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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.
Well, it finally happened. I got towed home. Been pulling off grounded boats and towing in others with White Boat, my 17-foot outboard for many years. This time, I needed the tow.
Our editor put a shot across my bow saying that there would…
Ho! We had the wind this year. Came in bunches, but we…
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.
Fair or foul, the Lighted Boat Parade goes on as it has for 18 years. This Saturday it was cold, about 28 degrees and 5 knots of northerly wind. But, no matter. Ten boats put on a beautiful parade along the harbor shoreline lead by the Friday Harbor fireboat and tailed by the sheriff’s boat. Must admit that the flashing blue lights made me a bit nervous.
Miles McCoy, the senior past commodore of the Orcas Island Yacht Club, crewed in “Martha,” probably the oldest active sailing vessel on the Salish Sea, in the Round the County Race 2009 this last weekend. I first met Miles some years back at the Orcas Island Yacht Club after a local race in which I noticed that he was the skipper of the catboat “Sharon L,” which had narrowly beat me out of a place inches from the line. Further discussion disclosed that I had chartered her in 1942 for a honeymoon!
The third annual Mitchell Bay International Regatta took off last Saturday in what was to be the best regatta ever. The two-day event, with nine boats sailing out of Mitchell Bay into Haro Strait, began with winds of force 3, increasing to force 4 in the afternoon. Most of us should have reefed right at the start, but past experience led us to think the winds would die shortly in the afternoon. Ah, not so this time.
The numerals 48’ 32” 45’’’ N and 123’ 00” 04”’ W to most sailors merely defines a geographical position on the earth. But to any Friday Harbor Sailing Club racer passing through the point, it means the end of their race. It happened again Saturday during the annual Single Handed Race.
The Shaw Island Classic, sponsored by the San Juan Island Yacht Club, has been an annual summer sailing event for 39 years as best I can remember. Wally Lum of the Orcas Island Yacht Club has been showing us how to do it from Day 1, mostly successfully. But on Aug. 8, the currents outfoxed him as he finished sixth in class and 32nd overall out of 64 starters.
The Palace Theater in Friday Harbor is making available a limited number of free youth admission tickets to the San Juan County Fair. Each day of the fair, the Palace Theater will give away tickets at the theater from 8:30-11 a.m., or until the day’s supply is gone, whichever is sooner. Each person can pick up a ticket only for him or herself.
Robert Abell in Remedy showed the way, taking 3 hours 15 minutes. Howard Lewis in Liberty followed with 5 hours 13 minutes, John Manning in 6 hours 3 minutes and Ed Hale in C’Est La Vie 6 hours 15 minutes. Fred Hoeppner in Mariana and Bill VanSkyhawk in Scarlet de Haro drew a DNF.
New club racer, Robert Ahbel, in Remedy, a lightweight “J” boat took top honors by winning all four races.
Spring has finally sprung and with it comes the boating community’s acknowledgement. Yes, it’s Opening Day that marks this event when sailors shake the moths out of their sails and the power boaters change the oil in the engines. The traditional parade of boats has a dual purpose: one, the old girl has to get her propelling mechanism up and running. And two, she has to look pretty.
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.
Friday Harbor boaters can expect Fair Winds and Calm Seas for the year 2009. How do we know this? Well, for a number of years now, Gloria and John Bentzen, and Judy and Arne Bentzen have celebrated their Danish tradition of “Saluting the Compass” on New Year's Day by hosting this marine ritual on the waters off Brown Island. The essential element is, of course, the toast to Thor, god of thunder, lightning and wind.
How to simulate being a sailor: 1. Buy a steel dumpster, paint it gray inside and out, and live in it for six months.
Mike Close, owner of San Juan Island Marine Center located under the Downriggers restaurant, called me the other day, saying, “You want to see some beautiful boats?” “Sure Mike, when and where?”, I replied. He then said that I must first see a recent restoration by Art Lohrey that was bobbing at his mooring just outside his office and showroom. Wow! Gorgeous.
Only three boats reached the halfway mark at Patos Island and the race was called at this point. Flash, skippered by Steve Travis, finished first overall. Braveheart, skippered by Charles Burnet, finished second. Icon, skippered by Kevin Welch, finished third.
In the early 1950s during the Korean War, one of the jobs…
The Friday Harbor Sailing Club sailed its next-to-last race of the season, the Single Handed, on Saturday with a thud.
The 2008 San Juan Island Yacht Club-sponsored Shaw Island Classic started exactly at 1200 Saturday, 9 August, with 61 racers.
This column is a continuation of a series on a Columbia River cruise.
Last week, wife Peg and I were pleased to have Ann and John Bailey visiting with us.
Sand to Sand. John Bailey left us in Astoria, returning to Seattle by train while the remaining crew — daughter Carol, Peg and I — toured the city. Astoria is most interesting: must do is the museum with graphic pictures and stories of the Bar, the Columbia Lightship, the climb up Coxcomb Hill and the Astor Tower with its overview of the area.
Sea to Sand. That’s what it’s like cruising up the Columbia River.