DN WORLDS REPORT #3
Greetings Sports Fans-We packed a lot into a few hours today- up early stoning
the runners du jour, breakfast from Burger King across the street,
down to the launch site, rig up, opening ceremony and flag raising, Silver Qualifier
race (top 12 boats qualified up into the Gold fleet) was held and resulted in
2 fender-benders, then Gold race #1. All in 8-12 kts breeze on fast ice.
But that ain’t the whole story. As predicted, the dreaded wintry mix reared
it’s ugly head. Rain, snow, freezing rain, sleet, we saw it all…. Soaked clothes,
cockpits full of icy water, and worst of all ice on goggles and sail windows.
A scary situation…. Now it’s pea-soup fog outside. Of course us New Englanders
are used to this kind of thing!
So visibility was a big issue- There were a few near misses in the Gold race-
I know I eased the sheet to peek under the boom several times to check for traffic.
Safety first. I rounded the top mark on the third lap about 25 feet to windward
because all I could see through the window was an orange-ish mass and I didn’t
want to peg it! Stayed a little high and hot to clear any port-tackers still
coming upwind and managed to find the marks without getting in trouble.
Racing at speed almost by the Braille System wasn’t the safest option so the
committee wisely sent us home. By then it was snowing hard and we were going
to be lucky to find the launch area…. Boats COVERED in ice at this point (see
photos). Pretty interesting day, that’s for sure!
De-rigged quickly and hoofed it back to the hotel- looks like a laundry-bomb
went off here- clothes and drying everywhere- Oliver has his boat on the floor
drying out as well. If we get our damage deposit back it’ll be a miracle.
Here is a clip Jim McDonough made of some of the players in this drama- it
was filmed yesterday while the sun was out…
Locals are at 1:20 T, 1:30 Chad, 2:59 Eben, 3:29 Oliver http://iceboating.net/node/3799
Meanwhile across The Pond solo sailor Francois Gabart finished the Vendee Globe
race (solo non-stop around the world in 60 foot monohulls) in 78 days, 2 hrs
and 15 minutes. Not bad!
Stay tuned, Lord only knows what tomorrow will bring and even He ain’t sure….
James “T” DN US 5224
12 Channing St.
Newport, RI 02840