below. Racers and guests enjoyed a hearty lasagna dinner prepared by the San Juan Island Yacht Club’s First Mates followed by the award ceremony.
2013 Shaw Island Classic Results:
FASTEST ELAPSED TIME: Adalgisa, Lynn Adkins
FIRST OVERALL ON CORRECTED TIME: Juliet, Phil Benedict
MULTIHULL: 1st, Rum Line Ben Colwell; 2nd, Sea Puppy Bruce von Borstel; 3rd, Blue Steel Nigel Oswald
CRUISING-A: 1st, Moon Doggie Gerlock/Johnson; 2nd, Interface Mark Bunker; 3rd, Just Talkin’ II Steve Jacobson
CRUISING-B: 1st, At Last! George LeBoutillier
CRUISING-C: 1st, Dea Haba Robert Susol
PHRF-A: 1st, Adalgisa Lynn Adkins; 2nd, Spikenard Greg Taylor; 3rd, Sabra John Miller
PHRF-B: 1st, Astrild Arne Hammer; 2nd, Tir Na nOg Bill Fraser; 3rd, Corrida Lloyd Bacon
PHRF-C: 1st, Crazy I Chris White; 2nd, Paradigm Shift Vaughn Ploeger; 3rd, Thunder Muscle Christa Bassett Ross
PHRF-D: 1st, Juliet Phil Benedict; 2nd, Lanna Ann Norris Palmer; 3rd, Bingo Walter Northfield