Kids Sailing a Clean Regatta

Kids Sailing a Clean Regatta
A few stickers and old trophies are new again!

Kaitlyn Van Nostrand recently assumed coaching duties at the Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center on Lake Washington. She’s also a dedicated environmental pro, currently an account manager at Republic Services. She’s been working with Sailors for the Sea for following their Clean Regatta guidelines, and last weekend’s Milfoil junior regatta was deemed “Clean.” It sets a great example for other sailing and yacht clubs to follow, and by the sounds of it, it was more fun than chore. Here’s Kaitlyn’s report on the event, borrowed from an email to Sailors for the Sea. 

We had a great Milfoil Junior Regatta with both sun and wind last Saturday. There were 26 participants sail in 4 fleets (Opti, Laser, V15 and FJ) from 7 different clubs in the Seattle area. We had our sailors from Mt. Baker be on our green team wearing green t-shirts with me. They rocked the pins on their life jackets. 🙂

Our first place trophies were re-purposed ones that I found in the boathouse from the 1970’s! I removed the plaque on the front (may reuse them for other awards later), put a Sailors for the Sea Sticker on them and they came out great. Our participation awards were mugs for Optis and glasses for the other classes that I got from Goodwill. Stickered them as well, they looked awesome! Each participant received a sticker too. 

Our office staff was great in helping with our water bottle station, communicating to sailors they needed to BYO water bottle and we ran a nearly zero waste event since our lunch was pizza and we composted the plates and pizza boxes. 🙂 

Looking forward to passing on our Clean Regatta lessons to other clubs on the Northwest circuit to get more clean regattas registered for next summer.

Real Community Sailing in Renton

Real Community Sailing in Renton

Joe Burcar and I were privileged to speak at The Renton (Seattle suburb) Sailing Center’s monthly meeting a couple of nights ago. Privileged, I say, because listening to Rebekah Padgett and the dozen or so sailors attending, turned on a lightbulb for me.

Community sailing takes root at meetings like this.

Sure, big community sailing programs draw a lot of attention, including mine, but perhaps this is where sailing’s future health can be found and where more of my attention should be focused.

Think oceanic, sail local. Really local.

 

Joe Burcar

Joe was a board member of The Sailing Foundation, and the theme he focused on was partnering. Padget and her team are doing that, working with other programs in the area that are interested in partnering and with The Sailing Foundation. Cooperating with the city of Renton they have dock space, boats (including keelboats), an education program and above all esprit de corps.

Joe and I talked about the history of sailing here in the Pacific Northwest and how we see the future of the sport in the area. But the most interesting part of the talk for me was hearing the intention, and difficulties, of getting kids sailing. The Renton club needs more families involved, but it’s hard to entice them with all the competition for kids’ attention. I can vouch for that.

One thing is clear, the Renton Sailing Center is a great alternative for anyone looking to get out sailing. You’ll find the welcome mat out. I’m going to take their offer on heading out for a sail one of these days.

Here’s the story of the Renton Sailing Center by President Rebekah Padgett:

Founded in 1965, Renton Sailing Center (RSC) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit community sailing organization dedicated to the sport of sailing, with a family-like atmosphere to support the interests of sailors of all abilities.  

Located at the north end of Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park in Renton, RSC is has over 50 member families.  While most of the members live in the greater Renton area, they extend from Olympia to Everett and Port Ludlow to Fall City. 

RSC has provided small boat and keelboat instruction for many years, and over a year ago became a US Sailing Community Sailing Center.  It has been offering US Sailing Small Boat instruction ever since.  This year the Center held its first women only small boat sailing class, and it hopes to continue its focus on women. This summer RSC became a US Sailing-accredited Basic Keelboat Sailing School.  In 2017, RSC has every course full, for a total of 41 Small Boat students and 8 Basic Keelboat students.  Courses are offered through the City of Renton Community Services Department.

The Center supports an internal small boat racing/skill-building series that begins in May and goes through the summer.  It also provides sailing clinics to increase members’ skills.  Other activities include open sailing, a shoreline cleanup in conjunction with the International Coastal Cleanup, BBQs, a mentorship program for new members, and more.  

