With 31 boats registered for the 39th Regatta Time in Abaco (RTIA), Race 1 took off at Green Turtle Cay on July 4 with variable winds and the promise of rain. The RTIA, Multihull and PHRF course covered 14.9 nautical miles, and the Mother Tubs – 8.4 nautical miles.
The countdown for each class began, and was signaled by the shrill blast of the horn as the vessels took off toward their designated markers. In the RTIA Class, Peter Christie of Balamena II placed first, followed by Michael Carrington of Susimi X and Andrew Wilhoyte of Tanglefoot in second and third, respectively.
In the PHRF division, the top three vessels to complete the course were Susimi (Fredercik Carrington), Abaco Glow (Andy Burke) and Naut on Call (Eddie Evans).
There were only two that made it through in the Multihull class, with Larry Geller of Third Tri placing first, while Don Balthaser ofDouble Trouble secured a second place finish.
Finally, in the Mother Tubs, Will Van Cleef of Otis outranked the other vessels for first place, Len Chamberlain of Nocturne came second, and Richard Cook of Abaco Rage took third.
Although Ice Man placed fourth, it was a good sailing experience along with the crew (Dennis, Pat, Catherine and Brad) to observe firsthand what takes place during the race. The wind direction kept changing as well as its speed, so it continuously affected boat speed. A downpour of rain over Green Turtle Cay sucked away a good portion of the wind making sailing even more difficult.
Nevertheless, each person played their part showing the true definition of being a team. And speaking of definitions, the best definition of sailing was given by Dennis and Pat, who said that sailing was like watching “slow paint dry,” to which Catherine added a few more comparisons.
“It’s like watching grass grow or fingernails grow,” she retorted.
Assuredly, the sailors were excited to cross the finish line and receive a congratulatory honk from the RTIA Race Committee boat after a good team effort.
Race 2 brought breezy conditions and rough seas on July 6 from Treasure Cay to Guana Cay. The Multihull, PHRH and RTIA vessels were required to complete a course of 15.4 nautical miles, while the Mother Tub vessels enjoyed a shorter course of 11.7 nautical miles.
In the RTIA division, Andrew Wilhoyte sailed to a first-place win aboard Tanglefoot, Peter Christie dropped to second place onBalamena II, and Bob Harkrider on Living the Dream made his third-place mark.
It was another victory for The Bahamas’ sailing vessels in the PHRH division with Andy Burke and his crew in first place with AbacoGlow. Colin Whittaker onboard Sempre Amantes secured second place, while Frederick Carrington of Susimi claimed third.
Don Balthaser’s Double Trouble moved up to first in the Multihulls, and Larry Geller of Third Tri dropped to second. The Mother Tub class saw Nocturne in first place, Ice Man in second and Cheval in third place. Three vessels were unable to complete the race because of raging conditions, namely Redemption, Abaco Rage and Erinsong.
They were a few “rookie” sailors, like this reporter, who got a quick lesson on the parts of the vessel and sailing terminology. After a few tries, we were well on our way although everyone got soaked at the starting line.
The windy and choppy water conditions began to exceed the Rage’s safety limit, so erring on the side of caution, the crew decided to call off the race. Barry Ainsworth, one of the Abaco rage crew members, demonstrated the lighthearted, yet competitive spirit of his crew members in an online post.
“Lost one of the crew off the pry; Man Over Board (MOB) drill. Equipment problems… lost the second person overboard… they stayed with the boat. More equipment problems,” he explained.
“Finally rounded the first mark, with large swell coming over the bow, [and] we opted to abandon the race. Lost the third crew member off a pry; they managed to hang on. There is always the next race on Tuesday.”
And not only were there more races, but more parties and awards ceremonies for sailors to continue their celebrations. Races #3, #4 and #5 took place after the paper went to press, so results will be posted in the August 1st issue of The Abaconian.