May 9, 2019

Worrell 1000 Reunion Race: Official Daily Reports

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Daily reports below sent by Beverley J Simmons , Worrell 1000 Reunion Race Communications Director . Official web
Worrell 1000 Reunion Daily Reports

Day 4
Worrell 1000 Reunion Race Leg 4 –Daytona Beach, FL to Jacksonville Beach, FL (approximately a 77 mile leg)

Excitement was high on the beach at Daytona, as all 3 boats were set for an on-time start, as late-
night repairs to team TCDYC’s boat were completed with the help of the Aussies and Team Cat in the Hat. It would be the first time since Leg 1 that all competitors pushed off at the sound of the final horn.

The forecast promised champagne sailing: 10-15 knots building throughout the day, sunny and warm. The surf at the start was nothing these veteran sailors couldn’t handle. The start from the previous morning had the Race Leader, Team Australia, delay their start at the horn to watch how team Cat in the Hat made it through. Not today – Both teams shoved off in a furious scramble with their ground crews shoving them through the first few layers of surf. But what about TCDYC? They opted for a 3-minute delayed start, not eager to push the freshly fixed boat. But – a 3-minute delay is far better than the 47-50 minute delays of the last two starts. They were all, kites up, on their way.

The race PRO drove the coastal road instead of the 95 – A few stops were made, as the racers could
be clearly seen at a few points along the way. It was an appreciated effort by the FaceBook followers – additional Live Feeds meant more time to live vicariously through the “lense”.

At Jax Beach, the race committee had just enough time to set the finish line when the lead boat, Team Australia was spotted in the long eyes. It didn’t take long for them to arrive – their official elapsed time was just 5:07:41. Rod Waterhouse reported clocking speeds of 20 knots at one point – He and his Crew Bo were nothing but smiles - it was indeed, a champagne sail. Not far behind, Team Cat in the Hat landed with an elapsed time of 5:42:31 – they keep narrowing the gap with each leg. As for TCDYC – they again arrived with a port hull full of water, so the building breeze helped them make an elapsed time of just 6:52:11 – not bad when you consider the tremendous extra weight being carried in the port hull. With the beach emptied to help them roll the boat up away from the surf, Brett White from Team Australia laid on the ground under the lifted hull – they could see the breech. They knew what they were doing again tonight.

As of the writing of this piece, all of the sailors are on the beach, the TCDYC boat on its side, drained, dried and work commencing. From my vantage point here on the 7th floor, looking down from the balcony – I can see the beers in their hands, the laughter and the easy feel of their demeanor and I know, again – the comradery of all the sailors in this event is palpable, and, I believe – Life Long.

The Race committee is considering an earlier start for the next leg, as the forecast shows very light winds and the leg is long – almost 120 miles to Tybee Island, GA. The racer’s safety and the likelihood they could finish before dark are the main factors. The decision will be made before morning.

Previous reports:

Day 1
Worrell 1000 Reunion Race Leg 1 – Hollywood Beach FL to Jensen Beach FL (approximately a 100 mile leg)

After a 17 year absence, the Worrell 1000 has made it back to the start line – On Sunday, May 6th three daring teams of catamaran sailors pushed off at 10:00am on their way to the first checkpoint at the Courtyard Marriott on South Ocean Drive in Jensen Beach, FL. The sailors and their ground crews had arrived the Friday before – spending 2 long days setting up their boats, making sure their safety equipment, navigation tools and equipment were all in order. Although a few were new to the
event all knew it’s history – the tales from all those years past were what drew them here in the first place.

At 09:00 on 06-May, the teams and the event PRO (Principal Race Officer) came together near the boats on the beach for the Skipper’s Meeting. Excitement was high – for the last 2 days the beachgoers and nearby hotel guests had been curiously buzzing around the boats – some, sailors themselves while others – enchanted by the 18 & 20-foot catamaran designs. The race teams were happy to speak to them – any chance to talk about the sport they love and to encourage people to be a part! By the end of that weekend – the entire beach was chatting about the launch to happen Monday – And the beach was full that morning to cheer them on.

