PHRF #4 Race

Race Details

Storms and changing winds challenge sailboat racers

by Kass Fincher

Under threatening clouds but improving winds, the Southport Yacht Club launched their fourth PHRF sailing race in the ocean on July 7. Planned to be an eight-mile, two lap race, the sailors diligently raced through rain and changing winds, but eventually the course was cut short due to worsening conditions. “We saw lightning,” said Eric Hoffman, a crew member on Naos. “We were heading up to the first mark, where we saw six to ten bolts of lightning. When you are on a 56-foot masted sailboat, you are attracting it. It was a smart call by the race committee to shorten the race. The most important thing is you want to be safe, and when you have weather out there, if you don’t need to be out there, don’t go out there. ”

Fourteen boats participated; some had more challenges than others. Scott Kaseman of Bloody Mary described his experience. “There were a lot of little isolated storms that came through, very tricky. A lot of different wind conditions, light, heavy, shifting winds. We had problems with the spinnaker; it got loaded full of air and pulled away. I think we lost maybe two and a half minutes dealing with that – but despite all that we still had a good time.”

Commodore Sam Johnston summed up the Club’s attitude. “Despite the weather and having to cut the race short, we had fun. It’s always a good time when you’re on the water.”

Spinnaker winners:

1st place Nugget captain Bob Cowan

2nd place Red Stripe captain Gar Bouse

3rd place Bloody Mary captain Scott Kaseman

Non-spinnaker winners:

1st place Juno captain Chris Webster

2nd place Naos captain Sam Johnston

3rd place Harmony captain Charles Goodrich

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