Worrell 1000: Jensen Beach, FL to Cocoa Beach, FL

Published on May 7th, 2019

The 2019 Worrell 1000 Reunion Race brings back the beach cat contest which held 20 editions from 1976 to 2002. Beginning May 6 from South Florida, three teams take on the 1000 mile offshore adventure to Virginia Beach, VA. Here is the latest update from Beverley Simmons:

May 7: Race Leg 2 – Jensen Beach, FL to Cocoa Beach, FL (approximately a 100 mile leg)
Leg 2 started with a postponement from our PRO, John Williams due to lack of wind. The racers waited on the beach with the flags hanging limp – all but Team TCDYC. After capsizing the day before and making repairs to their mast, the team was not ready to launch by the 10:00 a.m. start. The wind Gods apparently, were with them. There wasn’t a breath of wind to be found.

After 20 minutes, the breeze picked up, and the PRO called for a 10:30 start. Team Australia, currently in the lead with team Cat in the Hat in 2nd were waiting and ready to go. They wheeled the boats to the start line. Team TCDYC was still not ready to launch. With 3 minutes left to go, Team Australia did their race-mates a move of true sportsmanship – they ran to Team TCDYC’s boat and moved it to the shore line – they could now launch easily whenever they arrived.

The five minute timer started precisely at 10:25am – At 10:30, two of the three teams were off in a mere, 5 knot breeze. The race committee and ground crew for Team TCDYC waited anxiously – Skipper and crew launched at 11:12am – well within the race rules for a late start. Because of the light breeze, the two starting boats were still visible from the line.

With the assistance of the online tracker devices on each boat, the Race committee, ground crews and anyone in the world could see the progress of the boats – At one point, Team Cat in the Hat moved ahead of Team Australia, while team TCDYC seemed to be catching up. Eventually, Team Australia took the lead again….but TCDYC was falling behind. After several hours of watching the trackers – it was evident something was wrong with Team TCDYC – they were slowing down steadily.

Team Australia crossed the finish at Cocoa Beach after just 6 hours, 19 minutes and 33 seconds. Team Cat in the Hat were close behind, landing at 6 hours, 53 minutes and 35 seconds. The teams stayed on the beach for the rest of the day with the race committee waiting for Team TCDYC – they finally made it in after 9 hours, 39 minutes and 36 seconds – Their port hull completely full of water, and their starboard rudder gudgeons completely broken. We were all just happy to have them safe and on the beach before the sun went down.

It will be a tough night for that team, but there are many hands available to help with repairs. If we have seen nothing else, it is the amazing show of the Corinthian spirit and sportsmanship from these three teams. We WILL ALL make it to the end at VA Beach! Looking forward to the next leg…

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