Big Little Duel in Foulweather Bluff Race

Big Little Duel in Foulweather Bluff Race

By all accounts this year’s Edmonds YC Foulweather Bluff Race last Saturday wasn’t the most tactically intriguing, but it was a good chance for a clash of the Titans, namely Gay Morris’ Shark 24 Fayaway and Bill Stange’s Westsail 32 (yes, Westsail 32) Hula. See below for the blow by blow account.

Crossfire’s Track

While the big boats didn’t figure in the overall podium standings, they of course had a great race among themselves with Glory coming out on top of Crossfire and Smoke. According to Nigel Barron of Crossfire, the key moment was shortly after the start when Crossfire and and Smoke gybed to get north while Glory headed across the Sound. “That was the move,” Barron reported, “As you can see, three gybes and no tacks for the race. Not a lot of passing lanes.” Crossfire‘s track at left.

Other notable performances were put in by Kiwi Express which edged Here and Now by under a minute, Jaded which won the 7-boat J/105 class and Bat Out Of Hell which beat the Flying Tiger Anarchy by only 30 seconds.

Jan and Skip Anderson (and the pooch Mocha) were on hand to catch the smiles and the start. Please go to her FWB gallery and enjoy the photos. Here are some. Click to enlarge.

But the real battle of the day took place in Class 2, and it would be hard to find three more different boats in a cruiser racer class. Fittingly, they ended up 1st, 2nd and 4th overall among the monohulls. (Yeah, the catamaran Dragonfly corrected time was in there too but she’s really in a class of her own) I’ll let my friend Gay Morris of the Shark 24 Fayaway (2200lbs) describe his battle with the Perry Quarter Tonner Bingo (4000 lbs?) and Bill Stange’s Westsail 32 Hula (19500 lbs):

Clash of the Titans

Foulweather Bluff 2017 was a very memorable sail for us on the little Shark 24, Fayaway. The race was quick, basically a run and two close reaches. It was not a very challenging course. We started well at the west end of the line and reached west. The tide was ebbing and the 5-6 knot southerly was showing signs of increasing. Soon after the start I looked down and saw the Westsail 32 Hula sailing very well. She had speed on us.

Citroën 2CV, or “Deux Chevaux” in case you were wondering.

They were flying their beautiful pink kite just perfectly and inching ahead all the time. One of the Shark’s weaknesses is downwind in light air. Even with Fayaway‘s penalty spinnaker and double penalty main we could just not keep pace. I told my crew we were being out horse-powered, like a Deux Chevaux against a big Buick. The Quarter Tonner Bingo was going very well too.

Once out west of the Possession Bar most of us gybed toward Scatchet Head. The winds went lighter, maybe 3-4 knots. I remember hearing a train going by Meadowdale and told my crew that we should get an easterly shift. We did and had a good reach for the mark, staying high because of the ebbing tide. Bingo was first around, having sailed a very nice run. Hula was right on their tail a half mile ahead of us.

The reach to Pilot Point was a straight away close reach and the wind built up to 12 knots from the south. Hula moved out again nicely, using her greater waterline.

At the rounding Hula lost a little by going inshore before tacking. Fayaway tacked at the mark and headed east right away. The winds built to about 15. The Shark loves a breeze. They do not point high but do go very fast for their rating. For a light boat they do not slow down in the chop like so many boats do. We eased sheets slightly, hiked hard and went fast, passing four boats on this last leg.  Ahead of us Hula went fast and munched through the chop easily. We did gain a couple minutes on the last leg but Hula was too far out there. I guess we ran out of runway. A few more miles and we would have corrected on her. Hula corrected to first overall and Fayaway second overall, about two minutes behind. Bill Stange is an excellent sailor and his crew did a perfect job. It is always a pleasure racing against him no matter what boats are involved. – Gay Morris

And Then There’s This – Take Note Race Organizers!

And we have to include this nice note from John Wolfe of CYC Edmonds:

Dear Kurt,

We Corinthians in Edmonds thank you as editor and Bruce Hedrick as contributor for the spot on forecast which made it easier for our race committee to run a shorter course for the faster boats in last Saturday’s FWB race.

NOAA’s forecast had us all licking our lips for much better than average wind but Bruce Hedrick’s forecast reeled us back to the reality that you have to sail with the wind you have.

Thanks! John Wolfe CYCE

Race Organizers: Bruce has kindly been offering up his weather outlooks and racers and committees respond! The Briefs engage sailors and get everybody thinking about this puzzle that is the Salish sea. Ours, after all, is as much a intellectual sport as it is a boatspeed challenge. And while even a Bruce Brief forecast isn’t always spot on, it helps everyone make better decisions. Please get in touch with me about your event and I’ll beg Bruce to put his thinking cap on for your race – then help me spread the word that the Brief exists. Thanks! -KMH