46th Annual Shaw Island Classic

Peg Gerlock, Past Commodore of the San Juan Island Yacht Club, sent us a report on this year’s Shaw Island Classic and the results of the race…

Shaw Island Classic - Marc Forlenza Photo

Shaw Island Classic 2016 – Marc Forlenza Photo

43 Boats Finish Shaw Island Race by Peg Gerlock

The rare combination of being an “either way” race with sun and wind made the 46th Annual Shaw Island Classic one to remember. Hosted by the San Juan Island Yacht Club, the race starts and finishes in Friday Harbor and circumnavigates scenic Shaw Island in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction. It presents a navigational challenge as currents, wind and projected boat speed must be considered to determine which way to ‘round the island.

A falling ebb tide and robust 12 to 14 kt. S/SE winds at the start of the race split the fleet with about half sailing off in each direction. Brightly colored spinnakers filled with that SE wind for those boats making a run up San Juan Channel, while the counterclockwise boats beat to heading for Upright Channel.

“This was my seventh Shaw Island Classic and I think, with the S/SE breeze it was the most enjoyable yet,” said Nigel Oswald, skipper of the F-25C trimaran, Makiki. “Although there were some compelling reasons to choose either direction around Shaw this year, clockwise paid off for us, the deciding factor being a known favorable ebb through Wasp Passage.”

Shaw Island Classic 2016 - Marc Forlenza Photo

Shaw Island Classic 2016 – Marc Forlenza Photo

Wasp Passage, between Shaw and Orcas Islands, proved once again to be a notorious challenge with light wind and shifty current around Bell Island. Clockwise boats, arriving at Wasp Passage first, enjoyed the benefit of that favorable ebb as the other half of the fleet, now a bloom of spinnakers, crossed the mid-course line in Harney Channel. The race finished on a flood as sailors fought the current in both San Juan and Upright Channels. The wind softened again at Crane Island adding to the challenge of making it through the pinch point between Crane and Flat Point.

“The whole fleet was moving pretty good,” Oswald added. “After a good race with overall winner, Crazy I, we sailed the final leg with a nice fetch at 14 kts. of wind to finish on a high note.” Oswald in Makiki finished in 2.49 hours; the fastest elapsed time. Crazy I, a Martin 242 skippered by Chris White finished in first place on corrected time. “Many boats crossed the finish line within seconds of each other. It was a great race and exciting finish,” said SJIYC Fleet Captain, Bill Robinson. Of the 48 sailboats that started the race, 43 crossed the finish line.

Racers and guests enjoyed a hearty lasagna dinner prepared by the SJIYC First Mates. Wally Lum, who skippered Marquita in the very first Shaw and has competed in every one of the 46 races since, was awarded an honorary T-shirt.

First Mates President, Carol Smith reminisced about that first Shaw race, organized in 1970 by her late husband, Ed Kennell. “That race started the tradition of light winds; drifting was the order of the day,” said Smith. Only one boat managed to coast across the finish line before the deadline, beating it by a mere three minutes. That boat was Peniel, skippered by Capt. Ed Kennell. “It was great fun,” Smith added. “We had a pot luck on Brown Island and they threw Ed and his crew into the pond!”

2016 race results are below. Other than fastest elapsed time, all awards are based on corrected time, adjusted for time-on-time based on PHRF or committee assigned ratings. Detailed results can be found at the Club’s website at www.sjiyc.com.

By Peg Gerlock, Past Commodore, SJIYC

Crazy I High Fives at Finish -  Bill Waxman Photo

Crazy I High Fives at Finish – Bill Waxman Photo


Fastest Elapsed Time

Makiki                                                            F25-C                                      Nigel Oswald

First Place on Corrected Time

Crazy I                                                            Martin 242                              Chris White


Makiki                                                            F25-C                                      Nigel Oswald

Cruising – A

1 Santa Clara                                      Bavaria 46                               Rowan Fennell

2 Zig Zag                                            Hanse 370                               Sam Kanner

3 Moon Doggie                                  C&C 110                                 Johnson/Gerlock

Cruising – B

1 Raindance                                        Ranger 33                                Perham Black

2 HULA                                             Westsail                                  Bill Stange

3 Bad Air Day                                   Santana 30                               Bryce Ecklein


1 Gone With the Wind                       C&C 99                                   Ronald Hendricks

2 Sunshine Girl                                  J35                                          Walt Meagher

3 Sirena                                              Wylie 37                                 Robert Flowerman


1 Interface                                          Dash 34                                   Mark Bunker

2 Valkerie                                           Etchells 22                              Bill White

3 Williwa                                            Etchells 22                              Steven Levy


1 Crazy I                                            Martin 242                              Chris White

2 Homeless Hare                                Pyramid 660                           Mike Kaminskas

3 Quark                                              Ultimate 20                             Bob Brunius


1 Ekono Juan                                     San Juan 24                             Ryan Forbes

2 Paradigm Shift                                 Merit                                       Vaughn Ploeger

3 Lanna Ann                                      San Juan                                  Norris Palmer


Posted on August 13, 2016 at 5:30 am by

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