Harken Derm

All systems go for Worrell 1000

Published on April 14th, 2019

The Organizing Authority for the Worrell 1000 Reunion Race has confirmed that all planning is complete, and the fleet will depart May 6 from the Hollywood Beach Marriott checkpoint in South Florida to begin its 1000 offshore adventure to Virginia Beach, VA.

With stops at multiple locations along the East Coast of the United States, the contest rekindles an iconic test that began as a bar bet in the 70s and grew in notoriety until it famously flamed in 2003.

After years of effort by several different groups to resurrect the iconic 1000-mile race, a collective of former teams, sponsors, sailors and enthusiasts has succeeded in the improbable; a small fleet of beach catamaran sailors will face the Atlantic’s harshest challenge.

“Frankly, these teams are focused more on making it to the finish than just beating each other,” said John Williams, a former team manager and this year’s Principal Race Officer. “There will be plenty of moments when they’re eye to eye, on the beach or ripping along a rhumb line, and their focus is on coaxing that last half-knot of speed from the sails. But there’s another layer. They all want each other to finish.”

Stopping along the course at a dozen beach towns for mandatory checkpoints, the team with the lowest overall elapsed time wins when they come ashore in Virginia Beach. Two weeks of exposure to the elements demands sailors protect themselves from the relentless sun, summer thunderstorms, pounding surf and the constant possibility of injury.

“We place the health and safety of our competitors at the forefront of our planning,” said Communications Director Beverley Simmons, who expected six teams to take on the challenge.

“We have daily inspections of the various gear each team is required to have; flares, radio and cell phone comms, US Coast Guard approved floatation, strobe, GPS and more. On top of all that, we have active satellite trackers on each boat so we know where they are throughout the course.”

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