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Kahuna

Duwamish Head 2016

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I am not a fan of the abandonment with 2 hours of daylight and 6 hours left on the time limit. Several boats were within a mile of the finish and many were sailing in good breeze near Alki. I am trying not to be biased as we were in a good position at the time and I am sensitive to the fact that voulinteer RC does not grow on trees but it seems like a lot of folks put a lot of effort into the day only to have the plug pulled prematurely by the RC.

 

End of rant....

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I was wondering what I was going to do tonight.

 

It was either worry about Three Tree Point's race procedures or wonder if Neverland is still called Neverland now that Michael Jackson is dead.

 

So.

 

Do any of you guys know if it's still called Neverland?

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Wait, they abandoned a distance race prior to 13 hour time limit posted in the SIs? Never seen that before. On the surface of it that seems like some piss poor race management.


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Kahuna rounded Alki point leading the PHRF fleet with Nefarious next boat behind. Kahuna chose the great circle route and Nefarious went up the beach. The committee boat was anchored next to Duwamish Head and it was obvious the course would be shortened. We had some of the best wind of day (7 knots) reaching up Alki beach and it was looking like a close finish with Kahuna...but saw the whole IRC fleet drifting ahead and knew what was coming.

 

About half way into Elliott Bay the wind shut down for both of us and we went to a head sail in 1-2 knots breeze. We were making decent progress up the beach and were about 1,000 yards from the finish behind Crossfire when we heard the 3 gun shots followed by a radio announcement that the race had been abandoned. The committee reasoned the majority of the fleet would not have finished and called it before the first boat (probably Crossfire) crossed the line.

 

It was frustrating for us, and I understand that the committee wanted to be fair to all the boats, but I'm not sure how the committee knew only 4 hours into the race that the wind would not fill before the 10 hour limit for the short course was reached. Regardless I respect and support the committee's decision.

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Didn't we have this conversation one or two years ago for the same race after it was cancelled due to too much wind?

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Decisions like this really don't promote nor celebrate the effort and time we put in to this amazing sport, and is a real blemish on what could be a great fully completed series. Duwamish has been a nightmare three years in a row, not because of wind, weather, or participants. The race committee should not be the entity that ruins a beautiful race for so many die hard sailors that were willing to sign up to an agreement of 10 hours of sailing. Did the race committee not sign up for the same? #boycottduwamish !!! Viva the Southern Sound Series!!!

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It is hard to criticize a volunteer race committee, I have served on race committees and it is a lot of work done just for the love of sailing.

However it is disappointing when your boat is charging out ahead of the fleet going well and the committee pulls the plug on the race.

 

It happened to us last year when we finished the course in under 4 hours on a 7 hour time limit but the race had been abandoned. After abandonment we saw boat speed of 9 knots to weather in a nice 15 knot breeze.

 

It did seem rather strange that the committee had given up so easily.

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I was wondering when (not whether) this discussion was going to find its way here. First off, to put it in context, the first IRC boat CROSSFIRE punched its way into the Elliott Bay hole well ahead of everybody else and had been there well over an hour (probably pushing two) before the RC binned the race. By my metric, not even CROSSFIRE was within 1000 yards of the finish and it was far from clear whether they, DARKSTAR or SMOKE would be first to finish or how long that would take. I am sure it would have been well under the time limit but with the adverse tide strengthening, it certainly was going to be a long time. For anybody that had penetrated the bay, it was clear the entire fleet looked like it would eventually park up together on the very distinct (and stationary) wind line before anybody finished. That was clear to those of us there and obvious also to the race committee who I suspect had been sitting at the Duwamish Head mark vacuum for some time. (Weather and Ferry reports confirmed this hole/light easterly outflow existed for quite some time). Unfortunately, when the decision was made to abandon the vast majority of the fleet was still sailing in a beautiful 7-8 knot southerly outside of Alki Point and perhaps/probably unaware of these conditions (and how long they existed) at the time the RC abandoned.

 

My issue is not whether or not the RC made the right decision (or whether it was justified) but rather the despicable and unsportsmanlike treatment they received following announcement of abandonment. Apparently, the only thing more anonymous than the internet is an unidentified radio call on the VHF. Berating the RC on the VHF for a decision they made in their best judgment is, in my opinion, no way to treat a volunteer committee under any circumstance. I was embarrassed by the conduct of those who apparently feel to the contrary. Boycott this race if you want, but in my opinion an apology is more warranted.

 

Nobody ruined my beautiful day of sailing, competition or camaraderie last Saturday. (Not even you guys on the radioWe were blessed with another great day in the northwest and another opportunity to be on the water with friends and family. I thoroughly enjoyed the day from start to finish. We got the best part of the day and we needed no "finish" to validate our performance. Everybody on board our boat felt the same way, including the two newcomers with limited sailing and no racing experience.

