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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:08 am 
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I was at the start, but missed Keith this time. I have bunch of pictures and some video of the start that I will post later.

A post on a sailing forum said this:

Quote:
One Hobie Tandem Island was holed when their drive breached the hull.


Ouch. Does anyone know anything about this?

The tracking map to see SPOT reports from the racers is here:

http://watertribe.com/Events/ChallengeMapper.aspx


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:17 am 
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Ok, the race is pretty crazy right now. It started out in very strong winds and Tampa Bay was churning up some serious whitecaps. Several participants dropped out because of boat issues and the weather conditions. One TI found they had a cracked hull just minutes after launching (the area by the mirage drive was bringing in water). Fortunately Andy from Tackleshack was there and may get them a loaner boat today so they can stay in the race.

Josh on Tide Traveler (AI) was one of the first off and had a rough ride through Sarasota bay. At 9:00 last night he was in 13th position overall for the EC. Dogs Life left about 7:30-8:00am (not sure exact) and was taking some good video for his video logs. He ducked into an island early yesterday evening but woke up quite early and at 7:00 am he was in very strong winds (27mph+) and is flying down the waterway in Little Sarasota Bay. At 7:00 am Tide traveler is still camped out in Venice Inlet on a small island with a few other participants. Also at 7am Pelican (AI) is camped out around Whitaker Bayou in Sarasota Bay.

Here's one report from Jarhead (not sure what type of vessel) who dropped out:
Quote:
A little after 1 pm yesterday a sudden gust and powerboat wake nearly capsized me as I was following Ridgerunner and Graybeard in Anna Maria Island Sound. I released the mainsheet and righted the boat, but could not gain enough speed to tack or crawl to windward from marker "51", and didn't have room to pass below it. I struck the marker and rlpped a big hole in my brand new mainsail. I chose to drop out and possibly save the sail rather than continue and have the wind tear it to shreds, possibly at a dangerous time.


Today the storms will begin with a cold front coming through and winds that will reach them soon are shifting from the north 28-37mph. If you watch the race using the mapper, always click regenerate when you select a sailor or a race. And sometimes you can select their tracks and more detail depending on what you select.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:02 am 
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Sunday 9:00am: Dogs life's strategy to hunker down early last night and then wake up early has really paid off. He must be in near gale force winds directly behind him out of the north. But he shot into 7th place and is really moving along. Knowing the AI, I would guess he's now in a hobie submarine with the strong wind at his back.

About an hour ago an official weather hold (optional to the participants) was put out so people can sit out the storm and have extra time to reach the checkpoints.

Here's a great website of a map of Florida and winds if anyone's interested,
http://windmapper.com/FL/observations

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Last edited by CaptnChaos on Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:43 am 
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Sunday am 9:40

Things change pretty quick.

Josh (Tide traveler) left camp and is going like crazy. He is now in 6th place and his AI is in front of Paul (Dog's life) now. But not by much.

I need to pry myself away from the tracking map. It's addicting.

Here's a map of Florida winds if anyone's interested,
http://windmapper.com/FL/observations

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 7:56 am 
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Captnchaos, excellent update.

The quote reguarding Jarhead (Bill Fite) colliding with a marker and ripping his sail--he sails a beautiful Sea Pearl 21. He and many of the experienced Watertribe, who do this Challenge, treat it much like the Olympiocs. So, when Bill had to drop out, that is crushing to him. He is tough ex-marine.

TideTraveller--our Josh Morgan in his 2011 AI--is making great time. The sailers who can, will try to start across FL Bay from Flamingo to Key Largo while the very strong winds are still in the North or at worse, NE. After that the winds will switch to the East, making the crossing very difficult for a sail boat. The area has many shallow, mud flats. Competitors have floundered and been forced to crab-crawl across them at times. If the winds get in the East, before a sail boat like an AI/TI finishes, they can tack far south in deeper water and then tack NE back up to the finish. It is a much longer route, but maybe the only route for sail boats once the winds get in the east.

Thanks for the updates, Jim.

