Saturday, June 16, 2012

Top Ten List for Day 3

Top Ten List by Steve Piche
Here is a top ten list for leg 3 of the Great Texas (Matagorda to Surfside):
1.        Throwing Rocks:  John Tomko and John Casey were so close to each other throughout leg 3 of the Great Texas that “they could have thrown a rock at each other”.   The big dogs got banged around in the surf at the start but once out of the break they showed exceptional speed as they mowed down the rest of the fleet and then fought it out for first to finish.  Casey won in the end but only by a few seconds.  Now that is sailboat racing!
2.       TCDYC keeps us well fed!  Thanks to all of the people at Texas City Dike Yacht Club who put together tonight’s festivities at Colin Casey’s place.  Lots of good food and drink was shared by everyone!
3.       The Frog Gets the Monkey:  OK, OK, it was not the best day for team Monkey Business.  After playing in the surf for way too long as the Frog (Team Quicksilver) sailed away, Monkey Business got in gear only to find a rogue way that resulted in a now well documented pitch pole.  (See photos on Facebook).  By the time the Monkey had the boat back up and going, the Frog was over the horizon.  The Frog went from four minutes behind for third to four minutes ahead.  Tomorrow is another day and we all hope that the Monkey gets the Frog!
4.       Rib on the Course:  Today as we sailed around Bryan point on our way to the Freeport Jetties, we were followed by Jeremy and Karl on a Rib.  Over 250 miles of sail, they were the first boat that we had seen out on the gulf.  That’s right, it is a totally empty playground when we are out sailing the GT.  No other fishermen, sailors, ships or anything.   The gulf is left to us for this grand adventure!  We look forward to see the pictures that Jeremy got from on the water yesterday.
5.       Fighting the Surf:  Although the surf was relatively small for Matagorda beach especially compared to last year when we had evil mountains stacked up on the beach, it was still very difficult to get off the beach due to the lighter winds at the start.  Tomko, Casey and I all got hit by a bad set of waves right off the start that prevented us from getting out.  Casey got pushed down the beach and decided to try to duck Tomko’s stern.  With no rudder, his boat spun out in the middle of the duck and rounded up into the back of Tomko.  His bow hit the stern of Tomko’s boat and put a hole in the boat.  Eventually, we were able to punch through the surf.  Tomko duct taped up the hole and sailed away.  Casey was left with a broken cross bar and ended up sailing the entire leg with one rudder.   
6.       Back in the Fight:  After his dramatic flip in the surf followed by a demasting, Bo and George Kersey of Team Salva Vida, were back on the race course.  They bought a new mast and sail from John Tomko who is the AHPC rep in this area.  John worked with them yesterday to get the boat back together and they made the starting and more importantly made it through the surf without an incident.
7.       Andrew the Great:  Behind the scenes, there is one person who really keeps all our internet web sites , scoring, and social media up and running for the Great Texas and that is Andrew Burnard.  Andrew and Melissa, the master of T-shirts and many other items, were able to make it down for the Surfside party last night and it was great to see them.   I personally can’t thank Andrew enough for what he does for this fleet.  Thanks buddy! 
8.       Rudders, who needs two of them?  The Great Texas always does a good job of teaching a few teams how to sail with one rudder.  On leg 2, it was Yo Baby’s turn to learn how to sail with one rudder.  Yesterday, Cirrus R and Yost Auto got an opportunity.  (I have sailed way too many miles of this race over the years with one rudder and I am trying my hardest to avoid doing it again.)  Team Chums also broke a rudder in the surf but they decided to pass on sailing with one rudder and fixed it on the beach before heading out.   
9.       Goin’ Insane:  Yesterday, the wind lightened up for a couple of hours in the middle of the course.  After blasting along for two days, the wind decided to lay low for a couple of hours and test the patience of the best sailors.  Since the wind had been good the past few days, the seas were pretty sloppy making for some pretty challenging sailing when the wind lightened.  I set my sails to get all my telltales flowing a best as possible and then sailed off the telltales on my jib.  It was hard, hard work.  When you are going slow, you think that you are the only person being cursed with light wind.  You just have to patient and not go insane and those crazy conditions.
10.   Round Table Broadcast:  Many of the skippers gathered at Colin’s house last night for a round table broadcast on the race and a variety of other topics.  We had a great time discussing the race and giving each other a hard time.  You can find the broadcast on our facebook page.  Again, thanks to Jeremy, Jorge, John and Karl for all their great work on the broadcasts and other media – it has been a big success and we have been getting a lot of positive feedback.

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