Occasionally members participate in outside races in Lake Washington, and one crew even completed Stage 1 of the Race 2 Alaska in 2016, from Port Townsend to Victoria.  

RSC held its second Experience Renton Sailing event in early June, where participants sign up for a free introductory sail.  This year was a record 61 participants, with 39 adult participants and 22 youth.  Most of them were first-time sailors from the Renton community.  RSC is proud of the growth of this event and that it was able to provide so many community members an opportunity to try sailing.  This epitomizes what  Renton Sailing Center is all about.

In the past, most of the vessels were donated, but RSC has been upgrading its fleet and currently has two Capri 14s, four RS Visions, a Hobie 18, Hunter 170, Ranger 20, Ranger 24, and Catalina 27.  

The entire organization is run by volunteers, including the instructors.  And all members are expected to contribute time and skills to the Center. 

Current members of the Board are President Rebekah Padgett, Vice President Kirsten Parks, Treasurer Rebecca Ward, and Secretary Katey Lent, as well as Maintenance Chief Dean Peoples and Members-at-Large Buzz Chase and Will Wagner.  

Some members have gone on to own their own boats, racing locally, living aboard, instructing at local sailing schools, or even heading out on a circumnavigation with current and past members as crew. 

RSC may be an unobtrusive little sailing center at the south end of Lake Washington, but it gives people who don’t have deep yachting roots a chance to try out the sport at an affordable rate, a supportive community, a place to build skills, and it even launches big dreams.

Learn more about RSC at rentonsailingcenter.org and follow them on Facebook at Renton Sailing Center.

Please share this piece on social media and with anyone you know who might be interested in a very local, very real, sailing club.

Whidbey Island Race Week in Full Swing

Whidbey Island Race Week in Full Swing
Photos by Jan Anderson

Whidbey Island Race Week is in full swing, and entering Thursday with nine races in the books. Sixty-two boats are racing, and from the photos there appear to be great conditions. Borrowing from Thursday’s edition of the Race Week News, which Liza Tewell and Vicky MacFeidh are putting out:

Can you feel it? Have you experienced that transcendent, middle-of-Race-Week feeling where you remember that you’ve forgotten about the world beyond the beautiful borders of Penn Cove? That decompression isn’t the marine layer dissipating in the late morning above Puget Sound, just over the fescued berm to the west, it’s Whidbey Island Race Week. And it’s why we come back every year. Hard to explain to coworkers, hard to let go of, it’s kept nonetheless in a treasured spot deep inside. When folks ask how you make it through yet another relentlessly gray PNW winter, you smile to yourself, reach down and think, Race Week is coming. Day three of WIRW 2017 was as magical as the past 11 and a half months that our our memory had glorified it to be: blue skies, 8 to 10 knots, 72 degrees (Fahrenheit, for you Canadians). The CYC race committee shot off three races, and when we crossed that finish line for the third time on Wednesday we were happy knowing that we’d get to do it all again the next day. Thursday evening the Oak Harbor Yacht Club is serving up bbq ribs for dinner. Yum. Sorry about that for you vegetarians, though they also offer field burgers at the grill. Thursday is also the CSR party featuring the reggae music of Yogoman, so break out your aloha shirts and stretch before and after racing—the dance floor will be standing dancing room only. Crabbing for the week is also open—enter your recipe in the Haggen Northwest Fresh Crab Cake Cook-off.

While I’m not on hand to check out the competition (or bands or ridiculous amounts of fun), from the results a few things are apparent. First off, the J/105s have a huge class, and the racing must be great. With the downwind angles on the asymmetrical chutes, playing Penn Cove must get really interesting. Kathy Kushner’s Melges 24 Cool Beans out of Canada is going very well. Wicked Wahine may topple the mighty Shrek in the “big boat” class. The two Farr 30s in class 3 are having a mighty battle and there’s a fascinating duel between the Beneteau 35s5 Bodacious and the Martin 242 Crazy I’s. The tightest class of all is the small/slow boat with the two J/24s Amuse Bouche and Roshambo and the San Juan 24 Ehu Kai all within two points.  

