Round the County Race

Posted November 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm by

Round the Coun­ty Race 2012
By Nor­ris Palmer

5:30 a.m. comes ear­ly and dark on the west Side of San Juan Island.  But that’s what you have to do to serve on Den­nis Pratt’s Race Com­mit­tee, respon­si­ble for start­ing over 75 sail­ing ves­sels with rip roar­ing, hard corps rac­ing crews on Sun­day morning’s start right out­side of Roche Harbor.
Karen and I board­ed our 16ft C‑Dory in the dark at Snug Har­bor Resort and pro­ceed­ed out of Mitchell Bay using “brail”, “mem­o­ry”, and a great GPS to get through the rocks, drift­ing bull kelp, and logs, to get to the docks at Roche Har­bor where the start­ing boat, a 32 ft. “Lob­ster Boat” named Strong Bow, was moored with all of the sup­port­ing race com­mit­tee mem­bers who were pack­ing life jack­ets, lines, jack­ets and oth­er equip­ment for the ear­ly 8:30 start.
This Sun­day morn­ing start comes after a great 34 mile race start­ed off of Orcas Island on Sat­ur­day Morn­ing which fin­ished right out­side of Mitchell Bay, also man­aged by Den­nis Pratt and his race com­mit­tee vol­un­teers of Dick Say­lor, Ed Wil­son, Rick Burbin, Karen Palmer, Howard Lewis, Nor­ris Palmer, and Lin­da Leonard.
“I think the races were great”, said Den­nis, “I think every boat fin­ished the first day with only sec­onds sep­a­rat­ing fin­ish­es.  Some boats raced 34 miles and only 2 sec­onds apart at the fin­ish line, which makes for a very excit­ing regatta!”
“The starts this morn­ing were flaw­less!”, Den­nis added.  “They made a beau­ti­ful [sight] with their spin­nakers up and head­ing for Turn Point.
The start this morn­ing will be a con­tin­u­a­tion of a “clock­wise” race around the out­er San Juan Coun­ty Islands, and will be fin­ished some­time Sun­day Night at Lydia Shoals.
There will be a Sun­day Awards Din­ner at the OIYC.  The tro­phies are gor­geous We’ll have RTC shirts for sale at Orcas and Roche, 25th Anniver­sary, so you’ll want one!
As I write this arti­cle and the boats are still rac­ing, this weath­er bul­letin came across my desktop:

GALE WARNING IN EFFECT FOR THE NORTHERN INLAND WATERS UNTIL 6AM PST MONDAY…

* WIND AND WAVES…NORTHEAST WINDS 5 TO 15 KNOTS ARE PREDICTED TO BECOME SOUTHEAST 15 TO 25 KNOTS LATE TODAY…POSSIBLY RISING TO 25 TO 35 KNOTS TONIGHT. WIND WAVES OF 2 FEET OR LESS ARE EXPECTED TO BUILD TO 3 TO 5 FEET LATE TODAY.

Should be some inter­est­ing sail­ing going on!

Karen Palmer spots while Rick Ruben records

Captain Dennis Pratt readying the race flags for the early start on Sunday morning

Captain Dennis Pratt and Dick Saylor check the finishes and times

On station for the finishers

Strong Bow awaits the finishers

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