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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:55 pm 
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Location: South Florida
Here is the roster and Islands for this year's Everglades Challenge--20 Tandems & 8 Adventures.

Image

At this time, I only know PenquinMan (Jim Czarnowski, Hobie Engineer) and Chief (Steve Isaacs) will have the 2015 AI 2. My wife, Nancy, and I are headed over to Ft Desoto near St Petersburg, FL, tomorrow to see all the activity on Friday. Friday is the day everyone is there getting their boats to the start line. Some are putting their boats together, others are putting finishing touches on their boats, others are simply getting everything in order for the grueling week ahead. Some intend to win a race for their division; others simply want to finish in the allotted time. The awards ceremony will be held at Bay Cove Motel, starting at 10 am, Saturday, Mar 14. That is followed by a celebratory feast. It is all WaterTribe.

This Friday evening, we are having Tuscan Lemon Chicken (BBQ Chicken), Raman noodle/broccoli/nuts/spices salad by Nancy, and a fantastic desert courtesy of Debbie Turner. Debbie and Tom Turner, WyomingWolf and DivesWithKraken, are competing in the EC this year. Our Fri evening BBQ will be at Ft Desoto campground, site 4, if you happen to be around. Festivities start about 5 pm. If you come, bring your chair & beverages.

When I get back, I'll probably post some info on this thread.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:47 am 
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Location: Bethany, OK
Tangled Up In Blue is a friend of mine from OKC. This will be his first EC attempt. It's a little different actually knowing someone who is participating! :D

He has a Rev 1 AI, 2013 model IIRC.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:13 am 
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Definitely makes it much more interesting when you have a friend or know someone participating. You probably know that you can track individuals during the event by using the WaterTribe Tracker app http://www.watertribe.com/Events/ChallengeGMapper.aspx

Headed over to Ft Desoto in a couple hours.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 5:52 am 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
Just checked the weather and it looks like it will be a nice downwind run (14mph winds from the NE) and pretty clear the first day. The normal terrible breakers just off sarasota shouldnt be too bad with an offshore wind, however sarasota bay will be its normal mixing bowl of bad chop in those winds (because the bay is narrow the waves bounce from shore to shore. Definately an advantage for the islands vs the paddle kayaks. Day 2 around Charlotte harbor looks to be wet and rainy with continued NE winds at 12 mph.
South of naples it looks like they will be fighting head winds (10-12 mph) (advantage paddle kayaks).
At the end of the week going across florida bay will be torture with high headwinds (forecast 17 mph from the se).
The water is around 10-12 degrees warmer than in years past (a good thing) around 72 in sarasota and around 78 near key largo. Of course all this can change in a heartbeat.
Should be an interesting race.
Ill come up and check out all the cool boats on friday, hopefully saturday i can get out with my ti and gopro all the boats going past around sarasota bay (weather permitting).
Sounds like fun
Bob


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 1:06 pm 
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Location: Kailua 96734
Did they consider a new class or a handicap for the 2015 AI?

Will be interesting to see if it can still earn a Gator Tooth.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 6:18 am 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
For those going thru sarasota bay high tide is around 8:00 am, this means the water at the north end will be passable as everyone goes thru ( north end of sarasota bay is very shallow in many areas and you can only pass via the channels at low tide unless you know the area (or you like to walk your boat thru the shallows in front of jewfish key, and the north end)). Thru that area there is a lot of powerboat traffic (very busy area). Sarasota bay will be very choppy in the middle (always is when its windy). With the offshore winds from the NE the outer route may end up being faster this year, the normal nasty breakers wont be as bad as normal with that offshore wind.
I was hoping for very low winds so I could chase everyone down and catch some video (my ti is rigged for very low winds only), thats probably not going to happen this year, everyone is going to zing thru this area at lightspeed (lol), I'll never catch em, especially the guys with spinnakers which will be worth their weight in gold for the first half of the trip.
Good luck everyone
Bob


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 8:30 am 
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Location: Sarasota,Key West FL
WOW:

I just realized the breadth of the Hobie adventure contingent.

I count around 104 entries in the EC and 21 in the Ultra marathon (counting down the list in the Roster on the web site (un-scientific))

With 28 entries (according to keith) with possibly 3 more listed in the ultra marathon (not sure of status, or if they were included in Keiths list)

That's somewhere between 1/4 and 1/3 of the entries in the race. What appears to be double/triple any other boat type.

I've been following this race closely since 2010, when there were maybe 2-3 entries of this type of boat, every year the number increases.

I just noticed SewSew and Scizzors are not entered this year.

Who will I be watching:
My interest is of course is only human/hybrid powered watercraft ( Class VI), one of these years I will have my battery consumption paradox solved (been working on that one for years, unfortunately I suspect it will take another 10-20 yrs of R&D to solve) and will hope to eventually enter.