Congratulations to Schelleen Rathkopf for successfully putting on the event once again! The event continues to evolve into much more than just racing, with a Kids Camp and other fun activities.

The Cruising Class Act

As I was writing the wrapup of Seattle YC’s Tri-Island series it occurred to me that the cruiser-racer class, which continues to grow, gets short shrift. With few exceptions, most of the major series around the Salish Sea set aside classes where anchors on the bow, kids in the forepeak and blown out sails are welcome. Sometimes, getting that last 1/10th of a knot is just not that important. 

So I asked the overall winner Phil Calvert to jot a few things down about the fleet and the series. It turns out that Phil is not only an eager racer, but an eager proponent of the cruiser-racer class as well. Take it away Phil:

Runaway

The SYC Tri-Island series has had a Cruiser/Racer fleet for 16 years now and it is fun competing against old friends and new. Thirteen boats of all types and size made up the biggest class in the series. My boat Runaway is a 1973 Norlin 34 and competing against some very good sailors with lots of talent aboard those boats. This year my crew hit it hard and got lucky enough to stay with the leaders and barely correct over them. In the Blake Island race, we corrected by 1 second.  Wow, that 1 second is very surreal as many other decisions could have changed our outcome. It does show that even an old, tired, IOR boat can still get around the course, have fun, and share in racing with all the new, light fast sailboats in the Pacific Northwest in the other classes. It is just plain fun to get out on the water with good friends for some fun competition!

I’ve owned Runaway for 17 years, bought her as a repo. She was in pretty bad shape, but the boat really caught my eye. I put a bid in and paid the broker that day. He towed me to Lake Union and on the way we hit the Ballard Bridge with the mast, oops!  The boat is built like a tank, I love showing people the hull cut-out from when I repowered her.  I showed Robert Perry the cut-out once (he had a Peter Norlin custom design boat “Perrywinkle”). His response was, “you could make four boats out if that much fiberglass.”  We had a good laugh.

She was bought at Offshore Yachts in Shilshole new in 1973.  I was told a doctor owned and raced it with the same name, but I can’t find any info, lived at Shilshole for many years. The Norlin 34 was a 3/4 ton rater, but the old IOR days were about over then.

The Cruiser/Racer Class

In this photo left to right are Phil Calvert, the SYC Rear Commodore Tyler Ellison, our lucky charm junior crew Hailey, her uncle Duane, foredeck Galan, Crew Boss Jean, and sailing whisperer Ellis

We have sailboats such as Anomaly, Santa Cruz 50; Jiminy, J42 all the way down to a Catalina 25. A lot of these skippers don’t have the time, equipment, or crew to do a full PHRF class, but still want to race and come out to play. In the past I can remember sailing in the Cruiser/Racer class with just two people on the boat, I just wanted to be sailing and everyone was busy. It’s super fun to have a crew who is new to sailing and watching them become really good at what they do, we also share in all the jobs, whether driving or foredeck, we all have each other’s backs.  

The Cruiser/Racer class is casual. You can do flying sails or elect to do no-flying sails and your rating will be adjusted. Symmetrical or asymmetrical.  In the PHRF-NW handbook “cruising credits,” you can also get adjustments for anchors on the bow, furling mainsails, old sails, bad bottoms. Of course, that is up to the club rater and organizing authority, but the goal is to get you off the docks and not to have the latest in equipment.

I have been helping with the SYC club to bring their sailboats off the docks and out racing. I’m also reaching out to CYC and Sloop to grow the Cruiser/Racer class.  I would love to help in anyway I can.

Vellela

And my good friends Ryan and Autumn Helling very actively race Velella. The 31-foot Velella has a remarkable history. She was designed by Tom Wylie specifically as a cruiser, and has done just that carrying Garth Wilcox and Wendy Hinman around the Pacific. And now she serves as home to Ryan and Autumn. My hats off to them for making sure Velella is still putting miles under the keel. For many liveaboards untying the dock lines seems a bit too much. Here’s Ryan: 

We only got out for the last race of the series but we’ve done the cruiser/racer class the past 3 or 4 years and had a great time. It has been steadily growing and it’s nice to see some new boats out there. Of course, it would be fun to see even more boats. The courses are a nice length for boats in our rating band. We’ve particularly enjoyed the Blake Island race as it wraps up with the party at Elliott Bay and we’ve generally stayed the night. We have a cruising boat, so why not? I think more races should be like this. The steel drum band and taco truck this year were great. Couple that with free beer and wine and it makes a pretty good time. We will definitely be back next year.

