Sunday, June 19, 2016

Top Ten List for Day 3 of the 2016 Great Texas

Top Ten List for Day 3 of the Great Texas
Surfside to Matagorda, 60 miles
By Steve Piche, Skipper Team Great Texas 300

Here ya go, the top ten list for today:

  1. Yo Baby!  Who would have known but Yo Baby (Shannon Galway and Jonathon Atwood) all decked out in pink is back in the overall lead of the Great Texas.  Starting in a light breeze that eventually filled in to a 10 knot breeze, Yo Baby was able to take a big slice of time out of Team Buoy 44 (Brian Lambert and Will Rottgering) lead - enough to push them into the lead.  (Build breezes like today favor slower boats while dying breezes like yesterday favor faster boats.)  They have roughly a 5 minute lead over Team Buoy 44.  However, lurking in the shadows in third place is Team Great Texas (I, Steve Piche and Juke Ball) who cut into the lead of both Team Buoy 44 and Yo Baby today.  Team Great Texas is only 3 seconds in elapsed time behind Team Buoy 44 which means the teams are virtually tied.  So, can Yo Baby hold off Buoy 44 and Great Texas tomorrow?  Who knows.  Forecast is light and fluky, could be anyone’s race to win tomorrow!
  2. Surf eats boats!  Well, the surf won this morning as several boats had a tough time getting out in a light breeze.  Team Buoy 44 jumped out right away and had no problems.  We got pounded by three big waves that stopped us dead in our tracks.  However, after they rolled through we found a soft spot in the waves and pushed our way through.  For a while, only us and Buoy 44 were sailing while everyone else was floundering in the surf.  We heard Lee yell something with great enthusiasm - he broke a rudder or something and got off the beach 20 minutes late.  In the end, everyone eventually made it out for a fine day of sailing.
  3. Dashers!  It is so great to get into Surfside and see everyone from the Dash setting up their boats.  (Everyone is welcome to sail the final leg of the Great Texas!)  We have 12 boats signed up for the Dash which starts tomorrow at 9 am one hour before the Great Texas goes out at 10 am.  The Dash is an excellent way to learn about the Great Texas.  If you can’t make the Great Texas (or are not quite ready), you should try to join us for the Dash!
  4. Light Puffs:  After getting through the surf (and being buzzed by a drone), we went into light wind battle mode.  There is nothing harder than getting the boat going in light, puffy conditions.  Today, someone would get a puff and move forward through the fleet.  Then, a few minutes later, another puff would push someone else forward.  We ended up yo-yoing with Team Yo Baby all day!
  5. Tomko:  It was nice to see John Tomko at the finish line today.  He is sailing on the European Flying Phantom circuit this year and did not have the time off work to join us at the Great Texas.  John has won the Great Texas so many times that we no longer keep track!  He is going to try to come play with us tomorrow on a Flying Phantom.
  6. Surfside Party:  I am now over at Collin Casey’s house in Surfside where the Texas City Dike Yacht Club people are preparing a dinner for us!  What fun!  I love how many people step up to support this event.  In fact, here is shout out to Tripp Burd giving him thanks for buying the keg for our party tomorrow evening!
  7. Cutting the Corner:  After a 45 mile run down the beach today, you have to first round Point Bryan where the Brazos flows into the gulf and then the Freeport jetties.  Since it has been flooding on the Brazos the last couple of weeks, we were all a bit concerned about the outflow.  The first few boats choose to do a wide rounding around the point but we decided to cut the corner.  We sailed through lots of logs and crap but did not hit anything too bad.  We then headed straight for the end of the jetties while other teams went a bit further out.  By cutting the corner, we were able to catch back up with Yo Baby and pass them.
  8. Fire, Water, Burn:  Line honors went to Buoy 44 but Team Fire, Water, Burn (Aaron McCulley and Drew Carlyle) corrected over them by finishing only a few minutes behind Buoy 44.  They had an excellent sail - they squirted out in the light to medium conditions and then held on to their lead as the wind filled.
  9. Team Managers!  Hey, the team managers are the greatest people in the world!  I have to throw a big shout out to my team manager who has put up with me and Juke all week with a wry smile!  Thanks to the Greatest team manager ever on the Greatest race ever in Texas, Jorge Trevino.  We love you Jorge!
  10. Big Day:  I am super psyched to have a chance at winning the race tomorrow.  Shannon is in the driver’s seat with a 2 minute forty second lead (real time) but both me and Brian have a good shot.  It will be an interesting day.  I am just happy to have a shot and that is all anyone can ask for on the final day of the race!  We go live with tracking once again at 10 am tomorrow at  Wish me luck - I am going to need it!

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