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Thread: AK Race Discussion

  1. #1
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    Default AK Race Discussion

    Bob, I was also very much interested in the purpose-build Proa and it looked good. I don't know what happened, but somewhere I read it began taking on water during Leg 1. It would have been an interesting competitor for the tri, if it had worked.

    I sailed on a smaller proa back in the 1970s. A Sausalito Cruising Club guy was into building "different" sailboats, including moving the mast on a sloop to the stern and rigging a staysail main, junk rigs, and such. He took two old cat hulls (I don't know the vintage), cut them in half and glassed two together to create the main hull, then built the outrigger. It sailed pretty good back and forth along Sausalito's waterfront, although coming about took quite a bit of time moving the rudder and dagger board. Didn't do so good out on the Bay. Luckily we had a crash boat along; the only time I've gone swimming in the Bay! The last time I saw it was in the back of Anderson's Boatyard before KKMI took over.

    Maybe the idea behind the AKR is the same as the first SSS Farallones and Hawaii races - not so much a "race" as the sense of accomplishment of competing in and completing a difficult adventure.

  2. #2
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    For convenience, here's the link again to the race tracking page (ironic that I'M posting it?)

    Race to Alaska Tracking

    If you're wondering what the big deal is with timing a transit of Seymour Narrows, check the speed of the current:

    Tide and Current tables for Seymour Narrows, BC
    Last edited by BobJ; 06-09-2015 at 03:29 PM.

  3. #3
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    My understanding is that the boat that is leading by an insane amount of miles has an SSS member/alumni on board. There has been a lot of attrition amongst the main fleet as our normal summer time westerly flow has slowed down or stopped many of those who imagined it was primarily a rowing race. These westerlies throw up a short steep chop and 20 to 30 knots is quite common. For those who haven't been following the race, almost the only rule is that there are no motors allowed on board and of course no outside assistance altho you are allowed to stop and go to a hotel etc. I have made the trip a thousand times and am very very happy that I'm not in the race.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter00 View Post
    . I have made the trip a thousand times and am very very happy that I'm not in the race.
    Peter, I read somewhere that racers are discouraged from stopping to rest along the way because of grizzlies. Perhaps this additional hazard explains the appeal of the race for former SSS Transpac participants. I notice 10 knot currents. Hoo whee! And we complain about 2-4 knots!

  5. #5
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    Well grizzlies are definitely something to keep in mind when beach camping altho it is pretty rare for anyone to be hurt. The very fast currents at Seymour Narrows are only very strong for less than a mile and if you stick to the Maude Island shore there are very few (if any) real whirlpools etc. Having said that I have never rowed or sailed through. Seymour Narrows is a mark of the course so they have to pass through but over the whole course 2-4 knots would be much more typical current flow. I think I would prefer the beach and the grizzlies rather than bucking into a 30 knot westerly and 4 knots of current in a small boat in Johnston Strait.

  6. #6
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    Al Hughes (SHTP 04, 06, 08) is ELSIE PIDDOCK's skipper and according to the race site, Al also has six Van Isle 360's under his belt. They sailed through Seymour Narrows at the end of the ebb, then camped for the night.

    I'm impressed with how well these small, light trimarans go upwind in heavy conditions. I'd noticed it in races here on the Bay but this confirms it.

  7. #7
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    If you look at the tracker you can see they are just killing everyone and in conditions that have made me stop in 40' diesel powered
    fishboats. Last I looked they were off Cape Caution which is one of the two open ocean stretches on the course. Once they reach Calvert Is. they are 'inside' again and in relatively protected water until they reach Dixon Entrance which is the AK border.

  8. #8
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    I was DH crew on a F24 for a Moonlight Marathon down though San Pablo Bay one choppy night. We blasted down Bay (upwind) with very little loss of point compared to the lead mines, who we passed regardless of size. My sole job was to sit at the forward end of the trampoline so the stern wouldn't drag. Wet ride. The boat was owned by my neighbor who built his own sails in his garage. He won our SH Farallones one year with that boat.

    I'll be interested to hear how Al compares the F25C's ride to DOGBARK (his first-generation Open 60).
    Last edited by BobJ; 06-10-2015 at 10:36 AM.

  9. #9
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    So Al and crew have headed OUTSIDE Calvert Is. I have to admit that I never would of thought of doing that in a million years since inside is generally flat water and quite wide (except for Llama Pass). Anyone who has read my book Lee Shore Blues will understand that the course they have taken passes very close to the mayday call I wrote about when the Canadian herring fisherman risked their lives to rescue the Americans on the packer that had got up on the Virgins. It is an area full of rock piles. Very aggressive innovative sailing/piloting. Their lead has been reduced somewhat I think.

  10. #10
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    Looks like a good move with what the wind is (not) doing. Select Wind and then click the arrow at the top right to advance the time:

    http://www.passageweather.com/mobi/alaska.htm


    (Sorry for all the post edits - I worked better with two cans and a string.)
    Last edited by BobJ; 06-10-2015 at 02:38 PM.

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