Journal of the San Juan Islands


Colwell & crew sail away with Shaw Island Classic title

August 12, 2014 · 11:19 AM

A three-way sprint to the 2014 Shaw Classic finish line features, from left: “Footloose,” skippered by Bill Gibson; “Gorm,” piloted by Arne Bentzen, and “Interface,” sailed by Zachary Warren. / Contributed photo/Marc Forlenza

The 44th annual Shaw Island Classic Sail race started at “High Noon” Saturday, Aug. 9, with 43 boats in all.

Skippers and crews competed in three classes, multi-hull (Catamaran and trimaran), PHRF (eligible to use spinnakers in addition to main and jib), and cruising (main and jib only, no spinnakers allowed).

The fleet headed east toward Turn Point in light winds, making slow progress. However once they reached Harney Channel, between Orcas and Shaw islands, the winds picked up and some spirited racing commenced, only to be met again with the fickle winds which bedeviled many of the racers this year. The winds returned to Friday Harbor just before the end of the race, providing some interesting, electrifying finishes

First overall, and clear winner of the multihull division was the catamaran “Rum Line”, skippered by Ben Colwell. Colwell and crew finished the race in four hours, 27 minutes, a full hour and 20 minutes before any other competitors.

Six additional boats crossed the finish line before the mandated 6 p.m. race ending time, all within the last 10 minutes of allowed time, making for some tight battles for class honors at the finish line.

Within the divisions, there were multiple classes, based on hypothetical boat speed. In some classes, there were no boats that completed the full course, so a halfway time (taken near the Orcas ferry dock) was used to rank the competitors. Ratings were used to equalize the times for different sizes and types of boats.

Top finishers in each class are:

Colwell, first overall; Chris White, first in PHRF-C, 2nd overall; Arne Bentzen, first PHRF-B, 3rd overall; Zachary Warren, 1st PHRF-A, 4th overall. Complete results are available on the San Juan Island Yacht Club website, www.SJIYC.com


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