1st – Tim & Dylana Lynch: 16 hrs 01 min (16:04:52 corrected)
2nd – Jeff & Jessica Hanson, Nate Owen: 16 hrs 48 min (16:18:38 corrected)
3rd – Greg Umbright: 19 hrs 14 min
4th – Christine Berven: Retired after 19 hrs 15 min
Report from Greg:
Lost sight of Tim and Jeff on the way back – you guys were going well
I finished at 1:59pm. Took me 18 minutes to go the last 50 yards do to lack of wind.
Report from Christine:
I called my own finish at 2pm at the red navigation buoys a few miles north of the ramp. The wind totally died at that point and I was getting soooo tired! I’ve haven’t done the math but I’m sure I averaged under 2 knots. On the way back, the GPS had me going anywhere from 3.0 to 4.0 knots, most typically 3.5 with a few times well over 4.0. I thought I heard Tim on the radio report hitting 6! At that point I knew I was never going to catch up. LOL
Still lots of fun. But boy getting back to the dock in the afternoon with it over 100′F sapped just about all the remaining energy I had! I treated myself to an ice-creme sandwich and a root-beer at the park store.
Report from Jeff:
Finished at 11:33am (16:48:00) after taking nearly 15 minutes to go the last 100 yards.
Report from Tim:
Dylana and I finished at 10:46am (16:01:00). Covered 45 miles at an average of 2.6 knots. Just squeeked under the lines as the winds was dying. It picked up again just long enough to get us to the dock without running the motor.
More from Tim (long version – after all, we did sail for 16 hours!):
The four boats headed down river at 6:45 pm. Dinner ran late and I had a slow time making it to the line due to, what else, motor issues and a frantic search for a youth life jacket (thank you Christine for lending Dylana one of yours)
We drifted more or less as a fleet for the first several miles, with Greg taking an early lead. About two miles out I held up and waited for Christine. We sailed side by side from 8-10 pm watching “Scooby Doo” with Dylana on my laptop. It was amazing quiet and you could hear everyone across the water.
And then you could hear the bugs! A huge swarm of some type of bug (looked like a mosquito but they didn’t land or bite)but boy did they whine. A million tiny wings all beating at once. They were riding in the wind shadow (what little wind there was) off the main, just off the starboard side. The sound, and bugs, lasted about 15 minutes.
About 10:30 Jeff, Christine and I were close together again and watched as the moon rose to the east. Dylana was fascinated as the shadow of the peak in front of the moon slowly moved down the west side of the canyon and sank into the river. Soon after she sank into a deep sleep on the starboard side of the cockpit, bathed in the silver light of the moon.
About five miles out I started to leave Jeff and Christine and catch up to Greg. I slowly reeled him in and sailed with him for about a mile. As we chatted, we were buzzed by a few bats, one actually flew into the companion way of our boat!
About eight miles out we heard our first coyote. Then another. And then a whole chorus of howls echoed through the canyon, drifting down the draws on either side. Must have been a dozen or more and the sound seemed to come from all directions. Made your skin crawl just a bit.
I passed Greg at about the 10 mile mark. Then I got lucky and caught the filling east breeze. It was about 3:00 am. Jeff and Christine had caught up with Greg and according to Jeff, I just took off! He thought my stern light was a car on the highway I was moving away so fast.
And I was. I was doing close to 6 knots off the wind as I passed Granite Rock (I radioed the boats behind to let them know of the increase in wind). After several hard gybes, Dylana awoke and moved down into the V-berth out of the wind. As we spotted the lights of Wawawai Landing (I was unsure of where I was at this time – charts, who needs stinking charts!) the boat suddenly came to almost a complete stop! There was a thud I could feel from the keel. How could we run aground, we are in the middle of the River! The thumping continued and then off the port side I saw it. A 10′ log about 8″ in diameter popped out of the water like a breaching whale and shot across the river. Dylana was startled awake as she hit her head on the bulkhead. A quick look around inside the boat and a close listen proved there was no damage. Must have hit it broadside and it rolled under the boat and hit the keel before sliding off. Whew! That will wake you up!
But now I was confused. Was that Wawawai on the right? I radioed the other boats for information and then heard Jeff yelling “turn back, turn back!” as I had “heaved to” during my confusion and drifted about 500 yards past the turning point.
I quickly pulled in the sail, hardened up on the wind and proceeded to chase Jeff down. By this time he had passed both Christine and Greg, made the turn and was blasting up river under main and genoa. I had almost caught him when we split tacks and he rode a massive lift up the east side of the river as I floundered on the west side. He was now easily 1/4 mile ahead. The wind was filling to a steady 12-15 (almost white caps) and I was holding a steady4.5 knots. But something was not right on my boat. This was MY type of wind. I can go faster! I should be doing 5.5 knots, easy. Jeff was pulling away.
Christine and Greg made the turn and soon discovered that Christine’s shoal draft doesn’t point as good as the rest of the fleet. With Jeff and I nearly a mile ahead by now, Greg opted to stay within view of Christine.
Then I caught a break. The wind had picked up to the point that Jeff couldn’t fly the genoa any more. As they changed down to the jib, I was able to catch and pass them. But it wasn’t soon after the sail change they had caught and passed me again! What the heck? As I searched frantically for a solution to my lack of boat speed, I noticed I could not center the boom. I sailed several tacks pulling the boom to windward (hard work!) and closed on Jeff. But I could keep pulling the boom in for 8 more miles! Then I saw the problem. Either the halyard stretched or the bolt rope did, but the main was a good nine inches lower than it should be. A quick luff, a hard pull on the halyard and the sail was back in position. Now I could sheet the main properly, had better sail shape, and took off after Jeff.
I passed Jeff with about 6 miles to go and got about 1/4 mile ahead of him, but that was all the separation I could get. Dylana woke up about 7:30, fed me frosted mini-wheats for breakfast, and actually took a turn at the helm! She sailed about five legs before deciding that drawing sailboats and looking though the binoculars was more fun.
We were about 1/2 mile from the finish when we could see the wind dying up river. No way! Six hours of 4.5+ knot sailing and now we might not finish? We hugged the east shore where the wind was, hoping the whole time not to run aground. Moving barely 1 knot per hour, we crossed under the power lines and declared ourselves DONE!