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Friday Harbor Sailing Club's final race of the season ends with DNF | Around the Waterfront

The final race of the Friday Harbor Sailing Club racing season Saturday, 28 August, ended without the bang with which it started.

With a good turnout of nine boats and a nice light breeze, the fleet got off to a good start. Kevin Lewis as Race Committee ordered a nice course from Mitchell Bay, across Haro Strait to Kelp Reef, then around Low Island off the County Park and back to Mitchell Bay.

All went well until we reached mid-channel and felt the full force of the ebb. The boats that sailed a direct course for Kelp Reef Light soon found themselves swept down channel; those that sailed a higher course to compensate for the anticipated two-knot ebb did much better – until the wind died.

Off Henry Island on the way to the first mark, I looked a bit back to see Lloyd Bacon in Cal-20 Got-To-Run just poking along and eventually dropping out. This caught my attention as Lloyd is one of our best sailors. He told me later that he had caught some bull kelp around his keel, and being single-handed could not control the boat and reach down to clear the keel. A tough break.

The official current table predicted slack turning to flood about 1430. At 1430 we found ourselves approaching Discovery Island in Canada at a rate of two knots!

Lloyd had invited all the racers for hamburgers at his house at 1700, so reluctantly we all declared DNF (did not finish) and repaired to the Bacons' for dinner and sea stories as the sun set off his patio.

— Fred Hoeppner is a retired Navy captain and a competitive sailor homeported on San Juan Island.

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