Final thoughts

It’s kind of odd, isn’t it, that we’re talking about the rise of the cruiser/racer class. After all, isn’t that what we’re all supposed to be sailing? In truth, it hasn’t been that way in a really long time. Much of the fleet have no accommodations whatsever, and many of the other cruising-capable boats are stripped of just about everything that’s not nailed down. There should be a place for both the racer willing to dedicate his boat to his racing passion and a place for the sailors who desire both sides of the sport. It turns out there are those places, and most clubs, seeing the troubling downward trend of participation numbers, are embracing the true cruiser-racer element as well. If your club isn’t paying enough attention, rattle their halyards.

A well placed tack is just as much fun with anchors on the bow as it is with them stowed in the bilge. If you’re interested in casual racing, feel free to email me and I’ll try to point you in the right direction. 

Leukemia Cup Raises Funds and Spirits

Leukemia Cup Raises Funds and Spirits

Oh, darn, year after year, a beautiful day on the water! Every so often, it’s fun to throttle back a bit on the serious racing scene, and throttle up on the relaxed-but-spirited fleet having a grand time supporting a great cause. This year there was just enough breeze for most boats to give their engines a break, kick back and enjoy the sailing, and finish where you finish. After all, with this event, when the day is done, everyone wins. Enjoy the photos! – Jan Anderson

Ed. Note: Sorry we’re a little late getting these pictures (that were taken June 10) out on Sailish. It’s great to see Gary Jobson’s Leukemia Cup keep on doing its great work. Thanks should go out to Elliott Bay Marina, which once again does a great job of hosting this event. Thanks to all for making this happen.  

 

Top Teams

 Freedom  $8,950
 At Last  $6,750
 Golden Mean  $6,188
 Zephyr  $4,380
 LUNA Ridenour  $3,965
 Ruach  $3,937

 

Seattle Junior Leukemia Cup Regatta Raises Nearly $10K!

Seattle Junior Leukemia Cup Regatta Raises Nearly $10K!
Fund raising competitors in the first ever Seattle Junior Leukemia Cup Regatta.

Seattle Yacht Club hosted the first ever Seattle Junior Leukemia Cup Regatta on Sunday, May 21st. Fifteen SYC junior sailors stepped up and collectively raised nearly $10,000 to help cure blood cancers. We sailed the V15s on Portage Bay and we had great weather, with sunshine and plenty of wind and had an all around great time. Kit Stoll won the top fundraiser award, raising over $2,000 and also won top skipper. Luke Gibbons won top crew. A big shout out to our coach Cam Hoard who volunteered his Sunday to run the regatta. Thanks to all of the SYC junior sailors who participated and did such a great job fundraising. We are all excited to make this an annual event at SYC and are looking forward to raising even more money next year.  Join the fight to beat blood cancers! – Owen Timms

Ed. Note: Thanks Owen and Seattle YC for putting this together and showing that the youth of today have it figured out, doing good and building community while having a great time. And for placing sailing front and center. 

SYC Leukemia Cup Junior Regatta

Owen Timms, an up and coming force on the Laser scene already, is behind the Seattle Yacht Club Leukemia Cup Junior Regatta, which will take place in Portage Bay at the Seattle Yacht Club on Sunday. For more information and registration check out this page. For Owen’s fundraising page, go here. We’ll try to get info on the regatta and fundraising next week.

Youth Open House on Saturday!!

Youth Open House on Saturday!!

Isn’t it great when sailing groups work together? The various sailing programs around the Salish Sea are generally pretty busy these days, but that’s no time to stop promoting.

From 11-3 on Saturday at Sail Sand Point several organizations will be putting their programs out there for the world, and lots of kids, to see. The Sailing Foundation has a big hand in coordinating it with funds made available by the Northwest Marine Trade Association.

