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2010 Southern Straits Regatta

By nearly every measure this was an EPIC event - one boat lost, 9 people in the water, numerous boats dis-masted, and uncounted carnage.  We knew it would be rough, but we wanted to stick our nose out into it and make our decision on the water.  

Truly a nuclear day on the water - departed the start and made it past Entrance Island in about a hour averaging 20-22 knots in building seas (even passed the ferry on the way). Strum was slightly ahead of us for the first bit but crashed and we went flying by, quickly horizoning the rest of the fleet. Jibed off Naniamo and headed back across the mayhem. Winds were steady 50 with gusts to 60. Spray everywhere - took numerous waves over the entire boat.

Ended up downshifting to J4 and double-reefed main, then to the J4 alone, then to storm jib. Waves were huge and continued to build, although the boat was remarkably controllable with just the storm jib. We were close to Sisters and decided to seek shelter and continue the race after things died down a bit when the race committee abandoned the event under Coast Guard orders.  We were instructed to head to the nearest safe harbor and anchor for the night.  We ended up beating back to Northwest Bay under storm jib - managed to make 6-7 knots VMG with just the storm jib.

On the way in we heard all sorts of carnage on the radio - ended up acting as radio relay for several boats. Boat held up very well - broke one wheel & bent one railing. Ended up spending the night in Northwest Bay and returning home in the morning - tons of stumps, trees, etc in the water the next day!

As far as whether the RC should have called the race - this is an age-old question that we will never answer. However, off Sisters in 50+ knots we were just surviving and were very glad to head to the nearest harbor!

Here are a couple of videos from Southern Straits...

First, what was on the evening news:

Next a view from Astral Plane:

And then the view from Occam's Razor:

Finally, the view from ICON...