Only 22 of the Classic’s 55 entries finished this year’s race as light winds and unpredictable currents joined forces with a chaotic start in dashing the hopes of the other 33.
In the early 1950s, it was routine to send destroyers into the port of Wonsan, North Korea, to disrupt any shipping or army activity, so in due course I received orders to proceed there to destroy any targets of opportunity. The harbor of Wonsan is roughly the size of Elliott Bay in Seattle, with some rather vertical-sided low hills in which the North Koreans had dug caves to conceal defensive artillery. The guns were mounted on a tracked carriage that could roll out, fire, and then return within the cave.
Well, the youngest and newest sailor in the club, Kevin Lewis, showed the rest of us how to do it. We’re talking about the second annual Mitchell Bay International Regatta on Haro Strait Oct. 2 and 3.
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 40th Shaw Island Classic hosted by the San Juan Island Yacht Club on Aug. 7 had the potential of being one of the most challenging in the event’s history, with forecasted winds of 17 knots and a nearly 10-foot tidal range creating a flooding current of over 2 knots at Reid Rock. However, with no wind developing, the fleet was basically hove to.
In this annual race of the Friday Harbor Sailing Club on Saturday, 30 July, LIBERTY, skippered by Howard Lewis with crew Chantelle Vollmer, was declared the winner by Race Committee John Manning and Ed Hale. In second place was MARIANA, skippered by Fred Hoeppner and Cathy Crain crew.
The Rudi Race sponsored by the Friday Harbor Sailing Club last Saturday, the 19th, was about as good as it gets. Near perfect winds, moderate but interesting and mysterious currents, warm sun and a nice turnout.
Local sailor Norris Palmer became an international champion in the Swiftsure Race Series on 29 May when he and his wife, Karen, sailed Fragile Habitat to a first place in the “S” division. Lynn Adkins in Tinette also raced, but had to retire when his mainsail blew out during the start. Norris sent me the following account of the race …
The drama occurred just north of the San Juan County Park, as the Sailing Club’s Co-Fleet Captain, a life-long fisherman and boater in the area, decided that he would copy the tactics of another local.
Nobody could complain about the lack of wind for this year’s Shaw Island Winter Classic. The annual sailing race around Shaw started Saturday morning, the 13th, off the Orcas Hotel in moderate to strong gusty winds with 15 boats closing the starting line at 1010. Wind picked up as we started down Harney Channel with gusts that put lee rails under water. I had 32 knots register on my anemometer any number of times.