Course: Nanaimo to French Creek
Distance: 22.10 nautical miles
It all started
at 6:58, my wake up call was 7am, Kim said to me "Jason, it's
7am, I've been up since 5:30am everything here is going on the boat,
Rhonda will be here at 8am,
(he added some other items I don't
recall) I'll see you there. I couldn't believe it, I am not a morning
person, I said, "k, just give me two seconds", the count
down began, 1, 2 ok and Kim was off to the Cheekee Monkee.
I looked out from our hotel room and there was hardly any wind but
I could feel the breeze beginning. I packed up and met Joe and Colin
downstairs and our support crew arrived on schedule at 8am.
We had a very good breakfast listening to the jazz band playing
next to the food wagon, you could feel the excitement in the air,
and everyone was rushing around with missions. We packed up the
Monkee and headed out at 9:45 for the starting line.
We decided to
take the Starboard end of the line (it was the end of the Pier)
with a Starboard tack upwind to the mark where we would round, unfurl
the screecher and then change sails to our spinnaker.
We slid inside
behind the pier and began to luff our sails for position to be the
highest of the starboard boats. The wind was 15 to 18 knots from
the southeast (on the nose) at the start. 20 seconds, "ok let's
GO!" Kim yells. Off we set on our starboard tack; little did
we know that in the last 15 minutes the wind had shifted about 15
degrees in favor of the other end of the start line. We were getting
headed while the pin end boats were getting a very favorable lift.
Two tacks later
and we were rounding Protection Island the wind steadily building
to 20+ knots. We unfurled the screecher (we were leeward to all
the boats that had gotten the lift) and we immediately shot off
like a rocket. We were passing the fleet to leeward (shooting past
below them) and we were triple slotted with our screecher, jib and
main cranked on a reach and we were flying!
We were looking
over to Redshift when it looked to be that they were almost going
over! The boat was standing on their port side ama and it looked
like they may go over (Wayne latter showed me his bow sprit, it
was in the shape of an L in stead of a |). Bam, the gust hit us,
we were taken by surprise however we maintained our control and
off we went screaming past the remaining competitors. There was
Dragon Fly in our sites off in the distance.
the spinnaker" Kim stated, all of us went to our posts and
we hoisted the shoot, we took off gaining speed with every passing
minute. 17.2 knots Kim yells!
we saw Flip Flop and Fly chasing our every move, ahead we could
see Dragon Fly. We were definitely on a Dragon hunt this morning.
The winds steadily built to 20 knots and the seas built to 3 feet.
Kim yells "let's do some surfing!" We were riding the
waves then plow, Kim would drive the Monkee right through the wave
ahead sending a tidal wave over our cabin!
We were sailing
very flat but from my position (I was posted on the Spinnaker sheet
on leeward) I could only see the ama completely submersed. "This
is called, Jet Ski style sailing!" Kim says as we have yet
another wave comes from the bow to the stern in 1.3 seconds flat.
I had water coming strait down my back and my water proof socks
began to fill with water.
We could see
that Dragon Fly was getting bigger! We were making progress on them.
The seas were building and so was the excitement. Kim was fantastic
at the helm; he was driving down the waves picking up an extra knot
to 2 knots!
I only blew
the shoot off twice because I thought we were going under. Colin
on the other hand had a completely different perspective from the
stern of the Monkee, Kim from Windward and Joe and I kept looking
at each other to ensure we both were on the same page. Joe was on
the main sheet ready to blow it off in case we stood the Monkee
on its nose.
Joe says "we've
been sailing for 1.5 hours, how much further? It turned out that
15 minutes later we were the second boat to finish! I think we were
about 12 - 15 minutes behind Dragon fly.
It was rough
going entering the Harbour as the mouth was very tight and there
was a power boat flogging in the entrance and never once did they
indicate that they were in trouble. It turns out that their steering
went just as they were about to enter the marina. The rescue boat
arrived and removed them from blocking our entrance to the marina.
When all competitors
finished, the festivities began. The Skippers meeting was at 5:45,
it turned out that there were 5 boats in total that broke the existing
finish time record, Dragon fly took the honor for finishing first
and shattering the speed record to French Creek!
1st on corrected time, Flip Flop and Fly finished about 4 min behind
us. We thought that they may have had us, they sailed a terrific
race. Redshift finished 3rd with a broken bow sprit with Sauterelle,
Dragon Fly and Bad Kitty rounding out our division.
place winners also got a 6 pack of beer, Joe didn't mind as none of us drink!
had heard the night before at dinner with a certain Bad Kitty that
"the inside was ok and it was too bad that he was missing the
best part, the outside legs!" After today I can guarantee that
nobody will be saying this wasn't the most exciting kick off they
have ever seen. Bad Kitty!
yielded us an overall position of first place but tomorrow is another
race. We hope for great winds again tomorrow and we will keep you