48 hours earlier, Bob Lytle’s beautiful purple sailing tribute to Barney the Dinosaur sat bubbled and broken on the shore. While others cleaned their sails, finely adjusted mast rakes and tuned their rudders, Bob appeared finished before he even got started. The race in 2 days was surely lost and the only question remained was could he salvage the 2011 season.
Bob’s fate was was sealed months earlier. Bob had made the costly mistake of mooring his new Hobiecat in the water for storage. For this proven and well schooled sailor, this was indeed a rookie mistake. As Bob enjoyed the summer of 2010, his new boat was floating in the lake. Surely it was safe, bobing happily in the wind and waves far from a dock where it could be damaged… or so Bob (like others..) thought. The silent killer had struck. Bob’s hulls were slowly absorbing minerals from the water, slowly lifting the paint and soaking into his fiberglass hulls. The WORST possible place to store you boat is in the the water on a buoy. While you are sleeping, eating and doing what you do.. you boat is still sailing in a never ending race. Stretching, soaking, wearing out. Every joint is under stress, the fiberglass is stessing and your investment is literally rotting away. Want a slow boat? Keep it in the water. The average water moored boat can soak up to 25 lbs in weight by Labour day, let alone stretch the heck out of your halyards and fittings. If you learn anything from this story – GET YOUR BOAT OUT OF THE WATER when not sailing. Now back to our hero Bob….
Bob faced a ton of work as his bubbled and peeling hulls seemed to mock his folly, but Bob was a fighter. One disk sander and trip to the orange menace on Hwy 11 later, and Bob was grinding those bubbles away! The last step ? A coat of Barney purple to seal the hulls. To Bob’s dispair, no Koolaid colored latex could be found! He peered through his legendary sunglasses, (once bestowed to a young Bob by one Susan Sarandon on vacation trip to Muskoka after making Thelma & Louise) “where can I find something to seal these hulls?” Bob pondered. The race was mere hours away…
Race morning was a beautiful day. Those that knew of the battle between man and hulls that raged on the North East shore traded guesses on Bob and Barney’s fate. Then suddenly, like weekly clockwork, a beautiful site emerged from Bob’s corner of the lake. “Is that was I think it is???” IT IS!!! Barney’s beautiful mane of blue and while sails emerged from shore! Bob and Barney were back!! But there was something a little different. While we all imagined that there was nothing possiblly left to do to make Bob’s Barney more beautiful… Bob had done it. Barney now graced our grand northern puddle with external lizard green hulls! OMG.. it’s breathtaking. While some of us might have painted the entire hulls one colour – not Bob. It takes a great vision to understand how wonderful dinosaur purple can he accentuated with another colour. The Lizard green is simply genius. I don’t have a picture of this, so I’m trying my best to do this craft justice. I hope you can see this in your minds eye.
So the race began with the new Chief Marshal Drew running the show. (Drew.. you need to use a little more bullhorn and you’ll be perfect)
The wind was about a Force 3-4. Hobies were flying and Lasers were flipping. Jr’s were scared away at the thought of the long distance Ironman race.
Bob was single-handed for the first time. It was just greeny-purple lizard Barney, Bob and the sea. Three Hobies and five Lasers cruised the start line like sharks as marshal Drew chummed the water for the start. With a bang.. the 2011 season was on, and just as quickly as this race began .. it was over. Barney burst across the line like a green hornet leaving everyone behind. Those fresh green hulls were indeed magical and suddenly fast. I don’t think Barney has ever sailed so quick. Andy Grant chased closely behind in his Hobie followed by all the lasers and the Reeves Hobie 48.
Hobie48 passed the lasers on the first leg and chased down Barney and the Grant hobie. As Grant tacked, Bob and Barney matched him perfectly assuring no ground could be made up. The Reeves hobie attempted to sail close to the wind and save a tack, a slower course, but more direct to the mark. In sailing, you cant just follow. You must try something different to make up ground or nothing is going to change.
Bob and Andy passed mark one first and headed towards Blueberry Island. Choosing the Southern-most channel, Reeves looking for a way to catch up chose the center channel between Brown’s and MacBeth. (bad choice).
After rounding the second mark below Browns Island and then past Blueberry Island, Barney and Grant continued around Keppys Island before turning North. Hobie48 still behind and growing more desperate attempts the short cut through the narrow channel between Keppy’s and MacBeth! This had been done before by others, but it was still a risky rock filled choice. Reeves emerged close to Grant closing the gap to Andy’s surprise; but as the route north held a powerful wind, both Grant and Barney were in a full run to the finish.
And that is how they finished. Suspecting foul play, the Marshal has requested a paint sample from Barneys gleaming lime skin.
The Lasers also followed the short course, navigating the islands and rocks with ease. Special shout out to Jane Reeves who finished her first race – ever, as well as Marvelous Murray Sanders who was the first Laser to finish the WLSC Ironman race. Heather Sanders was second Laser, (but Murray told me that was just because Heather was following him.) Stevie aka “Numbers” Fellows finished 3rd Laser.
Please stay follow the website for standings and for more information: https://woodlakesailingclub.wordpress.com/2011-standings/
- Pictures from week 1 are on Facebook, and stay tuned to Twitter @WLSC_RaceUpdate for late breaking starting news!
- No Social next week.
- No Jr Race
- Drew is Marshal – We need a marshals! Who can help?
NEXT WEEK WE START HANDICAPPING!!!
All marshals will record boat times and wind conditions. See the Portsmouth Page link on our website for more information . Its easy, and fair!
– The Commodore