Sunday, June 19, 2016

Top 10 list for Day 2 of the 2016 Great Texas Catamaran Race

Top 10 list for Day 2 of the Great Texas Catamaran Race
Mustang Island to Matagorda, 101 miles
By Steve Piche, skipper Team Great Texas 300

Here is your top 10 list for day 2....

  1. Overall Results:  Team Buoy 44, Brian Lambert and Will Rottgering, sit atop the leader board after the second day of the Great Texas.  They beat the F18 fleet of Team Fire, Water, Burn, Team Yo Baby and Team Great Texas 300 to the line by 30 minutes and corrected over these boats to move into first place overall.  Team Yo Baby is in second overall (and first in F18 fleet) followed by Team Great Texas.   Good job by birthday boy Aaron McCulley in being first F18 to finish!
  2. Smoking until....:  Juke and I on Team Great Texas 300 almost had a really big day.  We took off in double trap reaching conditions conditions and smoked away from the rest of the F18 fleet.  We kept even with Team Buoy 44.  Everything was going just great until our main sail came down 10 miles from the finish.  Our shackle broke and there went our great day.  It was really tough because we were simply kicking a** and we were about to post a great time on the entire fleet.  Still unbelievable that a metal shackle would break while sailing downwind.  Arrrrrggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
  3. Safely Ashore:  We are happy to report that Teams Sailboat Shop and Jack Flash made it ashore last night after being disabled out on the race course.  Team Sailboat Shop broke a mast while Jack Flash tore their main sail.  Team Sailboat Shop got towed in to a marina while Team Jack Flash managed to sail in under their own power.  Both skippers made it to the skippers meeting this morning.  Mike Rohrer thanked Team Great Texas 300 for rendering aid.  Team Great Texas 300 was given 1 hour and 27 minutes of redress.
  4. Double Trapping Heaven:  Juke and I just love double trap reaching and today was absolute pure nirvana for us.  As soon as the wind piped up in the morning, we both jumped on our traps and put the hammer down.  I worked the traveler in and out to keep us running 44 degrees straight at the finish.  I just stared at the compass and let out the traveler when we were too low and pulled it in when we were too high.  We spent a good 3 hours straight on the traps with no breaks just doing the Monkey.  It was heaven.  Thanks Jukie for such a fun ride.
  5. Happy Birthday Aaron:  As previously mentioned, it was a very happy birthday for Aaron McCulley who topped the F18 class today.  Aaron and I sailed the first five Great Texas’ together.  After crewing for me for years, he has become a very good skipper who too often beats his mentor (me).  He has finally bought his own boat and should be on the line for the Great Texas for years to come.  Anyways, happy birthday to a great friend, sailing competitor, trail running buddy, and skiing friend!  Love you Aaron!
  6. Drone:  We are very pleased to have Duane Darling along on the event as our official photographer and drone operator.  He chased the fleet off the start in South Padre so far that he could not get the drone back to where he was.  Instead, he landed it several miles down the beach and was able to retrieve it.  Check out his videos at!
  7. Main Sail Saga continued:  So our day was going great until the shackle on the head of the main came broke.  Without a main, you can’t run the spinnaker so we lost two sails instead of just one.  Juke and I knew that we had to get the main sail back up and the only way to do that on the water was to flip the boat and then swim out to the end of the mast and secure the main sail to the main halyard.  All that is easy maybe on a lake but on the gulf it was quite challenging.  I went out to the end of the mast and managed to pull up the sail.  However, securing it to the main halyard was very difficult.  I had about two feet of spectra and it should have been easy to tie the sail to the halyard but the top of the mast was two feet under water and constantly moving due to the waves.  Also, I had to loop my arm around the spin halyard so that the boat would not drift away.  After 10 minutes of effort, I finally got the world’s worst knot tied.  It looked like something a kid would do but it worked and it keep the main up all the way to the finish.  What an adventure!
  8. Organizing Committee:  Thanks to our organizing committee, Terri, Billy and Trey, for their awesome job yesterday during some challenging problems on the water.  They kept track of both disabled teams until they were safely ashore.  Once again, a big thanks to them.
  9. New Teams:  It is fantastic to see a number of new teams at the Great Texas.  A big shout out to teams NacraManiacs and Cat in the Hat who have been hanging in under tough conditions.  Welcome to the Great Texas!
  10. Off to Surfside Tomorrow:  We are off to Surfside tomorrow which is about 60 miles down the coast.  We always have fun in Surfside because the Dashers are always setting up their boats in preparation for joining us on Saturday.  Also, TCDYC sponsors a party at Collin Casey’s house which is always good fun!

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