High Noon Withstands Lyric's Furious Rally to Win!
High Noon, Lyric, and Optiminium gathered at the north end of Portland Island on June 19, for the start of the inaugural Admiralty Island Rally (AIR). The three skippers agreed to move the starting line farther up Saginaw Channel due to the light wind. The start was moved to 11:30 and the boats reached across Lynn canal in light conditions toward Whitestone Harbor. The conditions frustrated the boats until all three retired before motoring into Whitestone Harbor.
On the 20th, the boats began leg 2 at 8:30 in a moderate southerly breeze. The boats were beating south down Chatham Strait as the breeze began to rise, and the day wore on. By evening the waves were beginning to get quite large, and breaking. The breeze had built to 25 knots, and the boats were really slogging their way south. High Noon took advantage of her upwind capabilities to really stretch a lead and get into Warm Springs Bay after 2300, eight hours in front of the second place finisher, the tenacious Optiminium. Lyric retired in the evening at the south side of the mouth of Peril Strait by Catherine Island, and motored into Warm Springs the next morning about four hours after Optiminium finished.
The perfect place to relax away the stress of a long slog, is Warm Springs Bay at Baranof. After soaking away Monday and Tuesday at the world famous springs, the crews were relaxed and recharged enough to start the third leg.
At 9:35 on Wednesday the boats began the leg to Pybus Bay. The notorious washing machine south of Yasha Island claimed two victims as the wind was not enough to overcome the wave action, and Lyric and Optiminium retired and headed into Pybus Bay, while High Noon stuck it out for the win in leg three.
Half way through the rally, High Noon had two wins, and the other two boats only had one finishes. Optiminium would have to beat High Noon for the remainder of the races as long as High Noon finished. Lyric would have to win out, with some help from Optiminium to beating High Noon at least twice, to win the rally.
So, leg 4 began the next morning, with perfect reaching conditions to Holkham Bay from Pybus Bay. Lyric crossed second, but corrected to first place over High Noon. Optiminium made it close after bending his spinnaker pole, but was unable to correct over either boat. So, with two legs remaining, High Noon's worst finishing place would be second, as long as they finished the next two legs. Lyric was on its way to winning out, but still needed Optiminium to beat High Noon in both legs.
After spending a restful night in Holkham Bay, the skippers agreed to move the starting line to Midway Island, where the boats began another great day of reaching at 11:35. This time Lyric took line honors, followed by High Noon and Optiminium. Optiminium corrected to second place over High Noon. This meant that first place came down to the last leg of the race. As long as High Noon did not finish last, High Noon, would win the rally. If Lyric were to win leg six, and Optiminium corrected over High Noon, Lyric would have completed a great comeback!
Leg 6 began at 11:15, and the boats had yet another day of great downwind racing. After three hours of racing, Lyric did its part to win a third consecutive leg. High Noon, however, corrected 15:49 in front of Optiminium to finish second in the leg, and hold on for the victory in the first AIR!
The final standings are:
- High Noon
To see the individual results: Click Here