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Friday, October 15, 2010

Orcas Island Benson Cup

On a lark and in support of our Orcas friends Jimmy & Robin we decided to participate in the Benson Cup, an annual event sponsored by the Orcas Island Yacht Club which starts and finished at Jones Island and circumnavigates Waldron Island (any direction).

We left Anacortes Saturday afternoon with a load of guests, dropped them off at the Orcas ferry terminal for their ride home, and then continued to West Sound for the night.  The next morning we picked up our crew at the Orcas ferry terminal and headed out to the start line by Jones Island in light winds & fog.

We were a little late on the start, but quickly moved into the lead position using our A1 taking a clockwise route around Waldron.  After running our optimum polar wind angles we rounded Sandy Point and drifted to a windless halt while the rest of the fleet sailed up to us instead of taking the point wide and staying in the breeze.

After drifting for 30 minutes we decided to put up our A0 and retrace out steps back into the wind.  In doing so we received a call from Robin asking us if we were leaving - we replied that no we were not leaving, but were simply trying to find some wind.

Eventually we stepped back into the breeze and made it around into President's Channel.  We then switched to headsails and simply blasted back to Jones Island with our J2.  In the end we finished 2nd, losing by 59 seconds to the slowest boat in the fleet.

After racing the entire fleet retired to Jones Island for a potluck and party on the dock - a great time and a wonderful event with super people - we will be back next year!

Waldron Island