For those of you enjoy sailing, more importantly sailboat racing, Round the County must be added to the bucket list. The 2014 edition will go down in history as one of the best (I say this every year). The Anacortes Yacht Club party rivaled the not to be missed OIYC party so wherever you started your weekend you were in good hands.
Okay I will grant you Saturday was not very windy as only two boats completed the long course, and the J/145 Double Take missed by a mere 15 seconds, but the Norwegian daystar was out almost all day and we all got to wear our sunglasses one more time. After some delays at the start Saturday the march to the south became very tricky and the corner at Davidson even more so. Alex Simanis’ Evelyn 32 Poke and Destroy was so launched they were sailing in their own zip code out on the Straits, the rest of the fleet settled for swapping tacks and eventually drifted to the 1/2 way point. The good times at Roche were as legendary as always even without the SC-27 fleet that invaded Snug Harbor. Sunday was a spinnaker start and the current was ripping at Turn Pt. The wind switched west and then north and a few boats managed to finish 34 miles of sailing north and south on the rhumbline without ever dousing the kite. I made a few predictions in my pre race article, so who did well let’s see..Wait for the popcorn….(results here)
In the big boat fleet were people that did their homework and understood delayed gratification, or just made a killing in the dot com boom, I was right on 2 outa 3. Glory crushed it nosing out Valkyrie (formerly Braveheart, who could change that name? Musta never seen the movie…:). Wasabi slipped in for 3rd but if those bad boys on the J/145 Double Take coulda woulda well….
Click on any of Jan Anderson’s photos to enlarge and open slideshow. Be sure to see the entire gallery here.
Those multihulls confuse the heck outta me so I got 2nd, Blue Lighting, and 3rd, Allikai, backwards but Dragonfly had the afterburners well lit as usual and must have a trophy case as big as their mainsail! In Div 0 I nailed 1st, Longboard, and 3rd, Madrona, and Peter Salusbury was even kind enough to notice and say “Thank You”. Nothing like the local talent, Paul Bieker and Jim Betts teaming up to create a boat that must be a dream to sail, can cross oceans, and in this case take home the big hardware. I must also give a shout out to the former T-bird sailors getting one of my favorite veteran’s Chet Hibbert’s Jack Rabbit up for second in a very tough class. Chet would be proud today with what Colin Nichols and crew did with his old CM1200.
Div one I got 2 outa 3 in the wrong order, Zulu in first and the J/120 Time Bandit in third but the J/109 Tantivy never made it to the race course so congratulations to Anne Bonnie beating my favorite uncle and the Bravo Zulu boys and girls. When Zulu gets that A-sail on the furler up or code 0 or whatever that sail is that she flies she just romps right to the front with the bow out of the water. Zulu is another PNW creation, in this case a custom build by the Jesperson Yard in Sydney. Time Bandit had the entire OIYC crowd on board and stayed on the podium for another year.
Div 2 I deserve a spanking for as I struck out completely. Cinco de Mayo now sporting a new sprit was just deadly fast with her big red A-sail, The Boss, J/35, proved she is as fast as she ever was and certainly flew a passel of different sail numbers just to be sneaky, on Ptolemy in 3rd was that OIYC crowd again proving they know their home waters.
Div 3 I am back to my 2 outa 3 average Go the Muffin, SC33, that’s my Pa’s old boat! Probably the nicest bunch of people on the water and 3rd overall, very nicely done. The red Viking helmet of Ballard Sails is becoming very familiar on the water and Poke and Destroy leads the charge taking 2nd for the weekend, in third the Davidson 29 Madame Pele with her orange kite haunted us all day on Sunday and earned the nickname “Lady Marmalade” until they put up their new A1 and left us in their dust.
Div 4 I at least picked the winner, the J/92 Hijinks, and for awhile she was the overall winner. So was another boat but that is a different story. In any case I picked the wrong J-29 so congratulations to Brandon on Plan R for one of the finest rig refits seen in recent history, with a little help from a certain Anacortes rigging shop. The Banagarang is a family affair and again an example of what Jim Betts Enterprises (bettsboats.com) can do to help you get your boat on the podium.
To bring it home in our div, I had the privilege of sailing with my old college pal on a Schumacher designed old school ULDB, the Express 27 and was able to hold off the hard charging SC-27’s and you know I couldn’t bet against my first and current wife so as I predicted the PNW fleet champion and my winning Pac Cup ride Blade Runner holding off the wilyest of the wily ones Dave Garman and his trusty Giant Slayer….
All in all it was and incredibly fun experience and I hope that everyone gets a chance to race the race coming up next month that Ben Braden claims has the two worst words in PNW sailing in its title; Winter and Vashon. Come on out and join the fun! The weather is here and we wish you were beautiful!
–Andy Schwenk, Owner