Crazy Ivan, Mystic top finishers in winter Shaw Island Classic

The Shaw Island Winter Classic 2009 sponsored by the Orcas Island Yacht Club was one of the best sailing races in years, Sunday. Squirrelly winds, some with a good punch, and curious currents made for frequent position changes.

ICON, a Bob Perry design 66-foot sloop and arguably the fastest boat in this area, skippered by Kevin Welch, completed the 12-mile course clockwise around Shaw Island in 2 hours 1 second.

Twenty boats started off the Orcas Hotel in a nice bunch, but were well strung out by the time they reached the east end of Shaw due to some unsuspected foul currents and puffy winds. The strong ebb current in San Juan Channel slowed their SOG (speed over the ground), but strong puffy winds got them up to the Wasp Passage neck off Cliff Island in good shape. Then the transit of Wasp Passage to Bull Island had both head and reaching winds that made for frequent changes of position. Once clear of the Bell Island light, it was a fast reach to the finish off the Orcas Hotel.

A convivial dinner at the hotel ended the event.

It should be noted that many of the racers mentioned to me how much they appreciated the use of the float at the Orcas ferry terminal that the county recently purchased. The ability to moor for a short time next to a ferry terminal to pick up or debark passengers or shop for supplies is a great boon for all boaters and merchants. I would strongly urge our county officials to continue to provide a similar facility at all the ferry terminals.

Here are the race results.

Class A
First: Crazy Ivan, Chris White OIYC, 9491 elapsed time (sec), 2:12:59 corrected time.
Second: Salt Hart, Jeff Rodenberger OIYC, 9917 elapsed, 2:13:41 corrected.
Third: ICON, Kevin Welch AYC, 7258 elapsed, 2:14:46 corrected.

Class B
First: Mystic, Paul Taylor CYC, 10953 elapsed, 2:22:57 corrected.
Second: Black Pearl, Frank Ledgerwood, 11765 elapsed, 2:37:29 corrected.
Third: Mistral, Phil Benedict FHSC, 12091 elapsed, 2:38:31 corrected.

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