Hobie Waves at Sail Sand Point

Visitors can go for a sail, enjoy a free barbecue and find out about our great sport. There’s a great bonus, high schoolers are having a team race regatta, and if you haven’t seen the high school sailing scene, or if you haven’t seen team racing, it’s all very inspiring and fun to watch.

Here’s the thing, LET OTHERS KNOW! If you’re reading this, you may already have your kid dialed in. We need to spread the word further, please let your non-sailing friends know about this. You know – the ones who’ve seen your eyes light up while you talk about sailing.

Here are some of the details courtesy of Andrew Nelson of The Sailing Foundation:

Think of this as Opening Day for the small boaters. Our goal is to get people out on the water, including those who might have never tried sailing before. Big thanks to the NMTA for again providing a grant for this event.

There will be one central check-in/information area where we’ll let area sailing programs display brochures and other materials. We will be offering lots of fun activities and a free BBQ once again. This event also coincides with the HS team race championships, so there will be lots happening on the water and plenty of good spectating.

Provided activities include…

FREE BBQ

Boat Rides (Boats provided by SSP)

Jr. Sailing Info Table

High School Sailing Spectating

Giant jenga

Corn Hole

Ladder Golf

Block and Tackle Tug of War

Arts and Crafts 

Junior Sailing Info Sessions

Last year we had about 200 members of the community come down for the event.

Dick Wagner, Founder of the Center for Wooden Boats

Dick Wagner, Founder of the Center for Wooden Boats

I had the honor of meeting Dick Wagner a couple years ago. He died last Thursday, but The Center for Wooden Boats (CWB) which he founded will carry on indefinitely into the future doing exactly what he valued, getting people out on the water.

I never availed myself of the opportunity to interview him. Fortunately many others have. Here is the obit in The Seattle Times.

His priority was getting people onto the water. His approach was simplify the process. And he broke down the usual barriers. There were no intimidating “Members Only” signs, no big hoops to jump through to just take out a boat for a sail. Or row. The CWB still gives people free rides!

Moreover, he built a community. It became a hub of life for many people. They’d volunteer their time, learn to work the wood in their hands and breathe life back into beautiful old boats that someone – or sometimes everyone – had given up on.

Apparently he could be “brusque” on the docks and not always warm and fuzzy, but he did a great thing for boating in the Northwest.

And while CWB’s scope expanded more than Wagner could have possibly imagined when he started it all, the sense is that they will continue seeing their role on the waterfront as Wagner envisioned, to simply get people on the water. The boats and facilities needn’t be perfect. And needn’t maximize the bottom line. What is needed, I think he would argue, is to get people on the water.

I sure hope his vision continues.

The naval architect Bob Perry wrote of his contact with Wagner on Sailing Anarchy, which provides great insight, and he allowed me to share it here along with a drawing he did for Wagner in 1969:

My old friend and giant in the PNW world of wooden boats, Dick Wagner, died on Thursday at his houseboat on Lake Union.

I met Dick in about 1970 when I was playing in the band and I ran across his boat rental business on Lake Union. I was a very frequent renter and one day Dick said, ‘This is very expensive for you. How would you like to exchange working on the boats for use of the boats?” I jumped at it and we became friends. In time I rented the houseboat next to Dick’s and from time to time I’d watch the rental business when Dick went out of town. I cruised Dick’s 42’ schooner SINBAD.

I won’t even try to document what Dick did for the wooden boat scene in Seattle.  Safe to say he singlehandedly established The Center For Wooden Boats on Lake Union. If not single handed, damn near.

He was really a nice guy, intense with a fiery temper and no time at all for idiots. Dick encouraged my youthful yacht design efforts when others were laughing at me. He gave me little design jobs that looking back I think he gave me to help my confidence along.

Dick was the only person I ever knew who pronounced “block and tackle” as “block and taykle” the way the old timers reportedly said it.

Dick was a very skilled architect but his heart was in the wooden boat scene.

