"That's Seafeather heading back towards home . . . [muffled] . . . should we poll the . . . [muffled] . . ." Through the whistle of the 30 knot winds, that is what I heard about 2.5 hours after the start of the 2009 Around Long Island Race. I was on the rail, taking a beating with the rest of our crew in 7 foot waves. I was wet, soaked through my foulies and starting to get cold, and I'd be lying if I said my stomach was fine. So when I heard those words I was, frankly, relieved.
From the beginning things were hairy. We fried a battery during the load, and one of our crewmembers got stuck in traffic so we were late leaving the dock. We got pounded progressively worse as we approached the start and we had reports that the weather was going to build all night. When we went to set the main, I slipped on the cabin top and lost the main halyard. That was close to a showstopper because I don't think they would have sent me up the mast in those conditions, but luckily we were able to head into the wind and get the halyard to blow back on to the deck. And yes, I felt like an idiot.
With our late departure, we thought we had missed the start, and considered turning around so that we didn't waste two days sailing for nothing. But I guess we figured we had come as far as we had so we might as well find the starting line. All starts had been delayed, so we were OK, but as we checked in by radio our gun went off, so we were several minutes late, but still in the race.
This is c/o of my friend Esteban Gonsalez who lives and sails in Chicago:
this was from an informal beercan race on wed night earlier in june. it
was freeeezzing, i think the air temp was 49 with 18kt winds. this boat
is erica, a t-10. they seem to be pretty good racers; i'm not sure what
they did this beercan, but they seem to do pretty well. and i think the
storyis that they are crewed by at least 3 family members
Here is an account from a sailing buddy who took part in the ALIR on a boat he had never crewed on before. To protect the innocent, I will keep the boat name anonymous. My friend had some big questions about the experience:
The first time I saw the boat, my first response was why am I going offshore in a boat that looks like it won't
make it around the corner let alone make it around long island (why)? Why am I in an
allnew crew with a person who has raced the ALR six times (why)? Why is
there a rookie dressed in shorts and tee shirt in a rainy weather and who has never left the bay?
Well we headed for start and the weather went
from worse to worse real fast. We were about 3 hours early for the
start in six foot swells (why again?).The rookie got sick and cold before
the start (why). Why didn't he dress for the weather and take his motion
sickness tablets? No one told him.
In an earlier post I erroneously said that no one finished. Thanks to the Tillerman I stand corrected. According to the results, 10 boats did complete the race including the Navy's entry, Swift. Congratulations and BIG respect to all those who made it, especially to the skippers and crews of:
On the Mark II
If anyone has any accounts from the race, I would love to hear about them and will most definitely share.
As I write this I am sitting on a USAirways jet waiting on the ground for clearance to go. It's been an hour on a hot crowded plane. No clue when we will be cleared to go.
Out of my window to my right is Boston Harbor. I can see about 20 boats sailing along gently, no doubt a nice cold beer in hand. Tacking back and forth with Boston's skyline in the background. There's a warm 10kt breeze.
Get me off this damn plane now. I want to go sailing right now!
Last year, I took part in the 190 mile, 2008 Around Long Island Race. The course starts off Rockaway Point, NY, you then leave Montauk Point and the Orient Point Lighthouse to port, to the finish line off the Glen Cove Breakwater.
We had a blast but the conditions were so light that we did not finish. I did not take part this year as Knot Again was not racing. It sounds like a missed a lot of excitement. Last night I received this email from RYC Past Commodore, Vicky Jo Neiner in the daily club email blast:
The 2009 Around Long Island Regatta was started yesterday afternoon in some of the worst conditions in the event's history.
NJ was represented well. Some of the boats included: