|Posted on Tuesday, February 04, 2003 - 04:23 pm: |
A group of S2 9.1 sailors from Lake Michigan went down to Florida to race on Tom Seghi's S2 9.1 Happy Apple for Key West Race Week. We had crew from Kahuna, Happy Apple, Paradox, Entropy, and Kato. We also had crew from Vayu (Beneteau 40.7), Celienti (a trimiran), and Thirsty Tiger( a GL70).
Hauk and I left for Lauderdale from Chicago but required a stop back at La Grange because I had forgot the battens for the delivery main. We had a smooth trip south with a bit of a traffic delay in Nashville because of the Titan's playoff game. We made it to Atlanta in 12 hours and stopped for some Mexican food. On to Lauderdale by 7am on Sunday and woke up Pat in his hotel room to use it to get a little rest. We hooked up with Al Sunday afternoon and went to Miami Beach to get Happy Apple ready for the delivery race. Al, Pat, Hauk, and I spent Sunday night exploring the South Beach area and slept Sunday night on Happy Apple at Tom's dock. Monday morning we left to deliver the boat to Lauderdale and had a great 4 hour sail up to Lauderdale. We did provisioning and 'boat get ready' on Tuesday. Jason and Mark arrived Tuesday and the skipper's meeting and party were Tuesday night.
The delivery race start on Wednesday was a spinnaker start in 15 knots of wind. The delivery race was 160 miles and had us doing 1 gybe(also 1 accidental gybe) with the spinnaker up for all but 2 hours(skipper fatigue not wind conditions). The wind followed us around at 25 knots and 150 degrees and we had limited waves for the whole race. We averaged 7.2 knots with a top speed of 10.8. Unfortunately we had 3 38 foot boats in our section and it was a waterline race. We finished 14 hours ahead of when I expected us to finish. By the way, we had a clear sky and a full moon. It was the dream distance race that you hope to do at least once.
Key West racing did not deliver the results hoped for but the excitement, the location, and the crew were the best to be found. The 3 second PHRF decrease(8 crew) cost us about 6 points but the 10 of us were a great group and there is no one I would have wanted to not be on the crew with us. A front hit us before our finish on Thursday with 40 knot winds and on Thursday night Key West had 36 degree weather(record cold).
The trip home was forecasted for 10-15 out of the NNE that sounded great- well at least okay. BUT we got 25 on the nose for 24 hours. We were motoring at 2.4 knots and decided(Dan did) to hoist sails and tack back and forth between the Hawk Channel and the Gulf Stream. Our 2.4 speed changed to a boat speed of 6 with a VMG of over 3.5. We had a tack every 30 minutes. Out to the steep waves of the stream and back to the 25 ft on the edge of the channel. I was hit by another flying fish (The other flying fish that hit me was also on a delivery from KW). We had the wind go down on Sunday am but it stayed on the nose. When we tried the engine, we had overheating problems that we did not know how to fix( the pulley for the water pump was slipping and metal filings were coming off the water pump shaft). We arrived at the Miami Sea Buoy around 1am and had Sea Tow tow us to Tom's. We cleaned off the boat and stuffed everything in the car. Dan called a cab to get him to a hotel to make his early Mon flight. Gerry and I slept several hours at Tom's and got up early for a 7am departure. Al had a more relaxing night and was able to enjoy Tom's hospitality with Tom on Monday morning.
I showed Gerry some of South Beach on our drive out of town Monday morning and we were back in Chicago by 7am Tues morning.
See Happy Apple starting the delivery race at http://www.spruance.com/Fort-Lauderdale-toKey-West-Race-2003/pages/52-22.htm