 

Thank you to everybody who helped put this race on and make the day possible. Great job. I look forward to a chance to participate again next year.

 

Joe Bersch

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I think a lot of this discussion would have been stopped if the race committee would have come out quickly after the race and explained their decision. What is written above is the best reasoning I have heard but once again it did not come from the race committee and you are still guessing at their decision. I do not think it is asking to much to explain things. Especially when something like this happens. The longer you let things like this fester the more people get turned off. I even looked on the web site for TTPYC and SSSS hoping they had something that could get posted. Over the years i have done race committee many times and have gone to many race committee semiars. The one thing I learn and ever pro I talked to was to ensure good communication and explanation of things. Do not be affraid to use the radio and publish info quickly.

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The only decision the race committee needed to make was to shorten the course. It's not their place to determine that the race be abandoned

at 3:00PM. Everyone should have been given a chance to finish within the time limit. The rules state as reasons for abandonment only one

possible scenario in this case and that is "No boat can finish the course within the time limit" Sometimes races are a struggle and a parking lot

awaits the slower boats. We were about to round Alki Pt. in our class 7 boat and would have continued to battle against our top competitor. We had

many faster boats well behind us and both felt robbed. It's not about all boats finishing, it's about any boat finishing. It cannot be assumed at 3:00PM

that no boat will finish the short distance remaining by 10:00PM. It was not even miserable conditions and on some races you are rewarded and satisfied

by having the resolve to keep sailing hard.

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Decisions like this really don't promote nor celebrate the effort and time we put in to this amazing sport, and is a real blemish on what could be a great fully completed series. Duwamish has been a nightmare three years in a row, not because of wind, weather, or participants. The race committee should not be the entity that ruins a beautiful race for so many die hard sailors that were willing to sign up to an agreement of 10 hours of sailing. Did the race committee not sign up for the same? #boycottduwamish !!! Viva the Southern Sound Series!!!

 

OlySailor just about sums it up.

Run the race per the SIs, otherwise change the SIs.

 

Last year the Seahawks won the race. We were sailing around the start line at over 3 knots with a favorable tide when the race was canceled.

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I'm with Oly. That race has been a fiasco the last three years. Two years ago we got to the weather mark or rather were the weather mark should have been and the mark was not set. We milled around trying to figure out what to do when the launch roared up and set the mark .25 miles to the east of the published location. We beam reached over and rounded. After finishing we reported to the committee boat and they said they would give us 7 seconds! I don't even want to talk about the next year.

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I think "fjb" is right with regards to anonymous derogertory comments made on the vhf. Without a doubt they should not happen. I think the point being made by those of us who were south of Alki point was the lack of communication about the decision. I was approaching Alki point and was finding vhf communication spotty. In one communication I heard shorten course and the cancellation - then nothing more. Understanding that vhf is a line of sight system it is hard to figure out how the committee could have informed those of us on the south side of Alki what had happened. Oh well as someone said it was a great day of sailing.

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So how is it as soon as someone volunteers to do a job they somehow get enjoy complete immunity from criticism? Just because an individual or group volunteer to do a job does not necessarily mean they cannot make a mistake. When regattas are cancelled due to too much wind typically 1/2 the fleet heads out anyway to do the delivery home. Or it was such a gorgeous day on the water with friends let's not the RC ruin it... Well that isn't the point.

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Bob,

 

That actually was the Tacoma Vashon. I do feel badly that Duwamish Head has had weather issues the last three years. It's a race I've done many times and I do enjoy the course. You really can't do anything about the weather. Two years ago it was called because of too much wind, last year there was no wind and this year the wind was light and finished with a controversial call. Was it right....wrong..don't know. Regardless, God willing, I'll be back next year.

 

I like the Southern Sound Series. Next month I plan on going to Olympia and doing the Toliva Shoal Race. A number of my friends have abandoned this race over the years for various reasons. Today it's probably the best run distance race in the sound with the best hospitality. My crew and I are looking forward to fun weekend!

 

Moe

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So how is it as soon as someone volunteers to do a job they somehow get enjoy complete immunity from criticism? Just because an individual or group volunteer to do a job does not necessarily mean they cannot make a mistake. When regattas are cancelled due to too much wind typically 1/2 the fleet heads out anyway to do the delivery home. Or it was such a gorgeous day on the water with friends let's not the RC ruin it... Well that isn't the point.

 

I was surprised and disappointed by the decision, but serving on the board of my local club I've found that its getting more and more difficult these days finding anyone to volunteer, let alone finding 'good' volunteers. Its amazing the excuses I get when I ask active, long time racers to do RC for a single six pack race.

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