Ed. Note: We’re very pleased to have this first post by Mike Henry. Mike is well known in the power boating and predicted log scenes in Puget Sound, and frequently writes about power boating. Let’s get out there either this month or next and use those boats! -Kurt Hoehne
If your cruising”itch” extends beyond late fall but your summer cruising friends have found other areas of interest over the winter and early spring months, there is a good way to get that cruising itch “scratched”. The well-established sport of cruiser navigation contests is a series of social events starting in January and continuing to October that offers a great opportunity to meet other cruisers here in the Pacific Northwest who are into local year round weekend cruising.
Under the auspices of the International Power Boat Association, these navigation contests are time prediction events that challenge your ability to predict your elapsed time around a prescribed course. These are not speed contests, but rather, challenges of choosing a cruising speed that best suits your boat and attempting to maintain that exact speed around a course. Lest I forget to mention, the challenging part is to duplicate your prediction without benefit of a clock or boat speed indicator during your cruise. The contestant coming closest to their prediction wins the contest.
The actual on-the-water contest is only one part of a full weekend of boater socializing hosted by various area yacht clubs. Generally, the event begins on a Friday evening with contestants and crews gathering to share some “quality” information (or tall tale telling) about the contest to be held the next day. The contest cruise part of the weekend occurs early Saturday afternoon followed by contest data submittal and an evening awards dinner.
Although the contests are hosted by yacht clubs, contestants need not be yacht club members to participate. Participating boats can be powerboat cruisers or sailboats under power having reasonable overnight accommodations.
So, if you need your cruising”itch” scratched during the non-summer months, check out our website at www.ipbalogracing.org for our event schedule. The first contest occurs on the weekend of Jan 17-19 at Queen City YC followed by the next contest at Bremerton YC on Feb 14-16. You can also contact Bill Anderson at (425)641-0317 or Mike Henry at (360)377-6639 for more details. You’ll learn more about your boat than you thought you needed to know and you’ll meet a great bunch of folks having too much fun in a pleasantly challenging sport.