Stay tuned — we’ll be posting updates from some of the amazing folks that began the new WA360 Race today!

There are a number of great ways to follow the WA360, which began at 6:00 a.m. today in Port Townsend, and we hope this will be one of them! In addition to what you will find here, be sure to keep tabs on the race tracker and check out the race channels on Facebook and Instagram.

We’re hoping to share updates from several teams, but remember that 48° North Editor, Andy Cross, is on the Santa Cruz 27, Team Sailor Jerry’s Kids, so we expect to be hearing from him pretty frequently.

“Need a little wind here!” Photo by Andy Cross of Team Sailor Jerry’s Kids.

Team Sailor Jerry’s Kids, 4:56 p.m.:

Andy was able to get off the bike for a minute and share the latest from Team Sailor Jerry’s Kids’ Santa Cruz 27:

We’re pedaling, man. It’s like a pond out here. There’s not a cat’s paw on the water. It’s turned into a really nice day, though, so we’ve got that going for us! It’s actually gotten really warm now, especially when you’re on the pedals. We’re shedding layers big time.

We said we didn’t want to be in the middle of the Sound, basically ever, but we got stuck here anyway. The boats along the shorelines are definitely doing better. They must be in breeze, because the tide isn’t supposed to switch back to an ebb for another 45 minutes. That’s coming up fast and we’re madly trying to get to shore to miss the strongest outflowing current.

We had our drifter up for a while, but we took that down and are now just pedaling with no headsail. We’re able to do about 1.5 knots. A lot of the other boats have two pedal drives  — Canal Rats on the other Santa Cruz 27, Sail Like A Girl, Mustang Survival’s Ocean Watch, Gulls on Buoys. Those boats are definitely going to leg out on everyone who only has one.

We’re supposed to get a northerly tonight, and that would be great — hopefully it comes soon! We haven’t really talked about which side of Vashon we’ll take, we’ve only discussed when we can get through the Narrows — and we’re still hoping it can be tonight. If there’s adverse current, we will probably anchor in or near Gig Harbor. If there’s a big northerly and adverse current, we may be able to fight some of it and make a run for it anyway.

One of our highlights of the day didn’t even involve us. We got to watch a really fun battle between Sail Like A Girl and Off The Rails. They had a tacking duel as we all passed Kingston, and we had front row seats. They’re both doing really well, sailing fast when there’s wind, so I was happy we hung with them as well as we did.

Ok, it’s almost time for me to jump back on the pedals. We’re doing 10 minute shifts, which is what we did during R2AK, and that’s nice because you do a bit of work, but not too much, and get some nice breaks. Despite the lack of wind, it’s been good. We’ve been doing some napping, some eating, and some hanging out. Our spirits are high and we’re relaxed.


Owner and refit finisher of Off The Rails, Bart Vervloet. Photo by Alex Simanis.

Team Off The Rails, 2:36 p.m.:

I just heard from Alex Simanis on the recently-refit Wilderness 30 sailboat that is taking Team Off The Rails southward. A quick side note before his report… I recently learned a bit from Alex about this boat’s history. Pretty nuts, if you ask me. He told me that the internal structure basically fell completely and dangerously apart during a Swiftsure race many years ago. Another local sailor got ahold of the boat and started the refit, sailed a few Duck Dodges, but never finished. Through Alex, the owner of the long-dry boat passed it into the capable hands of Hood River local, Bart Vervloet, who finished the refit just in time for this race. When the sails went up for WA360, it was the boat’s first sail since the year when Beanie Babies were launched in the United States, Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” was the Billboard song of the year, and Monica Seles got stabbed while playing a professional tennis match: 1993. 28 years out of the water, and she’s back, baby!

Nonetheless, here’s what Alex has to report from the first hours of WA360:

Things are going well. We can see Shilshole! It was quite windy for a while — we saw 12-13 knots — the top end of the #1 genoa. Recently, we’ve been having a good battle with Sail Like a Girl and the Dash 34 [Team Apocalypse Later Never Get Off The Boat].