BTW, Josh and Jim did our Chok to Flamingo trip this year. You can see them at
http://www.hobiecat.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=7276&start=180

Scroll down until you see
Chokoloskee to Flamingo, Jan 16-23, 2012
An Inauspicious Beginning: One Sunken AI, One Empty Bottle of Scotch


Keith

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 11:02 am 
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Wizard (Matt Layden) has finished the Ultra Marathon. Wizard always sails a very small boat which he designs and builds--a different one every year. This year he is sailing an 8' pram which he car topped. He reached Ckpt 1 in about the same time as our TideTraveller and Dogslife. Wizard's race is over, but TT and Dogs will continue on in the Everglades Challenge. Wizard certainly deserves his Watertribe name.

Ckpt 1 is 68 miles from the start. These fellows reached that point in about 29 hrs after the race start.

The winds are 25 mph out of the North, gusting to 30 mph, where these fellows are sailing.

Keith

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"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 04, 2012 4:20 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:46 pm 
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Excellent video, Tom! Excellent! Sorry I didn't see you there on the beach.

Keith

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I sail: Key Biscayne, 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 04, 2012 5:03 pm 
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I figured you would be there, Keith, and was kind of looking around for you, but was mostly focused on a camera viewfinder! ;)

I was also focused on my friend Scott, who is Plumbcrazy. A PDR? Really? He's doing quite well, too! :D


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:26 pm 
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Dogslife is taking advantage of the good sleep and continuing to hammer down. He might catch and pass two sleeping comptitors on North Captiva & move into 3rd place. I wonder how long he can continue with the favorable contitions--I'm sure his boom is helping now!

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:01 am 
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Hope they all brought warm clothes. It's 42 at my place near Punta Gorda right now.

http://fawn.ifas.ufl.edu/


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:30 am 
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Nice video Tom ! Yes, it is a chilly morning. These guys and gals are really getting beat up this year. Fortunately it's supposed to get warmer this afternoon. It looks like they may be sailing into headwinds throughout the everglades which will be slow going. I'm not sure though.

Paul (Dogs Life) has prior race experience and his strategy has helped him a lot. I agree that boom of Paul's was probably very helpful. Now we're coming into an area of the race where Josh (Tide Traveler) is from and he knows the waters well which will give him a slight advantage. It looks like all the AI's are performing very well.

Another AI/TI Forum participant is Nick (Pelican). Nick is catching up to the group after patiently waiting out the storm in Sarasota Bay. Nick is one of the few participants entered in the Ultimate Florida Challenge which is 1200 miles around the state with a 40 mile portage of his AI. And he has prior experience in the race. So the completion of the Everglades Challenge is just the beginning for Pelican.

If anyone wants to learn more about this race, a fun book to read is Without a paddle by Warren Richeyhttp://www.amazon.com/Without-Paddle-Racing-Hundred-Florida/dp/B004NSVF40/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1330950100&sr=1-1

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:09 am 
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Yes, I highly recommend Warren Richey's book which CaptnChaos mentioned in the previous post.

The Hobies are doing very well, especially the AIs (AhMaChamee, Dogslife, Pelican, and TideTraveller.) Dogs & TT are near the front of the pack. It is hard to tell just where they are because neither Dogs & TT have punched in their SPOT for a wpt today. Tracks don't seem too useful.

Bumpy & Machoman on an Olympic-class 20' Tornado catamaran will finish the race this morning. Justanothersailor & AtWitsEnd on a Hobie 18 will probably finish 2nd today, but they have had trouble with their SPOT--they were in the lead most of yesterday. SewSew, who has a very fast custom-built fiberglass trimaran may finish 3rd today--he also had trouble with his SPOT so no one could find him.

4th overall may come down to a race between Dogs and TT--wouldn't that be great!!

Keith

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"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: Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:54 am 
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Bumpy & Machoman in their big Tornado have reached Flamingo, Checkpoint 3. Winds are out of the north at 23. They have a big choice here: try to go straight east to the finish across the very shallow FL Bay--they would have to stay in tight channels much of the way. Or, do they head south into deeper water and then tack back close to the wind--all in relatively deep water.

They are experienced. The straight east route is 30+ miles but dangerous if they get stuck in shallows. The southern "deep-water" route is 50+ miles.

I could see the Hobie 18 risking the shallow straight east route (assuming they have their SPOT operating and are close behind the Tornado) and the Tornado taking the longer southern route. What a finish that would set up.

We will see shortly.

Keith

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I sail: Key Biscayne, 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: Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:34 am 
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Thanks to Chekika (Keith) for keeping us up to date on this. I'm sure there are many, like myself, who have nothing to add to this, but enjoy reading the updates, with your insight!

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