WINTER VASHON ISLAND RACE 2015
Winter Vashon Race start, clockwise from above. The J/35s of PHRF 4, a slow moving Neptune’s Car, Gizmo after her epic delivery, Glory before the start and Bodacious working low after the start Photos by Dawn Umstat.
his year’s Winter Vashon Island Race was started on zephyrs, sailed in nearly no wind and finished on a belated northerly at the north end of Vashon on the shortened course. Even more than usual, the trick was taking advantage of the northerly current in Colvos Passage and the few puﬀs that touched down in various spots along the long leg down the west side of the island. Among the IRC boats, it was Crossﬁre first across the finish line, but Steve Travis’ Smoke finishing close enough behind to claim corrected time honors. In the PHRF classes, Fred Creitz’s Soverel 33 Flim Flam won her class overall, edging out the Farr 30 Nefarious for overall honors by just seven seconds.
The reverse start, shortened course and drifting conditions produced some interesting finishes, as some of the smaller boats were able to stave oﬀ the biggest and fastest boats at the finish line. Some boats even got swept past the finish line by the current and in no wind, there was simply no way to get back. For most crews, this Winter Vashon will be remembered as one of the soggiest and hence coldest. It rained virtually nonstop the entire race. The ﬂeet handed out big kudos and thanks to the race committee for shortening the course! There were several epic tales from boat deliveries. John Thompson of Gizmo reported about his delivery from Olympia, “The real story was
in the deliveries. One of my R2AK crewmates helped me deliver the boat on Friday. We ﬂew the spinnaker and had the boat surfing and planing all the way. Our average speed was a hair over six knots. Gizmo’s hull speed is 5.9 knots, and she really doesn’t have a planing shape. We had some current push we got when we finally got into the Narrows. The GPS did record seven knots in Budd Inlet where we rarely get more than a half knot push, so we were ﬂying!” No doubt some of the deliveries from the north weren’t quite as pleasant.
NW YACHTING JANUARY 2016 83
Northwest Yachting covers yachting and boating on the west coast of the United States and Canada