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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Default R2ak 2019

    Up here in the Pacific Northwest the paddleboarders and canoe ers are just finishing up the 70/48 race from Tacoma to Port Townsend. Across the public park at the waterside people are collapsed or sleeping after participating in the pre-R2AK race. They now have 24 hours to recuperate and start all over - on to Victoria BC and maybe even (if they dare) to Ketchikan.

    And who else is up here? Nathalie and her crew on Envolee, Team Shut up and Drive. They passed the safety inspection this afternoon because, although the race is billed as "No Rules" the organizers are not stoopid.

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    Port Townsend is a really fun place to be this week. Lots of stories, lots of happy people. More tomorrow.
    Last edited by Philpott; 06-01-2019 at 07:25 PM.

  2. #2
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    I'm making lots of new acquaintances up here, walking the docks. I suppose the phrase is: dockrat. All it takes is a smile and people start talking, and they all have a story.

    Here is a photo of the favorite: Dragon, a custom multi hull with a very experienced crew. Guy, Tom and Duncan. The sailors are from the Bay area, the boat is from up here. It looks very fast to me.

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    And stern to bow is this small wooden boat

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    That's the Race to Alaska for you. All types of ambition, all kinds of boats, all sorts of every type of sailors, everybody loving being on the water. What's not to like?

  3. #3
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    Then Carl Berger and I compared notes. Carl and a friend motored up to Victoria from Port Townsend on Sockeye, his big, solid, beautiful stinkpot. I call it beautiful because it is Carl's and we are now friends because we were both photographing everybody over the past three days. That's all it takes up here. He gave me the code for the front gate, which is always a friend-making gesture.

    Carl told me to look for a guy named Dean ("thinner than me, not as good looking", according to Carl). Dean had finagled entrance to the deck of the big Vancouver ferry that had the potential to block the view of the start from the western shore side of the harbor.

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    "Look for a guy with an expensive camera", Carl said. So I did and there he was.

    "Hi! Are you dean?"

    "Why, yes I am."

    "Carl said you have access to the bow of the ferry. May I join you?" I asked.

    "Sure", said Dean. So now Dean and I were friends.

    He fished a business card out of his pocket. Tianda Harris, Sales and Business Development at V2V, the ferry between Vancouver and Victoria that 'Cruises the Coast in Style'.

    "I've gotten a ride on a boat, but here's the card of the woman in charge."

    He handed me the card and left.

    I walked over to the V2V and introduced myself to Tianda, who opened the gate and let me choose the perch from which I would video tape the start with my IPhone, video camera of choice for unprofessionals.

    While I was up there on the ferry I met Travis, the Chief Officer of the V2V, who was intrigued by the presence of so many little boats. "They're going WHERE?" Travis was incredulous, and immediately got on his phone to look at the weather forecast and other conditions. "Well, if they leave the harbor and turn left ... or if they turn right.... ". His crew left the cabin to see what was exciting Travis and they stayed to watch.

    And here, at last, is Katy on Razzle Dazzle. Wait'll you hear about Katy and her crew. Yes, I have video.

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    Last edited by Philpott; 06-07-2019 at 09:43 AM.

  4. #4
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    Team Yankee Peddlers, three young men who attend the University of Vermont together. They are freshmen. They pooled their money together ($250 each = $750) to buy a Santana 20 somewhere up here in the Pacific Northwest, drove an "old" Subaru out from the east coast once classes ended and they've been sleeping and working on the boat together ever since.

    Are they fully conscious of the enormity of this undertaking? "Not really."

    The boat's name? Lola. Like the Kinks song?

    "Yeah. That one." They laugh a lot. And yes, I have a video. For later.

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    Last edited by Philpott; 06-02-2019 at 11:38 AM.

  5. #5
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    And here is Russell Brown's space ship, ready to fly up to Victoria.

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    The wind is picking up and the R2AK starts tomorrow morning at 5am. The forecast?

    PZZ131-030645-
    Central U.S. Waters Strait Of Juan De Fuca-
    240 PM PDT Sun Jun 2 2019

    GALE WARNING IN EFFECT THROUGH LATE TONIGHT

    ...GALE WATCH IN EFFECT FROM MONDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH LATE MONDAY
    NIGHT...

