December 14, 2002: A cloudy, post-frontal day at Sale Creek Marina, with a forecast of west winds at 10-15. Sailors assembled for the fourth race in the Shackleton Series, dressed as if they're about to set off into the Southern Ocean.
Ted Turner is a no-show, as usual. Dennis Conner is off prepping for the America's Cup, and Brad Van Liew is off winning another of those around-the-world things, but there's still a good turnout dispite the chilly temperatures. The course is down to Possum Creek and back, with a couple of extra turns so we'll actually get to make a tack or two.
The wind blew fiercy, calmed, then blew again. Fears of having to reef while sailing solo in fierce conditions were replaced with a desire to get up more sail, which of course was even more difficult.
Dutchess risked her spinnaker on the long reach downriver, which provided occasional fluttering and popping sound effects. Possible Mallard, holding onto fourth place behind True Blue, Banana Split, and (need we say it) Maniac, struggled to repair the ship's stereo, which had lost a speaker in the brutal conditions.
Dutchess was chasing Mallard and Mallard was dogging Blue all the way down to Possum Creek--and then Blue communed with the wind and sped off. Possible Mallard eventually limped across the line after a three hour, eight minute race.
Unofficial Race Results
- David Frye, San Juan 24 Banana Split
- Tim Chambers, J-29 Maniac
- David Hoover, Ranger 33 True Blue
- Rodger Ling, Hunter 25.5 Possible Mallard
- Andre Rijskijk, Dutchess
- Eric Almlie, O'Day 23 Katzenjammer
- Steve George, C&C 27 Manana
- Robert Wheeler, Hunter 25 Enchantress
Copyright © 2003 by Rodger Ling.
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