A funny image I have of Dick is when some non sailor would rent a boat. They would have to sail it out of the narrow area between the houseboats off Westlake. Typically this would not go well and Dick would chase them down the dock screaming at them until they were out of ear shot. I think Dick may have gotten more rental money when the renters were too afraid to sail back to the dock.

R.I.P. Dick in a nice old wooden boat that never needs upkeep.

 

Here’s a video piece with Wagner explaining the thinking behind the CWB and its beginnings.

Here’s the message from The Center for Wooden Boats’ web site.

 

The Center for Wooden Boats’ navigator and true north, Founding Director Dick Wagner, passed away at home with his family on Thursday, April 20th.  His was a life well lived.

Dick was one of a kind.  A man of uncommon perseverance, he believed profoundly in the power of people.  He helped us imagine the unimaginable, inspiring us to whole-heartedly join the effort to create something brand new.  A graduate of Columbia and Yale, he was trained as an architect and thought like an urban planner.  Some people change skylines. Dick changed Seattle’s waterline.  He showed us how to bring to life a stark shoreline by providing public access to the water.  He showed us that a living museum could have mostly moving parts, and that everyone could be engaged in learning by doing.  The goal was always to get a tool, an oar, a tiller, or a mainsheet in someone’s hand, so they could feel the wood, the water, or the wind as they discovered with amazement what they could do.  That was learning, that was growing, that was living.

Passing skills from one generation to the next, we were preserving the maritime heritage that is integral to human history in the Pacific Northwest.  Dick believed in boats without barriers, serving our community across cultural and economic boundaries.

With a track record of public benefit and creative vision, Dick positioned CWB as a leader in the maritime heritage community.  He profoundly influenced the evolution of Lake Union Park and the urban neighborhood at South Lake Union.  Turn the clock back more than 30 years to CWB’s first days in South Lake Union.  Scan the shoreline from Kenmore Air to Foss Maritime, and it would be unrecognizable but for the cedar-shingled boatshop ably performing every function a fledgling hands-on museum might need.  Today, that boatshop is joined by another floating building and a new one on shore, all monuments to the enduring value of Dick’s vision.  What Dick and his wife, Colleen, started in their home so many years ago has grown into a Seattle treasure and national destination, and the new building is fittingly named the Dick and Colleen Wagner Education Center.  Years later, the State of Washington approached Dick to extend his vision and create The Center for Wooden Boats at Cama Beach State Park on Camano Island.  Still later, King County Metro partnered with CWB to activate a new site near Gas Works Park in North Lake Union.

As an unconventional community organizer and eloquent advocate for youth, Dick inspired a generation of community leaders.  He was committed to democratizing the world of sailing and using wooden boats as a force for good.  He believed CWB should serve all members of the community, especially the young and those with special needs.  He was most proud of our programs that serve homeless youth and people with physical challenges.  He considered our free Sunday Public Sails a critical community service.  There were so many important stories to tell, and a diverse collection of boats helped us tell those stories.

Dick was famously serious about the most efficient way to sail boats with traditional rigs, and if you were smart, you would heed his advice.  His intensity was matched by his impish sense of humor.  A gifted writer, he delighted in unusual metaphors, sometimes nautical, sometimes celestial, sometimes structural in nature.  As an architect and planner, he effortlessly produced surprising and inventive – even fanciful – solutions to old problems and answers to questions that no one else was asking.  Upon hearing a well-told tale or witty remark, Dick’s eyes would sparkle, his whole face would crinkle with a wide grin, and a staccato giggle would burst forth.  He was never without a pen and paper, or a napkin in a pinch, because the ideas were constantly flowing, the to-do lists were without end, and the boat sketches practically drew themselves.   A man of refined tastes, he used to keep a bottle of good scotch in his desk drawer and occasionally raise a glass at day’s end with treasured friends, who were invariably devoted CWB donors and volunteers.

Dick dreamed on a grand scale but delivered results on a human scale.  He favored small boats that could be single-handed over large vessels.  He favored deep, rich educational experiences that change lives over hosting crowds for brief visits with little lasting impact.  He favored handwritten letters packed with personality and inspiration – and a Wagnerian doodle if you were lucky – over mass mailings generated by the miracles of technology.

