Fleet Captains Report: Oct '13

posted Nov 25, 2013, 9:45 PM by A Rice   [ updated Nov 25, 2013, 9:45 PM by PacificNorthWest MultihullAssoc ]

Fleet Captains Report:

With the memories of summer long behind me, and a schedule that did not allow Alii Kai any warm weather racing, the colors of fall sailing season are in mid stride.   Here is the latest in multihull racing based on my observations ... 

Peter Nelson US Multihull Championships.
Photo courtesy Jan Anderson.
For more pictures, visit JanPix's

Took in some of the best armchair racing ever this late summer/early fall watching You Tube clips of the 34th America's Cup, but let's get a bit closer to home and some of our local multihull action!

I know that a few boats were out for the Harvest Regatta at the end of September.  The forecast was for the dog to be blown off the chain, but apparently the full force of the system did not occur on the race course.  While many were prepared for the 30-40kts of breeze, I hear that 25+ was all mother nature delivered.  The Course was kept somewhat in the lee due to the forecast and if you wanted a stormy day of multihull sailing in September, the Harvest regatta was the one for you.

Personally I was hoping to use  the ECYC Foul Weather Bluff race as a tune up for boat and crew for November's grand prix event, Round the County, but crew availability and mother nature, had other plans. I only needed one person to commit to both events, but could not make it happen and had to scramble for crew.  What would I do if I needed 7-10?  Launched the boat in Everett and had a lovely delivery to Edmonds on Friday evening prior to Foul Weather Bluff.  The forecast was for plenty of October sunshine and no wind :(  Had a crack crew on board for what was anything but "foul weather".

We discussed motoring to the boat end of the line but thought 15 minutes would be plenty of time to drift there, we were wrong!  We watched Freda Mae cross at the boat end and head straight towards Pt No Pt and the opposite shore and 20 minutes later we made it to the line.  The tide was ebbing for the 1st few hours, although the location of the start and the water coming out of Saratoga passage made it difficult for us to discern where the favored push would be.  Based on our start we sailed the race we were given versus our own strategy, which would have been to get into the middle of the sound and use the ebbing tide.  We sailed, current raced, just right of middle to the course line for Scatchet Head and did our best to avoid adverse current lines.   Apparently some chose to cross Possession Sound on the slack tide to seek the back eddy off of Pt No Pt, with the oncoming flood tide. After several hours and little progress the course was shortened to finish at Scatchet Head.  Would we even make it that far before the flood tide pushed us back toward the start mark.  We watched Freda Mae and several other boats leave the far left at Pilots' Point and cross Possession Sound only to park up in the lee of Possession Point and the now flooding tide. With plenty of boats to show us where not to go (no wind and adverse current) we were able to keep inching our way forward towards the finish mark.  We managed to navigate current seams and somehow come up with a net gain in spite of the sea saw battle with positive/negative currents.  Guns started firing as those who sailed smarter than us began to cross the finish line.  We were still 2-3 miles from the finish and hoped that the dark line in the distance was a bit of a northerly to get us to our destination.  Freda Mae was still parked up hard under Possession Pt when the dark water arrived.  I believe it was more current than wind, but again we were moving on other boats by staying in a more positive current stream!  We eventually felt we could lay the finish and tacked over to port in the best breeze of the day , hoping it would allow us to cross the line as the flood tide was now in full swing!  When we finally hit the line, we had reversed our large deficit to Freda Mae and took a gun!

While I can't say it did anything for me to tune up for the upcoming Round the County race November 9/10, I represented the NWMA at the awards ceremony and was treated to an absolutely stunning sunset while returning the boat to the launch ramp in Everett.  Looks like we  have 8 multihulls registered for RTC, and hope to see all of you sooner than later.

Go Fast and Sail Smart,
Doug Barlow - NWMA Fleet Captain.
F-28R  #49  Alii Ka