Have you ever tried predicting an elapsed time for either a northbound or southbound cruise through the Tacoma Narrows? Well, on Saturday, March 21, for 12 contestants, it was the Tacoma Narrows vs. IPBA log racers. Tacoma Yacht Club’s Chuck Irwin issued that challenge in TYC’s annual Jack Hyde Memorial Navigation Contest that required contestants to predict their elapsed times in both directions. More help (?) was provided by Mother Nature with her contribution of 15 knot SE winds.
The 15.7 NM contest course started with a run from just off the TYC clubhouse northerly across Dalco Pass with a stronger than predicted ebb current on the beam. That was followed by westerly and southerly legs taking the contestants toward the Gig Harbor entrance. From there, it was all about the Narrows currents on a five mile run down to the east end of the bridge, a cross-channel run to the west end and a return course up the west side to the Gig Harbor entrance again. The course was completed with a run past the north side of Point Defiance to the final control point being called off Owen Beach.
An event like this certainly wouldn’t be complete without a terrific Friday afternoon gathering hosted by Irwin and his committee on the TYC docks. Continuing the social event side on Saturday was the awards dinner in the TYC clubhouse where the well-kept secret scores were finally revealed.
Six area YCs were represented by the 12 contestants. Individual awards were given to the top three overall finishers and to the best finisher in each of three classes. Representing Bremerton YC, I was overall winner with Peachy Keen with an error of 2.2321% error, followed by Jim Anderson of Gig Harbor YC on Fidalgo with 2.6081%. Rounding out the overall finishers in Third Place was Bob Lindal from Queen City YC on Suzy Q at 2.8540%. Class winners were: Class1- John Burwell of BYC on Gavia with 3.7050%, Class 2- Rick Randall of BYC on Compadre with 5.1679%, Class 3- Jerry Downer of GHYC on Norwester with 6.0259% error. The team trophy was awarded to Bremerton YC for the best average of their top three contestant’s scores.
Navigation contests like this one are hosted by various northwest yacht clubs under the auspices of the International Power Boat Association. The season schedule begins in January and continues with monthly contests throughout the year until October. The IPBA is always looking for more boaters to join in these events as a way to sharpen your navigating skills and your Social Event prowess. Schedules and other information can be found at www.ipbalogracing.org or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .