Worrell 1000: Atlantic Beach, NC to Hatteras, NC

Published on May 16th, 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 16: Leg 10 – Atlantic Beach, NC to Hatteras, NC (approximately a 80 mile leg)
Champagne sailing conditions continued for the sailors today! The Race Committee wisely dispatched a contingent, ahead of the start, to establish a finish line in the event they could not beat the fleet to ORV Ramp 49 in Hatteras. Continuing the Corinthian spirit exhibited by this fleet, the teams pooled their resources to send ground crew ahead on the 7:30am Cedar Island Ferry to meet the racers.

There was a shake-up with the starting positions this morning – Team Texas now held the Pole Position, as they came in first the day before. TCDYC, sailing their F18 to its full potential yesterday, had secured the pole – twin-wiring to victory.

But the start of the leg today was marred by Team Australia, pushing the line as the final seconds ticked down. Steady breeze pulled all the teams off the beach with no trouble in the surf. Unfortunately, the RC (and the online viewing community) clearly saw team Australia push off the line before the start was signaled. This triggered an automatic, 1-hour penalty to their overall, elapsed time for the leg.

While significant, this was not the only challenge that Team Australia faced today. Shortly after rounding Cape Lookout, the Aussie’s starboard rudder failed, leaving them little choice but to keep the boat flat on a port jibe – roughly 61 miles to finish the leg.

Regardless, Rod Waterhouse’s unparalleled experience on this stretch of coastline allowed him to select the optimum course to the finish. Even with the OCS penalty, their elapsed time placed them firmly in first place for the leg and continued their dominance of the overall regatta.

Team Cat in the Hat and TCDYC, although coming in to the beach an hour after Australia, made for an exciting 2nd and 3rd place showing – less than 4 minutes apart in their landings. All in all, the teams finished within a few hours of each other.

With each leg completed, the boats are finishing closer and closer together. We all hope for a near-photo finish with all three boats when we arrive at our final destination of Virginia Beach on Saturday afternoon, May 18th.

The sandy shores at ORV Ramp 49 in Hatteras this afternoon were not only filled with Race Committee and ground crews, but veterans of many Worrell races past and fans alike. Local news crews clambered to interview the current and past racers. A local gentleman with a converted Rolls Royce for beach driving made an appearance – asking to have pictures taken with the racers and their boats.

The excitement that this race has generated around the world is astonishing. As one online fan and Worrell alum has expressed: “I am just so excited that you guys have actually pulled this off, I can’t tell you the level of emotion that has swelled up in me and my past team mates – its surprised all of us as this race has progressed. Sailing in the Worrell changed my life. Bless you for bringing it back and making it better.”

Yeah. ‘Nuff said.

Until tomorrow….

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