Spirit of Admiralty - Down to the Wire
Haiku and High Noon share honors
The inaugural Spirit of Admiralty race was close down to the wire. High Noon, Smoke, and Haiku fought through light winds and slatting seas to complete the 213 nautical mile race. The race was so close that it came down to the last hours of the grueling week long event.
On Saturday, June 20, 2009 10:00, the three boats began the race in Auke Bay in very light air. As the boats proceeded south down the backside of Douglas, the fleet stayed very close. It wasn't until 30 miles into the race that the boats began to separate, with High Noon getting out in front.
However, Haiku took advantage of very light wind during the dark hours to catch up to High Noon just north of the Brother Islands. The breeze then filled in, and High Noon increased her lead over Haiku and Smoke. As High Noon was finishing at Warm Springs Bay, Haiku was rounding Yasha Island, a mere 11 nautical miles behind. However, the wind died to near nothing leaving Haiku a choppy sea, and no wind. The last 11 miles took 7 hours to complete, putting High Noon firmly in first place after the first leg. High Noon finished after about 35 hours of sailing, Haiku took 44 hours and Smoke came in 54 hours after the Saturday start time.
After a good two days enjoying the baths and views of Baranof's Warm Springs, the boats began the second leg of the Spirity of Admiralty on Wednesday, June 24 at 1000 hours. The initial breeze was very good, keeping the boats close to about Angoon, where High Noon made a move, staying on the west side of Chatham, when Haiku and Smoke went to the east side. Initially, this worked out very well, putting High Noon firmly in the lead. However, one of the infamous Admiralty holes opened up and swallowed High Noon at Point Augusta allowing Haiku to pass High Noon temporarily, and Smoke to get within striking distance.
As the new day dawned, the breeze picked up again, this time from the south, the only downwind of any length in the race, pushing the boats toward Pt. Retreat. High Noon reached Retreat first, and finished in Auke Bay a little before 1330 on Thursday, with Haiku trailing closely finishing at 1700. Smoke completed the second leg a few minutes before 2300. Correcting to within 25 minutes of High Noon.
To see the results of each leg:
Since High Noon and Haiku each finished first in one leg and second in the other, there was a tie for the PHRF series for fewest total points. According to the Spirit of Admiralty Rules, we used Appendix A8 of the Racing Rules of Sailing to break the tie, making Haiku the winner of the inaugural Spirit of Admiralty PHRF series.
However, due to High Noon's dominant first leg, High Noon, with co-skippers Mike Rentel and Karen Schmidt and crew Joel Osburne, won the honor of having her name on the Spirit of Admiralty's perpetual trophy given to the boat with the overall best corrected time.
Taking third in both legs, but nearly nipping High Noon for second in the last leg, Smoke completed the Spirit of Admiralty Race for the first time.