Page 40 - 48º North - The Sailing Magazine - December 2017
P. 40

Orcas Island Yacht club & FrIdaY harbOr saIlIng club rOund the cOuntY
Round the County is always an epic adventure. Generally that epic adventure includes being especially wet and cold and sometimes frustrated and sometimes ecstatic, sometimes a bit afraid, and a good dose of solid awe for the landscape and elements. If you want to be dry and warm and comfortable, you’re gonna miss out on the awesomeness that comes with a bit of discomfort. It might seem like a dubious idea, but 120 registrants in just a few days can’t be wrong.
The forecast was a big one this year - 15-25 knots predicted from the southeast all weekend, with an ever- building crescendo peaking early Monday morning. In my
house, this called for new bombproof gear, harness
and tethers for me and my
son Dylan. Plus an extra spotlight and extra fuel and
all the safety items on the
list. There was big talk at
the Anacortes Yacht Club
on Friday night, but as the
alarm went off quite early
on Saturday and we trudged
to the dock, it was a light northeasterly and it was
NOT raining! Plan B ensues.
The starting line was a bit scary on both days, with more current than wind,
but plenty of both. It was a miracle that we all came through unscathed, myself included. It was a light air upwind battle most of the way up to Sucia, with massive rivers of current and some epic holes to find. Kites up, kites down, drifters, staysails, code zeroes - we saw it all. As we came around Patos and headed south toward the last turn at Stuart Island, the wind started to clock forward and catch up with the forecast. With fog and rain, it was hard to keep track of the competition. If you were wily, it was a good opportunity to sneak by your competitors. The fleets were all mixed up as boats got stuck and some snuck past.
The day ended with Morgan Larson’s Bruzer on top, followed by Ace and Wicked Wahine. Three boats that could hardly be more different! Glory took the ORC crowd, and Dragonfly took the multihulls.
Sunday morning featured a more established breeze and some killer puffs and wind shifts out of Mitchell Bay. Typically, the game is to hit the beach hard on tack until your arms can’t take it. This year, some boats made out by sailing a direct path toward Port Angeles, and taking one tack toward Cattle Point. Others made out on shore. The beach was most popular for sure, and all of us played the game the best we could.
Above: Day 2 start in Mosquito Pass.
Below: Cody Pinion’s “Tigger” and Gavin Brackett’s “Scoundrel” racing hard.
On Rumpus, we hoisted right at Davidson Rocks and had a fun ride all the way to the finish. It was quite lively toward the end, and while we are new to using instruments, it was fun to see the fun-meter hit 14 before we wisely doused the pretty sail and put up a headsail for the final gybe.
Overall for the weekend went to Darrin Towe with his star-studded crew on the Melges 32, Wicked Wahine. Second went to Carl Buchan on Madrona, third to Zig and Pete on the Ace, and Morgan
December 2017

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