A Race Week that was all week long

Published on July 22nd, 2013

Seventy-one teams competed at Whidbey Island Race Week in ten one design and PHRF fleets. Racing out of Oak Harbor, WA was held July 15-19, with a perfect scoreline of all bullets posted in the Melges 24 (Kevin Welch) and J/105 (Jerry Diercks) classes. Racing on July 13-14 was held for the Dinghy’s Whidbey Island regatta, attracting 45 teams in five events, with Mark Bradner winning the 21-boat San Juan 24 fleet.

Event report by Liza Tewell…
Crew and support for the 79 registered boats participating in the 31st annual Whidbey Island Race Week (WIRW) came for the racing and stayed for a full week’s vacation of seafood, whale watching, live music, Growler fly-bys and glorious sunsets. A two-day, five-class Dinghys Whidbey Island (DWI) regatta held July 13-14 preceded the five-day race week regatta July 15-19.

The only true United States race week, Whidbey Island Race Week, coupled with Dinghys Whidbey Island, eclipses other regattas proclaiming to be race “weeks,” which are simply “Race Long Weekends”.

Managing ten classes during the week, four of them one-design, the CYC-Seattle race committee ran two RC boats, multiple runabouts, and shot off 120 starts in 8-16 knot winds.

The CYC-Seattle race committee team is no stranger to accolades, having been previously lauded nationally for surpassing all other US yacht clubs in races run in a year.

Said Race Director, Gary Stuntz, “We saw the least amount of protests in Race Week history. That has a lot to do with the quality of race management.”

The San Juan 24 fleet chose the two-day DWI regatta to hold this year’s North Americans out of Oak Harbor, as they’d done in 1985. By Sunday, Mark Bradner and crew aboard Return had earned just 15 points in 8 races (including their 14th place throwout in race 3) to claim the trophy. Shannon Buy’s Magic Juan took second-place in a 16-point tie-breaker over Mitch Rinella’s Skamokawa.

Jerry Diercks’ J/105, Delirium, won Boat of the Week with 11 straight bullets and solid crew work.

PCYA Vice Commodore Bruce Campbell was on hand at Friday’s awards to present the Peter Carr trophy. Originally intended since 1958 to be awarded to a crew and skipper over the ages of 40 and 50, respectively, the PCYA took the commendable step in 2012 of amending the requirements of the event in order to keep the award relevant. The annual Carr Regatta trophy is now awarded to a class participating in a West Coat regatta which is in the sailing area of the current PYCA Vice Commodore. This year the chosen regatta was Whidbey Island Race Week and the class selected to compete for the trophy was the newly self-formed Super 30 fleet, comprised of Farr 30s, Henderson 30s and Flying Tigers.

“Every boat won at least one race,” said Campbell, “so it was a very competitive fleet and a perfect selection for the spirit of the trophy.”

Taking the Peter Carr trophy north across the border for the year was Kirk Leslie and his crew aboard the Flying Tiger, Prowler. Leslie and the names of his crew will be engraved on the base of the silver bowl.

Whidbey Island Race Week 2014 is scheduled for July 20-25.

For photos, visit http://janpix.smugmug.com/

For full results, additional photos and sponsor information, visit http://whidbeyislandraceweek.com/blog/

Gary Stuntz, Director
Clear Ahead Marine Productions
316 SE Pioneer Way #190,
Oak Harbor, WA 98277
Cell: 253-261-7700
Email: raceweek@whidbeyislandraceweek.com

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