Random format provides good times

Published on July 20th, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has touched us all, but in these challenging times comes opportunity. In this report by Rick Jarchow, he shares how a random format provided good times:

With sailing having been put on hold for the spring in Miami, a COVID-19 hot spot, things have gotten rolling again. Thanks to SORC Sailing which hosted the Social Distance Race following the Miami-Dade County restrictions, thirty boats took to the waters of Biscayne Bay under PHRF ratings using a pursuit-style start.

With Chamber of Commerce conditions, I was crewing for Mark Pincus on his J/24 Scout’s Honor, and the four J/24s were the second boats on rating to start the 21 mile race, and with 10 to 12 knots of wind and the Blue/Green 88 degree waters of Biscayne Bay, we had a lot to look forward to.

The course was a sprint to Biscayne Channel which leads from Biscayne Bay to the Atlantic Ocean through the fabled Stiltsville out to the Atlantic ocean. First J/24 to this channel was the new Jibaro owned by Freddie and Dorian Sambolin with Scout’s Honor in hot pursuit.

This leg of the race was taking us out the approximately 2 mile long channel that is 200 foot wide, and after a tacking duel between the two boats, we’d opened a nice lead by the turning mark in the Atlantic Ocean. Now sailing up the shore of Key Biscayne, constantly cleaning the seaweed off the rudder, we began legging out on the fleet… good times!

Once around the Northern mark, the next leg was too tight to fly a spinnaker, so we had to hope that all the PHRF boats with their specialty reaching sails could be held off until we could get a spinnaker flying and do what J/24s love most – sail downwind!

Jibaro maintained her second place lead over the fleet right up until the last mark, which is when the big Farr 395 began chasing both J/24s with every sail she owned getting thrown up in a desperate attempt to take the lead before the finish line.

With Scout’s Honor well in the lead over Jibaro and the PHRF fleet, our team which included Corrie Allen, Stephanie Chisholm and Anna Vasyiliev held off the last minute attack of PHRF boats to take the win. A great time was had by all.

Scuttlebutt is eager to share stories for how people have turned the challenges relating to COVID-19 into opportunities. And to stoke your interest, we will be randomly selecting submissions and awarding free stuff from the Scuttlebutt Store.

Send to editor@sailingscuttlebutt.com.

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