Having a good battle with Team Sail Like A Girl. Photo by Alex Simanis.

Out biggest and funniest story thus far is that we blew up a winch and had to completely unbolt it from the deck in order to repair it. We were able to trim the jib to the pit winch, and were lucky that we were on a long port tack so we didn’t have to do a bunch of maneuvers. We had the tools on board to make the repair — vice grips and a shitty screwdriver were all it took… well, and another other winch. Once we got the bolts off, the winch was still glued to the deck. We had to use the other winch to winch it off the deck. It came off like a cannon! There was some bleeding and some swearing, but it worked. It’s all back together again now. We had lost a split ring in the bottom of the drive shaft. It’s in there again now, and we’re hoping it stays where it is.

Earlier in the day, we chose the route outside of Marrowstone, and clearly the inside boats got launched. It was one of those times when our choice felt good until it didn’t. It was supposed to blow northwesterly, but it has been southwesterly all day. The high clouds are moving out of the west now, so I think we’ll get some northwest breeze tonight. With the small ebb and the more direct route, it’s looking likely we’ll head down Colvos, but we’ll see. Especially if the wind stays out of the south, we may not want to short-tack up that passage.

The refit Wilderness 30 has felt good on all points of sail. Photo by Alex Simanis.

There’s lot we’re learning about the boat. Mainly, the boat has felt good all the way around. Nobody is passing us upwind, and it is really quick downwind too. This thing is going to be a monster truck — super cool boat! One element we’re adjusting to is that we’re not very confident with human power, and we were just talking about when we can actually use it. With the sweep oars, we can’t row if the boat is heeled at all; so motor-sailing like some of the boats with pedal drives do doesn’t seem feasible.

Feeling good on Off the Rails. Photo by Alex Simanis.

But we’re feeling good. We’re eating well and drinking lots of water. We haven’t gotten into watches yet. So far, we’ve just been seeing how it all plays out. It’s likely we’ll start getting some naps in soon. It’s a nice day for sailing.

Not long after I got off the phone with Alex, he sent this image, showing that the wind had died enough that they were back on the oars again. Perhaps this is finally the shift to the Northwest?

Back on the oars again on the Wilderness 30… Photo by Alex Simanis.



Pedal and Chill aboard Mustang Survival’s Team Ocean Watch now that the breeze has died once again. Read a book or watch the sails hoping for a puff. Photo courtesy of Mustang Survival’s Team Ocean Watch.

Team Mustang Survival’s Ocean Watch, 1:46 p.m.:

Just a quick note, but several great photos from Karl Krüger and Mustang Survival’s Team Ocean Watch on their Melges 24. Karl says:

We had good sailing until about a half hour ago. Glassssss…

Headed away from the start and the sunrise. Photo courtesy of Mustang Survival’s Team Ocean Watch.
The Port Townsend Canal was the right choice, for those who could fit under the bridge. Photo courtesy of Mustang Survival’s Team Ocean Watch.
The canal was a good workout against the current, but there was breeze in sight. Photo courtesy of Mustang Survival’s Team Ocean Watch.
Karl and Molly Howe just happily hangin’ out on the wire. Their Melges 24 has been retrofitted with a trapeze system. Photo courtesy of Mustang Survival’s Team Ocean Watch.
Nice wind and even better clouds. Photo courtesy of Mustang Survival’s Team Ocean Watch.

Here’s how the front portion of the fleet looks on the tracker at the time we heard from Karl:


Team Pacific Boys. Photo by Lisa Cole of Team Sail Like a Girl, as they passed the Boys.

Team Sail Like A Girl, 12:40 p.m.:

Heard from Lisa Cole on the Sail Like a Girl Melges 32 again! Here’s her update:

We started our watches. We have two down. Lunch has consisted of meat, more meat, beef jerky, apples, cheese and peanut butter, crackers, eggs, and a huge cabbage salad. We are currently passing Sailor Jerry’s Kids.

