Leg Update

Start: 1030 hrs. The start will be in the same area as the previous finish.

Finish: The finish is right in Hardy Bay off the Government dock in downtown Port Hardy. The race committee motorhome will be on station on the Government Dock. This is an excellent spot to watch, panic, spinnaker takedowns.

Moorage: Moorage is hosted at the Summer Floats, adjacent to the Government Dock, at the foot of Granville St., courtesy of the District of Port Hardy; see this link for a map of the town and other information – www.ph-chamber.bc.ca/map4.html

Facilities: Fuel is available however there is no shore power on these docks and water is at the head of the dock. Shower facilities and a refreshing swim are provided courtesy of the District of Port Hardy at the Swimming Complex a short walk away. Laundry and shopping are close by.

Awards Reception: Awards and BBQ at the head of the dock in Carrot Park.

Festivities: The Mayor of Port Hardy, Harry Mose, and District Administrator, Rick Davidge, have once again planned some great family entertainment, mostly with a native theme, in Carrot Park.

Special Notes: Stock up on provisions at Save On Foods as Winter Harbour has a very limited selection. The next stop for provisioning is Ucluelet.

Leg Update

By: Morgan Tedrow

Date: June 16

Course: Telegraph Cove to Port Hardy

Distance: 28.10 nm

Leg 6 was scheduled for 10:30 am right outside of telegraph cove. The late start meant a nice relaxed morning with a scheduled 9:45 push off. Mike, still on East coast time of sorts, got an early start getting up at 6:30. I had my mind on getting up a little later. and was woke up at the crack of 8:40 when Kim came back to our cabin with Wayne Gorrie looking for Shane or Jason.

Wayne was having trouble with the posting results to the VanIsle website and was looking for the kind of geeky assistance that could be found among the Cheekee Monkee crew. After much geek talk over breakfast, Jason and I went up to Wayne and Jeannine’s cabin with Jeannine and her laptop to see if we could assist. We managed to get Jeannine on track for posting the results for the next leg and were talking about some of the other issues she was having with the website when we noticed that it was only 30 minutes until the start and we needed to get down to the boat.

On our way up to the cabin, I had noticed that out that just off the start line in Broughton Straight the breeze had filled in with white caps, maybe 10-15 knots. The wind was coming right down the straight from the southeast, so it would be a downwind run from the start. I hurried down the dock to the boat to get my drysuit on, thinking this was going to be a wet day. Shane needs to cut the seals down on his drysuit, but the rest of us don our dry suits and manage to push off the dock with 15 minutes until the start.

We hoist the main and Kim hands the helm over to me so he can mark the starting line in the Computer’s GPS chart. I turn the boat toward the Race Committee’s RV and throttle up the engine. Most of the boats are assembling themselves down by the west end of the line. Since we are going North West, the west end of the line is heavily favoured. The West end of the line is marked by a navigation light and the East end of the line is marked by a flag on land by the Race Committee. I run the boat by the flag and Mike calls out the line for Kim. After the confirmation from Kim, I loop the boat back to the correct side of the line and start motoring toward the other end of the line. There are less than 5 minutes to the start and we need to cut the motor. Kim takes the helm, and Shane cuts the engine. We hoist the Jib and get ready for a jib and spinnaker run after the start.

There was only one problem with our post start plan. The white caps sat just on the other side of the start line and we were in a hole, actually, the entire fleet was in a hole, with amazing wind just a stone through away. We sit bobbing in the waves, sails hanging like a wet towel, wrapping with each wave. One minute left to the start, Kim calls for the screecher. Nothing, 30 seconds left. It fills ever so slightly on our starboard side, with a westerly breeze, the complete opposite direction of the wind 50 yards in front of us. The westerly starts to fill the screecher, the boat begins to move toward the line. The horn goes, then again, several boats are over early. Kim asks if we are over early, I check the GPS plot and confirm that we are not. The screecher backwinds into the rig, we furl it over to the other side of the boat and we begin to accelerate. 20 seconds after the start we hit 1.6 knots, 40 seconds we hit 3 knots. Kim calls for the spinnaker. The boat crosses the start line. Flash is just below us; we begin to get more pressure in the sails passing Flash as we finish the hoist and furl the screecher.

A little after a minute after the start the boat hits 7.5 knots, we are really starting to get into the wind. Bang, the Cheekee Monkee starts to take off like a bullet out of a riffle. Two minutes out we 12 knots and Kim starts to turn down. Another minute later we hit 17 knots and it doesn’t appear that anyone else has even crossed the start line. We are humming along at 18-19 knots for the next several minutes, Flash appears to be the only boat that has managed to get into the wind, but they are more than a mile back. Boats that chose the West end of the line were in a bigger hole than we were with current-carrying them away from the line. After another couple of minutes, the boats on the west end of the start line begin to crawl out to the wind line and head our way.