Memorial Day Weekend- Wind, Whales, and Sun
May 29, 2010 dawned sunny and windy, perfect weather for the annual SEAS Cup Memorial Day Taku Harbor races. Nine boats lined up for the starting gun in the 15 knots of breeze, and thanks to the committee boat, F/V Mohap, the 10:20 start was fair and clean. Haiku and Lyric got the best start, and had a great taking duel the entire way up the channel. Despite a poor start, Freebird, caught the other two boats, and took over the lead never to relenquish it to Lyric and Haiku. The wind stayed strong for the first few boats, but began to moderate later in the evening.
Smoke, Tango, and Commitment jostled for position, and finished within 5 minutes of each other after five and half hours of racing. Surprise, towing a dinghy, came in 20 minutes later, followed by Loaa Nalu and newcomer, Cetus.
All the boats came into a busy Taku Harbor, to be met by longtime members Rose of Erin and Windseeker II, who are headed to the big blue. The partying, eating, and story-telling commenced, including our last Taku Harbor party with the families of the cruising boats, who cut their sailing teeth on these same races.
Lyric, Cetus, Smoke, and Haiku were game to race on Sunday, while the other boats recovered from the day before, sanded teak railings, went fishing, and other boat related fun. May 30, 2010 was a much more lighter air day, but was very sunny and warm. Since the breeze was so light, the four boats agreed to shorten the course, to around Grand Island. Since all four boats were very close to each other the skippers agreed to a capri start, which was carried off at 11:05, and the boats were off.
Like the day before, Lyric and Haiku got good starts, with Lyric taking the lead to the south end of Grand Island, where the wind died. Haiku reached up, trying to sail a shorter line than Lyric by going closer to the island. However, both boats became becalmed where Cetus and Smoke made great gains and caught up.
Haiku's decision to stay close to Grand Island became a luck decision, in that the current against the island was much more favorable than the boats who tried to go wide. After drifting for an hour, Haiku picked up 15 knots of breeze on the back side of Grand, and the other boats had retired due to lack of wind. Haiku held on to finish.
A toast was had for Rose of Erin that evening, and stories were told, and goodbyes were said.
Memorial day dawned, and 7 boats headed out to Graves Point for the downwind run home. Smoke and Haiku got a great start, and spent the entire race crossing each other. The breeze started light, but built as the day wore on. After 4 and a half hours all 7 boats finished within 22 minutes of the first boat across the line.
The conclusion from the week are the results.
Rose of Erin