By 09:45, the race teams were fully geared and ready to push the boats to the start line. At 09:55 the race committee sounded the horn signaling the commencement of the 5-minute countdown. At the 3-minute mark – the boats rolled to the start at the shoreline – The two holders held the bright orange “Worrell 1000” flags, marking the start line where the boats launched from in between. As the timer got to 30 seconds to launch, the crowd behind them erupted into cheers – clapping and shouts of well wishes almost drowned out the horn that blew as the timer hit zero. They were off.

Team Australia was the first to pull their spinnaker almost immediately after getting off the beach – A large, 3rd sail launched from an elongated bag attached to a “spin pole” that sits between the two hulls. More sail area means more power generated from the wind – there was a mere 5 knots at the launch. Team Cat in the Hat, the home-town FL team was 2nd to launch their spinnaker – they soon fell in behind the Aussies as team TCDYC from Texas soon followed suit. They were on their way. Mindy Worrell, widow to the race’s founder, Mike Worrell, cried as she watched and said that Mike was watching somewhere – “Proud as hell”.

The remaining ground crews and the race committee had to pack up and get on the road to the next checkpoint – they must arrive before the boats to set the finish line, and to be prepared to help the racers and their boats up the beach. With a light breeze, they were sure to make it in time ahead of the boats. Live trackers for each team allowed race officials and fans alike to track them online throughout the day. There was some concern as the tracker for Team Australia went offline about 30 minutes into the leg. The team could still be reached via cell phone, and all were reported OK.
Team Australia stayed close to shore the majority of the race, only venturing farther out to catch a better breeze – a good tactic, as they arrived at the checkpoint well ahead of the other teams, officially hitting Jensen beach with an elapsed time of 6 hours, 8 minutes & 49 seconds. Roughly, an average of 12 knotts for the leg. “Smooth Sailing!” said Rod Waterhouse, skipper for Team Australia.

The second team to arrive 2 hours later was Cat in the Hat. They had sailed through 2 storms, were soaked, tired, but stoked to have made it in 2nd. Larry Ferber, skipper, simply said “We made it!” and
credited the race committee for setting up the blinking, high powered strobe on the beach that pointed their way home. Their official elapsed time was 8 hours, 5 minutes, 28 seconds.

The last team to arrive had capsized in one of the storms. Tracking was disabled, tensions were high. It took some time, but they were able to right the boat and phone in to ground crew. All were OK – slowly making their way. Their mast and hulls were full of sea water – an additional hinderance in low breeze. When they finally came to shore just before the sun went down for the day, Team Australia, Team Cat in the Hat, spectators, crew and race officials – all helped to bring their boat ashore. They were tired, they were hungry – but still excited to be there. Christian Vuerings, crew to Skipper Chris Green was all smiles, hugging and high-fiving everyone on the beach. “It was awesome!” – yeah he’s got the bug.

With the teams all accounted for, the boats stowed, everyone warm and safe – We all said goodnight – and we’ll see you on the beach in the morning. Leg 2 – Jensen Beach to Cocoa Beach.

Day 2

For immediate release
Worrell 1000 Reunion Race Leg 2 – Jensen Beach FL to Cocoa Beach FL (approximately a 100 mile leg)

Leg 2 started with a postponement from our PRO, John Williams due to lack of wind. The racers waited on the beach with the flags hanging limp – all but Team TCDYC. After capsizing the day before and making repairs to their mast, the team was not ready to launch by the 10:00 a.m. start. The wind Gods apparently, were with them. There wasn’t a breath of wind to be found.
After 20 minutes, the breeze picked up, and the PRO called for a 10:30 start. Team Australia, currently in the lead with team Cat in the Hat in 2nd were waiting and ready to go. They wheeled the boats to the start line. Team TCDYC was still not ready to launch. With 3 minutes left to go, Team Australia did their race-mates a move of true sportsmanship – they ran to Team TCDYC’s boat and moved it to the shore line – they could now launch easily whenever they arrived.

