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Center Sound Series Kicks Off In Style

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  • Center Sound Series Kicks Off In Style

    Report by Kurt Hoehne /

    Corinthian Yacht Club's Blakely Rock Race, the first race in the Center Sound Series, is certainly not the first race of the year. However, it always seems to force racers, and race committees, to officially shake out the cobwebs for the coming year. Saturday's race was no exception.

    The day started out breezier than expected, in the high teens and low 20s. It was certainly a wakeup call, and left a few skippers more comfortable knowing they'd gone over the rig prior to leaving the dock. A fleet of nearly 70 boats had signed up, and most were on hand at the designated start time of 10 am. Alas, the race committee was not. The venerable, much loved and sometimes repaired, red YC 5 had serious steering issues.

    all imagesĀ©Jans Pix

    Here's what I gleaned from CYC Fleet Race Captain Matt Wood's comments on a Facebook thread:

    "The hydraulic steering connector on YC5 sheered in half as the boat was leaving its temporary slip on K dock. We had our Whalers tow us to the dinghy dock to affect repairs. Many thanks to the team that came to our aid. After pulling the engine framing apart we recognized that we could not safely conduct a race on YC5. We continuously communicated on VHF 69 the status of the RC, flew AP and sounds as per RRS, and advised the fleet on VHF our intentions. Plan B was developed and implemented by using the Bullfrog, and our Whaler, to set up a start line using Meadow Point Buoy and a start pin. Starts were combined to facilitate speedy starts.

    "First start was at 11.20 AM, 1 hour and 20 minutes after scheduled start time. Race course was amended, as per SI and RRS, to Blakely Rock and return, using S line as F Iine, as per SI and RRS.

    "We have a plan to affect repairs with the intent to have YC5 in service for next Saturday. Failing that, there are alternative RC boat plans already in place."

    The amended course was shortened to Blakely Rock and return, which was just about enough distance for the TP 52s to stretch their legs in the big breeze. Planing boats ruled on the return from the Rock, The J/105s clearly enjoyed the big breeze, taking six of the top eight places with Creative winning fleet honors. Hooligan, a new J/111, was second overall and the J/125 Hamichi strutted her well-known downwind stuff to third overall. There is also a shorthanded class - though the boats are scored against their regular class and also against the other shorthanded boats. Jonathan McKee's Dark Star won the shorthanded class while also placing third in Class 8.

    Fittingly in the Age of Apps, Kwindoo is being used, and it gives an interesting and instructive replay of the race of those who've implemented it on their smart phone. On this day, like so many others app or no app, it paid to play West Point, take that port tack all the way across to the Bainbridge side and work your way to the Rocks. To access this replay, go to, register and search for Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle.

    With the Center Sound Series well and truly under way, the cobwebs cleared out, it seems already like this will be a season to remember.

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