BYC Heavy Weather Race

BYC 78th Annual Heavy Weather Race

18-20 Feb 2012

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    It WAS Heavy Weather

    In spite of apparent wind gusts to 40 mph, 38 contestants took up the challenge at Bremerton Yacht Club’s 78th Running of their Heavy Weather Navigation Contest on Saturday, Feb 18. With the wind forecasted to arrive late Friday, those contestants cruising over from the Seattle area made it a point get across Puget Sound on Friday for arrival at BYC and safe berthing before the Friday evening social gathering, club dinner, storytelling and weather speculation. Everyone awoke Saturday morning to healthy winds and pelting rain to begin their race day preparations. Following check-in at the clubhouse, the contestants cast off for the start of the 20.5 mile contest course which would take them from the protected waters of Port Washington Narrows out through Rich Passage to the more open waters of Puget Sound for a brief, but more than fulfilling, whitewater run of about 2 miles. They then returned back through the Rich Pass for the more protected inside waters, except for that short quarter mile run abeam to the southerly winds and seas helped by a long fetch. The final leg, a 2.5 mile return trip through the Narrows at 7.0 knots in flat water at the turn of the current, turned out to be far more of a time prediction challenge for most than could have been expected (Wait a minute here – why is the current trail at the bridge piling coming this way when it’s supposed to be going that way?). Only two skippers got it right with single digit errors, while 14 finished that leg with errors of more than 100 seconds. The most unfortunate skipper (one well seasoned BYC veteran and previous winner of this race) completed the first five legs (14 total miles) in the “big water” with a total error of only 22 seconds (less than half the error of any other contestant at that point), only to fall victim to the Narrows “Current Villain” by accumulating an additional error of 257 seconds over the last two legs. On a side note here, the heavy wind and rain at the start of the race turned to sunshine and a breeze by the time the first boats crossed the finish line (as was previously predicted by the Regatta Chair-Power).

    After contest log check-in, the contestants and crews gathered back in the clubhouse for social time and dinner followed by a skit contest between the visiting yacht clubs (won by Day Island YC) and winding the day up with dancing to live music until midnight. Sunday morning dawned sunny and fairly calm for the breakfast gathering and awards presentation in the clubhouse.

    Trophies were presented by Bremerton YC Commodore Leo Longenecker and Regatta Chair-Power Mike Henry to the top three overall winners, the top three finishers in each of five classes, the top Novice contestant, the top U.S Navy Unit and the yacht club with the best four-boat team score. Taking First Place Overall honors was the team of Owen and Linda Ritter of BYC on OUTBOUND with an error of only 0.4794%. Capturing Second Place Overall was Clint Chapin of Meydenbauer Bay YC on SOJOURN at 0.7115% with last year’s winner Dick Timmerman of Poulsbo YC aboard VAGABOND in Third Place Overall with a score of 0.9373% (these were the only scores under 1.00%). One of the International Power Boat Association’s goals is to encourage newer (and younger) boaters to get involved in our sport. This year there were five first-time entries at Heavy Weather with BYC contestant Mike Laird taking the Novice Trophy with a score of 2.3465%. OLD MAN IV, skippered by QMC Mike Eaton, won the U.S. Navy Unit trophy. Of the eight yacht clubs represented in the contest, three qualified for the four-boat team trophy competition. This year the winning team, with an average error of 1.5157%, was the Bremerton YC team comprised of Owen Ritter, Mike Henry, Chuck Silvernail and Gene Paxton.

    In addition to the Ritters winning First Place Overall, other BYC Skippers garnering trophies were:

    Class 1 First Place – Capts Gene and Martha Paxton – 1.8955%

    Class 1 Second Place – P/C John Rosendale – 2.0470%

    Class 1 Third Place – Capt John Burwell – 2.1403%

    Class 3 First Place – P/C Mike and Billie Henry – 1.8435%

    Class 3 Second Place – Capt Chuck Silvernail – 1.8443% (Difference of .0008%)

    Class 5 Third Place – V/C Rob and Bev Bruins – 2.1010%

    A special thanks to all BYC contestants for coming out to fly the BYC burgee in this contest, you made BYC proud. Thanks also to Observer Chair Capt Linda Ritter (and her assistant Billie Henry) for gathering and assigning the observers, which is, undoubtedly, the hardest part of helping this race succeed and to V/C Rob Bruins for providing observer training. Thanks also to the Log Babes Capts Denise Rosendale, Stacy Longenecker and Nancy Haustveit for log check-ins, to Capt Roy Holland for the contest scoring and to Sylvia Wilson for the observer certificates and award labels. Special thanks on behalf of all the visiting racers to the docking crew headed by Capt Ron Johnson.

    P/C Mike Henry

    Regatta Chair-Power


    HWX Awards Feb 19 2012 (18) FIRST PLACE OVERALL

    Race TEAM

    HWX Awards Feb 19 2012 (19) TEAM

    Past Heavy Weather Races

    2010 Heavy Weather Race

    2009 Heavy Weather Race

    2008 Heavy Weather Race

    2007 Heavy Weather Race

    2006 Heavy Weather Race

    2005 Heavy Weather Results

    2004 Heavy Weather Results

    2004 Heavy Weather Skits

    2003 Heavy Weather Results

    2002 Heavy Weather Results

    2002 Heavy Weather Archives