The five minute timer started precisely at 10:25am – At 10:30, two of the three teams were off in a mere, 5 knot breeze. The race committee and ground crew for Team TCDYC waited anxiously – Skipper and crew launched at 11:12am – well within the race rules for a late start. Because of the light breeze, the two starting boats were still visible from the line.

With the assistance of the online tracker devices on each boat, the Race committee, ground crews and anyone in the world could see the progress of the boats – At one point, Team Cat in the Hat moved ahead of Team Australia, while team TCDYC seemed to be catching up. Eventually, Team Australia took the lead again….but TCDYC was falling behind. After several hours of watching the trackers – it was evident something was wrong with Team TCDYC – they were slowing down steadily.
Team Australia crossed the finish at Cocoa Beach after just 6 hours, 19 minutes and 33 seconds. Team Cat in the Hat were close behind, landing at 6 hours, 53 minutes and 35 seconds. The teams stayed on the beach for the rest of the day with the race committee waiting for Team TCDYC – they finally made it in after 9 hours, 39 minutes and 36 seconds – Their port hull completely full of water, and their starboard rudder gudgeons completely broken. We were all just happy to have them safe and on the beach before the sun went down.

It will be a tough night for that team, but there are many hands available to help with repairs. If we have seen nothing else, it is the amazing show of the Corinthian spirit and sportsmanship from these three teams. We WILL ALL make it to the end at VA Beach! Looking forward to the next leg…

Day 3

Worrell 1000 Reunion Race Leg 3 – Cocoa Beach FL – Daytona Beach, FL (approximately a 75 mile leg)
With steady winds out of the east at 10-12 knots, mostly sunny skies and all racers accounted for – Leg 3 would start on-time – countdown clock commencing at 09:55. Teams Australia and Cat in the Hat were ready at the start line – Team TCDYC, as with the day prior, were not – repairs to their boat had caused them another delay. With the race clock counting down to zero, the two Nacra 20 teams discussed starting strategies – Rod and Larry, the two skippers, agreed that a port-tack was the best launching angle in the 3-5 foot surf.

As the final horn blew, Team Cat in the Hat launched immediately while Australia counted waves, and carefully watched Larry’s progress. When Cat in the Hat crashed through the 2nd set of breakers, the Aussies decided it was time to go too. Within 2 minutes, both teams were beyond the surf and tacked nearly simultaneously starboard for the journey north.
Team TCDYC was deliberate in their approach to repairs today, taking nearly the full, allowable time of 1 hour after the start to complete their work and dress for the day. They launched at 10:56:22 – struggled a little in the shore break, settled into a groove on port for nearly ½ a mile before making a smooth tack to chase the rest of the fleet.

The winds were steady throughout the leg, with the trackers showing a maximum velocity of almost 19 knots under jib and main on a close reach. Both of the Nacra 20 teams tried setting spinnakers, but found the angle too hot. In the end – Team Australia prevailed again, coming to the beach at Daytona 1st with an elapsed time of 4 hours, 27 minutes and 52 seconds, with team Cat in the Hat 2nd with an elapsed time of 5 hours, 9 minutes and 48 seconds. It was a tense wait for team TCDYC, as the live trackers showed them hugging the shore at nominal speed – ground crew and race officials feared they had taken on water – When they arrived with an elapsed time of 7 hours, 20 minutes and 58 seconds, the port hull was indeed – full of water again.

At the writing of this release, members of all 3 teams had been on the beach making repairs to that boat. Throughout it all – the sportsmanship and comradery shown has been inspiring. They want to
ALL make it to the end – TOGETHER. Here’s to an on-time start for all 3 teams tomorrow, when we set off for Jacksonville Beach at 10:00 am.

Beverley J Simmons
Worrell 1000 Reunion Race
Communications Director
678-646-9244 cell FB: Twitter: Insta:

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