I will be following closely:
Dorsalis and Riverbear with their class 6 Windrider 17 with solar/electric power. That's a 400 lbs plus tri similar to the TI (same sail area as my modified TI). He has a Torqeedo 1003 and solar

And RockingBaby in Class 6 with a CLC Skerry (an open daysailer)

Bob


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:01 am 
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What's happened is that many have realized that the Hobie Islands are ideal for this type of adventure/expedition racing. I still run into "sailors" who don't really take the Islands seriously, they are just "plastic" boats you know...

I'd like to see what the WindRider would do without the trolling motor. It's also an extremely capable boat, particularly in big winds and heavy water.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:08 am 
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Location: Clearwater, Fl
Just a note that the start did not go well. In the first couple hours there have been at least 3 rescues at sea and the Coast Guard has put a mandatory hold on the race. To top it off, the water tribe mapper isn't working (spot tracking servers down).

Unfortunately I wasn't able to make it to the start and got my info from the wt forum. Hope everyone is ok.

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Jim


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:32 am 
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Looks like Coast Guard cancelled the event completely. So far eleven people have been rescued. Geez ....

http://www.nbc-2.com/story/28287612/coast-guard-terminates-water-tribe-challenge#.VPtD1uGzqlr

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:25 pm 
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We left Ft Desoto 4 hrs ago, and it was our understanding, listening to VHF Ch 16, that Chief had canceled the event. If the CG recommends the event be cancelled and Chief would not cancel, seems he would be up for major liability if something bad happened. What we heard was that in addition to numerous WT rescues, there was a larger boat in trouble. I think the CG felt they did not need the WT adding to their headaches. I don't have any idea about what will happen at Cpt 1.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:30 pm 
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Strangest morning ever this morning for me in Sarasota bay. My plan was to launch from City Island at 7:00 am then race up to Anna Maria island and meet the watertribers as they are heading south and try to get some go-pro footage of everyone as they went past me, then turn around and chase them down getting more video) (somethin to do (thought it would be nice to share on the forum)....).
Well first sign of a bad day was I got to my normal launch point at City Island (Sarasota Sailing Squadron) and Sarasota bay was nearly empty (seriously). I've been here since 2007 and never seen anything like it before. There is a 1/2 mile long strip of sand bar next to the Sailing squadron that is under a foot deep normally at low tide and we usually need to steer around it (it's about 3-4 ft deep at normal high tide, not a problem). The entire sand bar was exposed it looked to be around 3 feet high and dry. The waterline where I normally launch was around 100 feet beyond the lowest point I have ever launched from. I ended up backing my solstice 100 ft further (which is usually 2-3 ft of water) just to be able to get my boat off the trailer, crazy.
Then to make matters worse the wind was screaming from the east (strong off shore wind in the gulf (dangerous)), this meant a really strong onshore wind at my launch, I had extreme difficulty launching (3-4 failed attempts), and to make matters worse my wing jib broke a support wire and starting flailing so badly I had to lower it and return to shore (I was about a half mile out at the time), had to pack up and go home.
I've been out in a lot worse (never on purpose), and never had all these problems before.
I understand why the CG cancelled the race after having to rescue at least 11 of the racers, I'm sure they had enough of it..... Why should they put themselves and the public in danger rescuing Watertribers, or worse yet not be available to respond to a life threatening situation else-ware because they are busy picking up a dozen or so racers.
Bob


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 3:25 pm 
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These are a couple pictures I took from the beach of the first capsize about 800 yd. out. This was the first of several capsizes.

Image


Image

This person's gear was fast drifting out to the Gulf of Mexico. Other WaterTriber's were trying to pick it up while the boat's captain was trying unsuccessfully to right his boat. He was ultimately picked up by the Coast Guard and taken to shore. These CG boats are equipped with a 50-calibur machine gun. If they can't save the boat, I understand that it is blown to bits so that it is not a navigation hazard.

I'm sure there will be lots of lessons learned from this year and applied to future years.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


Last edited by Chekika on Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 2:23 am 
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This is an NBC-2 (Tampa) post on the event.

Image

I'm not so sure about the last statement: "The Coast Guard...continued to remain on scene until everyone was safely out of the water." There were many competitors on the water late at night unaware of the cancellation. They all must check in at the Cape Haze Checkpoint 1 where they will be informed the event has been cancelled. Everyone will make the decision to continue on their own or pack it in. It is very unfortunate because individuals put a huge amount of effort and practice getting ready for this event, but it is over for this year. Well, that is over until the party next Saturday, Mar 14, at Bay Cove Motel in Key Largo.

Keith

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I sail: Biscayne Bay, Everglades to Cape Romano, Ft Desoto, Cedar Key

"Any intelligent fool can make things bigger and more complex ... It takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." A. Einstein


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 3:51 am 
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Location: New Jersey
good luck everyone I hope all are ok

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Al aka "YAKMAN"


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