Wind, Current, and Hormonal Moodiness

Published on May 9th, 2017

The 16th Annual Race to the Straits provided a Single- and Double-Handed event on May 6 and 7, hosted by Sloop Tavern Yacht Club in Seattle, WA. An entry limit of 125 boats was reached, with each accepting the race’s preamble:

The Race to the Straits is a challenging event where a boat can be subjected to the heavy weather typical of the Puget Sound and Admiralty Inlet. The Race to the Straits Race Committee expects that each competitor has prepared their boat accordingly and possesses the skills necessary to successfully navigate their boat in such heavy weather.

The full course length is 30.036 nautical miles each day. Saturday’s race will be from Shilshole Bay to Point Hudson keeping the Double Bluff Buoy to port. Sunday’s race will be from Point Hudson to Shilshole Bay keeping the Double Bluff Buoy to starboard. All boats are prohibited from using the Port Townsend Canal. The short course lengths (if necessary) are 17.873 nautical miles on Saturday and 12.163 nautical miles on Sunday and will finish at the Double Bluff Buoy.

Photographer Jan Anderson files this report:
“Okay, so who knew there could be SO many different sailing conditions in the span of a single weekend, one day, an afternoon, or even an hour? Holy Schamoley! What a challenging event!

“Starting in different conditions, the mid-course embrace of Double Bluff in ‘other’ conditions, and the final stretch in ‘who-in-the-heck-knows-what-on-earth-just-happened-and-what-to-do-next’ conditions.

“And Sunday? Repeat! Wind, current, hormonal moodiness – this race had it ALL! Clearly, the premium was on patience, foresight, sail trim, weight placement, tasty and plentiful provisions, cordial skipper / crew interaction, sail durability, a clean bottom (ooh!), a late sunset, no rain, a slow VMG tolerant attitude, and, of course, a broad smile whenever we steamed by for a visit!”

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