    TONIGHT
    W wind 30 to 40 kt easing to 20 to 30 kt late. Wind
    waves 4 to 7 ft.

    MON
    W wind 10 to 20 kt rising to 20 to 30 kt in the afternoon.
    Wind waves 1 to 3 ft building to 3 to 5 ft in the afternoon.

    MON NIGHT
    W wind 25 to 35 kt easing to 15 to 25 kt after
    midnight. Wind waves 4 to 6 ft subsiding to 2 to 4 ft after
    midnight.

    TUE
    W wind 5 to 15 kt rising to 15 to 25 kt in the afternoon.
    Wind waves 2 ft or less building to 2 to 4 ft in the afternoon.

    TUE NIGHT
    W wind 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft.

    WED
    W wind to 10 kt. Wind waves 1 ft or less.

    WED NIGHT
    W wind 15 to 25 kt easing to 10 to 20 kt after
    midnight. Wind waves 2 to 4 ft.

    THU
    W wind 5 to 15 kt rising to 15 to 25 kt. Wind waves 2 ft
    or less building to 2 to 4 ft.

    FRI
    W wind 10 to 20 kt rising to 20 to 30 kt. Wind waves 1 to
    3 ft building to 3 to 5 ft.

  6. #6
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    The first boats crossed the start line at 5:05 am this morning, accompanied by a brass band and Wagner over the loudspeakers of the Northwest Maritime Center. The start of this race is a real crowd pleaser, with friends calling out to friends on the water.

    Six big-sail boats were right there together, as well as all the sundry small craft and paddleboarders who had gauged the strong ebb. A serious ebb, and anyone below the line suffered. That's a lesson best not forgotten for next time.

    Russell and Ashlyn Brown were right there, PT Watercraft flying past everybody else in home waters.

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    Dark Horse/Team High Sea Drifters was right there next to PT Watercraft at the start with Shad Lemke and his own crew. His crew includes Steve Hocking, shown here in the cockpit at 4:15 am calmly drinking coffee. Everybody on Dark Horse knew what they were about.

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    Steve told me he used to sail doublehanded in the SSS races on his Beneteau Ohana. Shad sailed with him in the bay years before the 2018 Singlehanded Transpacific Yacht Race.

  7. #7
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    And what about the boys on the sailing vessel Lola? They were awake and eating breakfast at 0400, their sails were up at the start and they were on the right side of the start line.

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    I heard people all around me saying, "There's that 20' Santana." Small boats and young people are crowd pleasers up here, where people know boats and respect the effort.

  8. #8
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    Tom Patterson has told me that the small wooden boat stern to nose with the favorite to win, Team Pear Shaped Racing, is "a Lyle Hess 24' Bristol Channel Cutter. A copy of the rather famous SERAFFYN of Victoria that I owned for 8 years." Did you know that? Well, now you do. Tom raced Seraffyn in the bay without an engine before he and Sue bought Cloud. Maybe he'll post a photo of Cloud with her new, glamorous paint job?

  9. #9
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    At 0700, the four leaders, TEAM PEAR SHAPED, SHUT UP and DRIVE, ANGRY BEAVERS, and PT WATERCRAFT are sailing upwind in 20-25 knots, in the east entrance to the Straits of Juan de Fuca. They are being helped by big ebb current. All four are making 8+ knots SOG... It will be a fast ride for them to Victoria. Not so much for the slower, less weatherly, main body of the fleet.

    Here's the tracker. PEAR SHAPED's tracker isn't working.
    http://tracker.r2ak.com/

  10. #10
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    At 0730 am the tracker is showing Pear Shaped Racing and High Sea Drifters eating breakfast here at the Hudson Point Cafe. But I know they are not because the Cafe doesn't open until 8 am. I know this because I'm sitting here outside (in the windy windy) with my latte, waiting.

    Notice my boys are keeping up with the grownups. With their $750 boat. Very impressive, fellas. Bring what ya got and sail the hell outa it.

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