Sunday, August 14, 2016

Not on my boat!

HISC Ladies Day Race

What a great race day today!
Last night the forecast was not so great, bleak, stormy, high winds, high seas, not looking good.
This morning we were woken by heavy thunder extending from the long night storms. Then more rain en-route to Esprit Du Vent, our friends sailing boat and sister ship to Eximius. Radar showed storms moving from the ESE and persisting for a few hours.

At the parking spot where the team met up, conversation quickly rotated around the weather and reefing, even would the race be called?

Peggy, Pam and Anita were joined by the owners, Franco, Pat, Christeen and they headed off to the boat, I was headed to the Race Committee boat to help out there during the race, though not much help was needed.

As we approached the Hillsboro Inlet bridge, we saw Esprit Du Vent headed back in? What's up? Conditions ugly? Left something at the slip? Turns out they were just taking a break from the heavy conditions that were just outside the inlet and as they had nearly 2 hours to get to the start line, they decided to duck in out of the weather for a short while.

Once out of the Inlet, we unfurled the jib and powered down the engine, then about an hour of sailing up and down the coast line north of the inlet. It was a really nice sail, a total bonus that was not expected. Siboney - a Beneteau 40 - was really comfortable and the conditions were great.

We dropped the anchor for the start bouy and motored north to drop anchor to hold station as the other end of the start line. Then it was just sit a while till the race boats approached from all directions.

Once the race course description was given out on the radio, we got the flags and horn in order to get the race started on time.

5 Minutes before the start, the Yellow flag was displayed and a single horn sounded. 4 minutes before start the Blue Peter was displayed alongside the Yellow flag. The race boats were milling around the start line by this time, some were going to start very close to the start horn.
At 1 minute before the race start, the Blue Peter was dropped and a horn sounded. Finally at the start time of 11am, the Yellow flag was dropped and the long start horn sounded. They were off.

Very quickly, several boats were over the line. No surprise, Third Tri was over first and quickly headed towards the race mark that was basically due east of the start line. Other boats quickly crossed, while the stragglers struggeled to get across the line, but all were successful and no incidents.

Now not much to do except keep an eye out for the leader and check the time as she got to the finish mark. The next boat would be a while, nobody could keep close to Third Try.

After lunch on the boat, the remaining boats crossed the line, just as well as the seas started to pickup. We pulled the anchor as it was getting uncomfortable holding into the growing seas. Once the anchor was out of the water, we turned to keep station on the north end of the start / finish line. It wasn't long before the last boats crossed the line and we could turn south to retrieve the start bouy, then a quick dash down to the Inlet getting a few cooling splashes over the bow as the seas continued to grow. 

Once inside the Inlet, we turned after the bridge and headed north on the Intracoastal.

And that was pretty well the end of the Ladies Day Race. Nobody hurt, no boats dinged, everyone seems to be still talking to the rest of their crew. The signs of a good race day.

Now we're home and getting ready to celebrate the results tonight, but everybody won! 

Next year we'll race Eximius!

See you on the water soon.

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