Ever the expansive thinker, even in the early days, Dick could be heard to say, “Today Lake Union, tomorrow the world!”  He wanted CWB to have the widest impact possible and do the most good for the most people.  The community efforts that Dick helped bring to life from Oregon to Virginia to the Caribbean to St. Petersburg, Russia, seem to signal that tomorrow has arrived.  Dick has left Seattle and the world a better place.

At Dick’s request, there will be no services. CWB is planning several events to celebrate his life. Check our website and social media channels for upcoming details.

Blakely Rock Benefit Regatta

Blakely Rock Benefit Regatta

It’s been a long time since 116 boats have been on Puget Sound for a race on the same day, but that’s exactly what happened for Saturday’s Blakely Rock Benefit Regatta (BRBR). And with a gentle southerly, sailors and non-sailors alike looking out at Sound got to see a gorgeous parade of boats headed back to Shilshole after rounding the Rock.

Why so many boats? Maybe it had to do with the beneficiary of the regatta, The Sailing Foundation (TSF) and its efforts at promoting youth sailing. While all the beneficiaries of this race are worthy, there’s a natural connection with TSF. Maybe the participation had to do with the promotional efforts by the Sloop Tavern YC  and Andrew Nelson of TSF. There was lots of outreach. Maybe the Sloop offering a provisional PHRF racing for a race helped spur attendance. It did in my case.

Regardless, why were there so many boats in BRBR is probably worth some study. In the meantime here are some great Jan Anderson photos and a race to talk about. The sun mixed with clouds and a bit of warmth made for some very happy faces, and Jan caught a lot of them. Maybe a shot or two of your boat?

There were three, count’em three, non flying sails classes comprising 15 boats. Starting first, they could stay in more of the dying breeze longer, though that couldn’t help some of the boats when it got super light off Shilshole. Despite that, every non-flying sails boat that started, finish. In fact, only two boats that started DNFed. Hey, it’s a benefit regatta and a beautiful day and, really, so what if some boats are a mile ahead. It’s great to be on the water, and that racing climate is what makes this race special.

There was something really special about watching Crossfire and Smoke smoke through the fleet on the long leg to the Meadow Point buoy. With their tall rigs and generating their own apparent wind, it didn’t seem like a light air race to them. They finished first and second overall, respectively. There were lots of other impressive performances you can find in the results. The two Bob Perry-designed Flying Tigers had a great day, finishing first and second in class. An Aussie 18 skiff, brought here temporarily from the sailing skiff Foundation in San Francisco and skippered by Evan Sjostedt, flew around the leadmines with the greatest of ease.

But this race was primarily about a relaxed race and gathering some funds for TSF. Youth Sailing Director Andrew Nelson doesn’t have the final numbers yet, but it was surely a significant fundraiser for the organization. And he reported that Ben Glass on Ocelot (The Mighty Ocelot for this race, anyway) invited four high school kids, who must have had a blast. Video below and on the sailish.com Facebook page.

And we’ll throw in another photo, this one of the Swan 391 Oxomoro crossing the trimaran Escape. Photo courtesy of Oxomoro skipper Doug Frazer, and if you want to see a relationship between a happy owner and boat unfold, check this slideshow out.

Oxomoro and Escape (click to enlarge)

Onboard Slipstream

The race was SO appealing, my boat partners Joe and Becky Burcar and I raced our C&C 36 Slipstream with their 6 year old daughter Charlotte and my 10 year old son Ian.  We would have won (not) for sure if not for a major crisis rounding Blakely Rock. Charlotte needed help getting her socks on, and was really quite insistent about it. Mommy was on the helm, and Joe and I were rather busy at the time and Ian’s help was unacceptable. So, after gybing the headsail and pointing back toward Shilshole, the first order of business was Joe getting Charlotte’s socks on. And you know, that was perfect. As it turned out, Charlotte’s socks were much less of a problem than our spinnaker sock. Following are a couple little videos I posted live to Facebook.

It’s obvious that with smartphone cameras and their ubiquitous use , we’re going to see more and more onboard footage. If you want to share yours on sailish.com or our FB page, let me know.