Three sailboats motored to the Marmion Island starting line to race in SEAS Kickoff race to start the 2012 SEAS season. Surprise, Tango, and Haiku met at the south end of the channel in very light conditions to discuss the race.
Since the wind appeared to be filling in from the south, the skippers decided that the circumnavigation of Grand Island would be the race most likely to have wind. So, as the wind built to about 10 knots, the boats maneuvered around the pre-start, and began the race at 10:25.
Haiku got out to a strong start, followed by Surprise and Tango. As the boats passed Pt. Arden, the wind began to build to about 20 knots. The seas were building and the race was beginning to heat up. Surprise and Tango were able to reef their sails and made up a lot of ground on the overpowered Haiku.
The SEAS BBQ and nautical treasures sale was a success. In true southeast Alaska spring fashion we all huddled under the protection of a Sandy Beach Shelter, and had food and drinks around a fire, defying wind and rain. Bargains were had (should have seen the “Free” table!), stories told, and plans made for the upcoming sailing season. About 35 or so attendees came and went, in spite of the weather.
The final series of SEAS Cup races took place over the Labor Day weekend. With Toison D’Or acting as committee boat, leg one found Lyric WR, Surprise, Haiku, Tango, Optiminium and Loa’a Nalu on the line at Mayflower Island. Under heavy rain and low visibility the fleet clawed its way down the channel, sailing a course which has been being raced for more than 20 years. With a variable head wind for most of the race, it was a long day of wet challenging sailing. Haiku and Surprise kept close quarters for most of the race. About half a mile north of Pt. Aden, Surprise was able to take the lead when a 20 knot breeze forced Haiku to make a sail change and Surprise just rolled in some of her jib and hung on.
The most recent day race was great fun. The race began with a light air drift up the back side of Douglas to Pt. Hilda. At the half way point the wind filled but remained fickle. Lorax a trimaran, was first to turn followed by Shoeless with Haiku close behind. Loa’a Nalu found a few lucky tacks and was able to catch the leaders on the quick return to Marmion.But as most would predict, getting around Marmion to the finish line proved daunting and Shoreless, Loa’a Nalu and Lorax all scratched late in the evening. “10 hours of great sailing yet 300 yards short” Haiku, with a masterful display of light air sailing, drifted across the finish line minutes before the 9:00 PM curfew.