What Happens When the Race Starts at the Slip?

October 22, 2016 by Monica Grant

Story by Windjammers Sailing Club Racing Chair, Elizabeth...

'Usually the Windjammers host a Father's Day race on Father's day. This year we decided to combine this race with the summer Sailstice. I was really happy with the way it turned out!'

'The Windjammers sail on the Barnegat Bay in New Jersey. We are privileged in that we have great winds most days. We were especially fortunate on the day of the Sailstice. The Bay runs mostly north-south. When we have winds from the east or west it is perfect. And yes our wind this day was from the west blowing 12-15 knots! We were very fortunate!

'As the racing chair for the Windjammers, and host of the Sailstice, I wanted to come up with an event where racers and cruisers alike could enjoy the day. I spent many hours deliberating over how to combine these two events (Just kidding... I actually came up with the idea in 5 minutes). 

'My idea was to hold a distance race. As you racers know, the start of a race can be challenging. I needed to make sure the start was not intimidating given the number of non-racers I had. So the plan was a "down the bay race”. Beam reach... Easy and fun... Everybody was excited until I told them about the start. Fire up the engines and leave the dock at exactly 1pm. Yes all 12 boats leaving their slips and heading out at the same time! That doesn't sound intimidating right? The fun goes on !…Motor boat race to the end of the Cedar Creek and when you pass the last marks engines off. I have to say It was pretty funny and no one got hurt!  Everyone was courteous but they were all trying to best each other regardless of the idea that it was supposed to be a "fun” race. 

'We set buoy BI”as the windward mark and buoy 40, inline with dead East on your compass as the finish. The race took a couple of hours and then the real fun and celebration of the Sailstice began.

'We rafted up 12 sailboats. Everyone brought food and drink to share. It could not have been a nicer day! There are few better ways to celebrate our good fortune and the summer. We also collected monies that we will be donating to an environmental group that works to protect our friend, the Barnegat Bay!'

Thanks for the story Elizabeth. What an excellent way to celebrate sailing, and well done on creating a fun event. If you'd like to learn more about the Windjammers Sailing Club in New Jersey, visit their website. You just might want to join them for Summer Sailstice 2017!

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