Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Texas Dash 2014 Review by Andrew Burnard

40 miles as the crow flies…. a chance to sail with the big dogs….just a DASH up the Texas coast from Surfside to Galveston.   In it’s seventh year of running, 17 teams lined up for the 2014 Texas Dash.  This year we saw 16 of the 17 2013 teams return to the starting line.  Two of the 2014 Great Texas 300 teams, Teams Yo Baby! and Blackburn Marine, started off as Texas Dashers.

All but one safety checks were done by the skipper’s meeting on Saturday, June 14th.   Having GT sailors as pushers, the boats were all set to go.  Leaving at 9 AM, spinnaker boats were off the beach, followed five minutes later by non-spinnaker boats.  A one hour head start before the sailors sailing the last leg of the Great Texas 300. 

As both Dash and Great Texas teams arrived on East Beach in Galveston, they were treated to a hot-dog dinner, courtesy of Bolivar Yacht Club and Dash Team Hullflying.   A big thanks to Linda and Jim Kondziela of Texas City Dike Yacht Club, and Kathryn Cam and Allyson Biddy of Bolivar Yacht Club for helping prepare and then serving the hotdogs to the hungry sailors.  Awards were then held on the beach with sail bag awards donated by Mariner Sails. 

It was the year of the Hobie 16!  Team Team R3, Roy Shaw and Brad Shaw won the spinnaker class, and Team Anchor Leg, Mike & Janet Hardy, won the non-spinnaker class, each team on their Hobie 16.  Could the Texas Dash be the premium off-shore race for those 16s?  In the year of his passing, what a tribute to Hobie Alter!

All teams are required to have a GPS, life preservers, a whistle and a cell phone in a waterproof bag.  This equipment is necessary for the safety of the skipper and crew, and to ensure they can get in touch with someone on land.  Teams are also required to have a “what if” plan.  One team, new to the Dash this year, Team Gulf Caribs, put their technology to work for them.  When asked if she had been in contact with her team, the team manager said yes, not only had she talked with them, but she could see exactly where they were.  Using phone tracking, she showed us exactly where the team was and we were able to estimate their expected arrival time.  This goes to show you, safety equipment AND a “what-if” plan work! 

The Texas Dash is a one-day event with a lot of behind the scenes workings.  The race just couldn’t have come together without Dash Race Committee, Andrew Burnard, and Billy Richnow, the Dash PRO.  This was the first year the Dash had a logo, created by Great Texas Fleet member John Webster.   That logo made its way for the first time onto the awesome GT300 shirts, which were created by Willie’s Ts.  Thanks to Big Jim Denys, that logo also made its way onto two new Texas Dash banners.    A big thank you also to Ernest Langford and Kurt Peters of TCDYC for their help this year, and to the whole of TCDYC for the spaghetti dinner they do every Friday night before the Dash.  Lastly, a huge thanks to Sailwave.  Scoring is a lot easier and quicker thanks to them. 

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