Sunday, June 19, 2016

Top 10 List for Leg 4 of the 2016 Great Texas

Top 10 List for Leg 4 of the Great Texas
Surfside to Galveston, 45 miles
By Steve Piche, skipper Team Great Texas 300

Here is your final top 10 list....

  1. Who won?  Ahh, wouldn’t you like to know.  We are not announcing results until the awards banquet tonight.  However, my team needed to beat Team Yo Baby by 2 minutes and 50 seconds and that did not happen so it is not us.  Now, it is not so easy between Yo Baby and Buoy 44 as math is involved here.  Buoy 44 is on a faster boat and did finish ahead of Yo Baby but was it enough.  All I know is that Yo Baby’s math left them with a smile on their face.  We will have to see in a couple hours.
  2. Kites Up:  What a great start to the race.  A number of us put our kites up right off the start and powered through the surf in a modest 6 knot breeze.  Once through the surf, we sailed downwind with a number of us working the beach pretty hard to get the downwind headers and surf action until the wind shifted off-shore and that game would not work anymore.  I know Duane Darling had the drone out so there should be some great coverage of the start!
  3. Awards Banquet:  We are headed over to Cat Alley for the awards banquet.  It should be a pretty special evening at their place.  We are having a huge shrimp boil that is being provided by Joe Carlyle!  Thanks so much to Joe and his family for providing dinner.  Also, once again thanks to Tripp Burd for the keg!
  4. Dashers!  Everyone is welcome to sail the last leg of the Great Texas!  Those that join us are officially part of the Dash race which is run by the Great Texas fleet.  We had about 15 boats sail in the Dash today and they will also be getting their awards at banquet this evening.
  5. Had my chance:  I took my shot at winning the Great Texas today.  I needed to get away from Team Yo Baby who had a 2 minute 50 second lead over me and keep up with Team Buoy 44 who I was virtually tied with going into the day.  The day started out good for me as I was able to work the beach well and tag along with Team Buoy 44 while putting distance on Team Yo Baby!  However, the breeze remained light and Team Yo Baby started to reel me back in.  Then, the breeze came on and Juke and I jumped on our traps and started to motor.  We do really well in double trap conditions and we had smiles on our faces.  But then, the wind fell away for good and we just could not keep Yo Baby from reeling us back in.   Good job by Yo Baby not letting us get away.  They did a nice job of tracking us down after getting in a hole early.   
  6. Trackers:  Did y’all like the trackers.  I have heard that a lot of people have been following the event.  Because of the remoteness of the Texas coast, we have to use satellite tracking devices with 2 minute pings to the satellites.  Not only do the devices allow you to follow the race, but it allows our race committee to know where everyone is on the race course.  Ultimately, it provides another level of safety for the race.
  7. Sponsors:  Putting on this race is not cheap.  In fact, the cost of the trackers alone is over $2,000.  It takes a lot of sponsorship to pull this event off and we have had some very generous sponsors this year including our Diamond Sponsor, Carlyle Homes.  All I can say is a big thanks to everyone that stepped up to support this race.
  8. Last Bit of Wind:  About four miles from the finish, the wind really backed down and it got very light.  We got very nervous as it is easy to lose a lot of time in a race when the wind goes so light.  A lot of the Great Texas teams were bunch close together however if the wind died, there could be big differences in time even though we were close together.  However, as luck would have it, the breeze turned back on right about the time Buoy 44 finished.  This was good for us and Yo Baby but not so good for Buoy 44.  It certainly made the finish very interesting.
  9. Hot Dogs and Beer:  Once we finished, the Bolivar Yacht Club served hot dogs and beer on the beach.  Nothing like having a dog after 300 miles of racing.
  10. You!  We want to see you at the Great Texas next year.  Come as a racer, a dasher, a volunteer, a team manager or just for the fun of it!  We start at 10 am in South Padre on the Wednesday before Father’s Day!  See you in South Padre!

PS:  My record remains intact.  I have completed every leg in the Great Texas over the past 14 years.   Could not have done it without Juke and Jorge!

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