If Sunday is a harbinger of things to come, 2011 may be the best SEAS year ever.
While the boats motored to Marmion Island for the start of the 2011 racing season, the sun was shining, the wind was blowing northerly, and the crews were getting warmed up. As they approached Marmion the wind lightened and shifted to southerly, as per usual, but the fleet could see the white caps in Stephen's Passage, just waiting to be sailed.
What an amazing week for sailing in Juneau. It all started with the great 2011 SEAS Kick-off Party where approximately 50 people came to barbeque to talk about sailing. Commodore Jim Mahan welcomed all the new sailors and rewelcomed all of the skippers and old members.
It was a beautiful day and many new sailors signed up for crewing, and the older sailor's got reaquainted.
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.
The Initial 2010 SEAS race was foiled by an evening calm.
The sailing vessels Tango, Commitment, L'oaa Nalu, Surprise, Lyric, and Haiku gathered near Marmion Island for the horn that would start the 2010 SEAS Cup series. A new idea was being tried this year, one where the Race Committee chair would call the race at the starting line based on the conditions.
At 1100, the boats were at the line. It was an hour past high tide, with the current racing out of Taku, Stephen's Passage, and Gastineau Channel. Taking the current and the variable direction light winds in mind, Wade Rogers, Race Committee chair, made the only sensible decision. A race around Grand Island, hoping for the more open spaces to offer more wind and a slight current help until the boats reached the breeze.