Home Power Boating Easy Pickins’ Navigation Contest –What Happened?

Easy Pickins’ Navigation Contest –What Happened?

by Mike Henry

In theory, constant current flow should be the key to precise navigation time estimates, particularly when transiting narrow passages where current predictions are available for various locations in the passage, eg.,  Rich Passage and Port Washington Narrows. You’d think, huh? Unfortunately, all 13 contestants in the Easy Pickins’ in West Sound Navigation Contest held Saturday, April 26, managed to disprove that theory. Apparently, the actual currents seen were enough shy of matching the published data as to greatly impact the scores in a less than helpful way. With the good weather that day, the contestant predictions could reasonably be expected to result in several scores with less than 1.0% error. Surprisingly, however, the winning score was an error of 1.4691% with only two other scores under 2.000%; this in spite of the 18.8 nm course being held in the well-protected waters of Dyes Inlet, Port Washington Narrows, Sinclair Inlet and Port Orchard.

easypickinsThe Easy Pickins’ contest weekend (co-hosted by Bremerton YC and Port Orchard YC)  kicked off Friday at BYC with a Friday Night Social dinner for BYC members and all contestants and their crews. A “faux log race” was conducted following dinner that featured the social side of navigation contests for those attendees new to the sport. Following the Saturday afternoon contest, logs were checked in at POYC. After a well-rounded barbecue hosted by POYC, the contest awards were presented by Contest Co-Chairs Fred Cole of POYC and John Burwell of BYC. Overall winner with the least error of 1.4691% was Bob Lindal of Queen City YC on Suzy Q.  Runner-up was Ron Larson on General Quarters at 1.6585% followed by Fred Cole of POYC on Mouse Trap in third place with a score of 1.8443%.


From left to right, observer Mike Maxwell, Sue Lindal, Bob Lindal and Jeff Ewell. In the background is Contest Co-Chair Fred Cole.

This contest is the sixth of 11 contests conducted each year under the umbrella of the International Power Boat Association from January through October. Cruising boaters, both power and sail, are eligible to participate. These contests are based on time predictions determined by the contestant for their own boat, as opposed to fastest speed.  This IPBA year-round program offers the opportunity for weekend cruising with other boaters of similar interests during typically non-boating times of the year.  For more info about IPBA, as well as the event schedule, check out our website at www.ipbalogracing.org .

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