Each year Bremerton Yacht Club hosts the Heavy Weather Navigation Contest over the Presidents’ Holiday weekend in February. The weather forecast had little to offer for reasonable February cruising conditions for that weekend. With small craft warnings leading up through Friday followed by gale conditions predicted for Saturday and Sunday, there were expectations of mass cancellations by many contestants needing to venture to Bremerton from Lake Washington and South Puget Sound. However 20 skippers and crews did successfully make the “sloppy water” run to join the 13 BYC crews for the weekend contest.
By sunrise Saturday, the wind had calmed to flat water and hardly a breeze. This welcome change remained throughout the rest of the day until all contestants had completed the contest and were tied back at the BYC docks. Then, as forecasted, high wind conditions returned later in the afternoon. Good luck was with us (weather-wise, at least).
BYC always hosts a great Heavy Weather Weekend with Friday and Saturday night dinners, Sunday breakfast, entertaining skits performed by the visiting yachts clubs and after dinner dancing. The first award for the weekend activities went to Tacoma Yacht Club for winning the skit contest for their special performance to the theme “Vaudeville”. Following Sunday breakfast, the navigation contest awards were presented by BYC Commodore Mona Lisa Ryan and Regatta Chair-Power John Burwell.
As for the navigation contest, the 22.2 mile contest course started in Port Washington Narrows, proceeded out Rich Passage , around Blake Island, returning back through Rich Passage and, finally, ending just off the BYC docks early Saturday afternoon. 32 of the 33 contestants completed circumnavigating the course with one dropping out due to an engine problem.
The vast majority of the prediction errors ranged from around 1.0% up to less than 4.0%. Only three skippers predicted accurately enough to finish with error scores under 1.0%. Taking Top Overall honors was Meydenbauer Bay YC contestant John Murphey on STURDY GAL, with an error of only 0.4936%. Following in Second Place Overall was Jim Korzetz on FREEDOM from Poulsbo YC at 0.6687% error with Bruce Cullen on CAROLINE, also from MBYC, taking Third Place Overall with an error of 0.9303%. Honors for the best average score of the top three boats from each club went to MBYC with a team average of 0.8957%. Winning the Novice Trophy was Justin Adrian of BYC with 2.3013%.
This navigation contest was the second of a series (one or two each month) that continues into October under oversight of the International Power Boat Association. These contests provide an opportunity for boaters to participate in weekend cruising events throughout the “non-boating” seasons of winter, spring and fall. A schedule of contests and general information can be found on the IPBA website at www.ipbalogracing.org . For additional information, you can contact Bob Lindal at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mike Henry at email@example.com .