At Point No Point, we had two people and a dog cheering for us.

The bikes are not in use right now, thank goodness. So they might be soon. Team Off the Rails is in sight!

We just passed Kingston and spirits are high. It’s a beautiful day for a sailboat race.

Team Off The Rails. Photo by Lisa Cole.


Hart Williams (left) and Tim Verharen (right) of Team Gulls on Buoys. Image by Jordan Hanssen.

Team Gulls on Buoys, 12:23-12:44 p.m.:

Got some great stuff from Jordan Hanssen from the wooden 30-foot Perry Custom sailed by Team Gulls on Buoys, including this video. Also, while we were texting… they ran aground (they’re fine)! As they say, there are two types of sailors… those who have been aground, and liars. Here’s their update:

We made good decisions and hit the bridge inside instead of the outside. We are taking on a bit of water, but no big worry. Eating a lot of red hots, cookies and candy. The pedal drive threatened to break, but didn’t. Made a good push through the cut. Wind picked up after that. Just started to break into shifts.

We suspect wind will die this afternoon and will be back on the bike.

Oops… Just ran aground.

We made it off. We got a good skipper.

“Just checking out the beach.” Jordan Hanssen, Team Gulls on Buoys.



“Looking good at Point No Point.” Photo of Team Sailor Jerry’s Kids by Andy Cross.

Team Sailor Jerry’s Kids, 11:18 a.m.:

Just got another contact from Andy Cross. Spirits are high now that the breeze has come in:

We got into some great breeze after we talked. Looking good at Point No Point. We’ve got the number one up and are playing the traveler. The current switch was VERY welcome and we’re now getting a 1.5-2 knot push. We haven’t been around a lot of other boats yet.


Morale goes up with the wind speed for (right to left) Lauria Anna Kaplan, Georgia Lomax, and Alexia Fischer of Team Sail Like A Girl. Photo by Lisa Cole

Team Sail Like A Girl, 9:48 a.m.:

Got a quick text from Lisa Cole aboard Team Sail Like a Girl’s Melges 32. She reports:

We are finally moving a bit. That was a frustrating morning. We seem to be emitting a MOB signal. We are fine. Trying to determine who it is. The lighthouse on Marrowstone is now my nemesis. Currently sailing with main and J2. We were playing with the G0 [genoa] and it got too breezy.


Sailor Jerry’s Santa Cruz 27. Photo by Andy Cross.

Team Sailor Jerry’s Kids, 9:06 a.m.:

Just got my first update from 48° North Editor, Andy Cross, on the Team Sailor Jerry’s Kids Santa Cruz 27. At the time of our conversation, they were just out of Port Townsend Canal. Andy told me:

There wasn’t much wind at the start, but we were actually really happy with how it went for us. Sailboats were mostly able to move without using human power. There was a jam up at the boat end, but it was civil. I was driving, and we were closer to the middle of the line, which is where I wanted to be.

There wasn’t much wind once we were really underway. My plan was to go towards the canal and under the bridge because I thought the current was going to be bad around Marrowstone Point and, looking at the tracker, it is. Teams look stacked up there. Glad we chose the canal route. We got a little breeze on the way there and worked our way down along Indian Island and then the breeze died.

It was really tough getting through the canal. We saw a max of 2.4 knots of current at one time. Still better than fighting Marrowstone Point though. We were struggling on the pedals, but made it through ok.

When Andy called, they were off the pedals and back entirely under sail power. During our brief chat, the wind died again, but they could see a breeze line and Andy quickly hopped off the phone and onto the pedal drive. Hopefully we’ll hear more from them later!

If you’re interested in seeing the start, there’s a live video from the WA360 Facebook page. And here’s the tracker at the time of this update: