Thursday, June 14, 2012

Top Ten Summary for Leg 2

Whew, what a day!  I am limited to only 10 points so they should be good!  Here ya go……
1.        How did Tomko do that?  Playing in his own backyard, Tomko put six minutes on Casey in what can only be described as a classic Great Texas day.  How did he pull it off?  The answer – trapping.  In crazy jib reaching conditions John jumped on the trap off the beach and never got off again until he hit the beach in Matagorda.  One hundred miles of working the boat from the wire set him six minutes ahead of Casey today.  You really have to understand how difficult it is to drive the boat in these reachy conditions and he did it without a chicken line on.  He danced and pranced up and down the hull all day showing that he was the king of the Monster leg.  Great job John and Ian.
2.       Working that crew hard.  The crew is a big part of these races.  While the skippers get the headlines (Tomko and Casey), their crews do the hard grunt work (Dalton and Ian).  You can only go fast if you got a great crew.  I want to thank my crew, Juke Ball, for being one tough trapping, main sheet working machine today.  Juke spent most of the day double chicken lined in with a foot in the footstrap working the main.  What working the main in the footstrap?  Yes, you heard that right.  He worked the main and I worked the traveler.  To do this, he works the main sheet behind me.  It was great fun and got us here in 5 hours and 40 minutes to take our second third.  Not bad for 100 miles.
3.       Matagorda Beach mean Gumbo:  Thanks to Team Quicksilver for once again supplying Gumbo for everyone in the beach at Matagorda.  There is nothing like having a couple of big bowls of gumbo after a great day of sailing.  Thanks to Mike Beuerlein for putting this together for everyone!
4.       Remembering Mike Worrell:  We always need to take a moment to thanks the person that showed us the way in long distance racing.  Mike Worrell once sailed from Virginia Beach to Miami on a bar room bet.  He liked it so much that he started the Worrell 1000, the premier long distance off-shore race from Miami to Virginia Beach, which ran annually on and off for about 20 years.  I had the opportunity to sail the last two races in 2001 and 2002.  I enjoyed the race so much that we decided to start our own race in Texas.  Mike was always so very supportive.  Mike passed away of cancer about 2 years ago but we always know that he is looking down and smiling as we sail the Great Texas!
5.       Team Salva Vida’s Bad Break:  Team Salva Vida flipped in the surf this morning and broke their mast.  It was a bad break for this father/son team from Austin.  However, these guys are tough and they already have replacement parts.  They plan to be back on the starting line tomorrow to carry on with everyone else up the coast!
6.       Find me with Spot:  I am carrying a small six ounce satellite transceiver in my life jacket which allows us to send our location approximately once every ten minutes.  It appears to be working pretty well, however, it may miss a few beats if I get a little to hunched over blocking the line of sight to the satellite.  I can also update Facebook with our location by hitting a button on the device.  However, it has been blowing so hard that I have not been able to hit that button more than once in the race – my hands have been full – we are racing!
7.       Monkey Business vs Quicksilver:  There is a big fight for first but there is also a big fight going on for third.   Only 5 minutes separates Team Monkey Business and Quicksilver over 200 miles.  Today, the two teams drag raced each other never getting less than half a mile apart.  It is tight and it is driving both the teams to work hard for that third place position.  So far, the Monkey is getting the Frog (Philippe who is driving on team Quicksilver is French).
8.       So why Monkey Business:  Where did we come up with the name Monkey Business?  It is from our love of being double trapping reach with the spinnaker up.  We call it doing the monkey and we got about 30 miles of it in today.  To do the monkey, Juke jumps out and double chicken lines in.  I snug up close to him with no chicken line.  I work the traveler and he works the spin.  When done right, the boats hits 20 knots easily.  When done wrong, you get some pretty good stuffs – we had one stuff where both rudder came a foot out of the water – by having Juke chicken lined in we never fly forward and maintain control through some of the bigger stuffs.  It is all great fun and how we became known as Team Monkey Business.
9.       Team Managers:  My team manager, Aaron McCulley, just came walking in the door with a smile on his face and a beer in his hand.  We all owe our team managers a big thank you.  They do the dirty work – how do you think all our stuff gets from one place to another – thanks to our team managers.  We love what they do and how they take care of us.
10.   Come Join Us Next Year:  We want to invite everyone to come join us on the Great Texas.  As you can see, this event takes a lot of people beyond the skippers and crews.  We have race committee, beach people, media, and team volunteers that all keep this event fun.   Everyone is invited to come join us starting on the Wednesday before Father’s day in South Padre!

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