Dan and Mike at The Northern Century

From Dan Newland …

Here are some pictures I took of the “Northern Century Race” Mike and I just did.  It’s a 100 mile race from Anacortes to Pt Roberts, then Hein Bank and back to Anacortes.  We tanked it and finally withdrew Saturday night after 23 hours, 18 miles to go and facing a building ebb against us with no wind.  We had already sat 4 hours slating in no wind and 3 knots of current going backwards and sideways between the southern part of San Juan Island and Victoria where the current sounded like a running river (this is no B.S., it really made a rushing sound!) and swirling out of control in eddies and whirlpools.  We had waves from the Straits 3 miles away where it was blowing 20-25 kts to make us more miserable. Another few hours without sleep having been awake for 40 hours didn’t sound very good so we bagged it.

It was the most challenging race I have ever done and there was so much local knowledge that we were like babes in a manger.  Not a clue!  But about half of all the racers dropped out. Thinking about it now with a little distance, I’ll probably do it again.  I was pissed not to finish but it was a beautiful sail Friday night.  Warm with beautiful skies and all around, surrounded by the San Juan Islands.  Gorgeous.

The race had trackers on each boat and here is the attachment to look at the tracks. On the “Yachts” tab at the top of the page click on “Show track” and it will come up for the selected yacht.  Very interesting!  In particular, look at Madrona vs. Emma, 2 boats that were 4 seconds apart at the finish with Madrona going through Cattle Pass.  A gutsy move to be sure! Where we apparently went wrong was going between Sinclair and Guemes Island since other than that, we were right along the same path as the winners like Icon and Emma.

So we didn’t finish, but we had a  SPECTACULAR night’s sail.  It was gorgeous and pretty well pegged the meter for stunning. Finally, Anacortes YC did a great job.

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