Friday, March 16, 2018

Gorgeous Blakely Rock Benefit Race

J/122E Joyride cruiser racer (Seattle, WA)- This past weekend marked the completion of the first of the Center Sound Series; a total of three events that start spring-time sailing on Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest, with the start and finishing lines in Shilshole Bay:
  • Blakely Rock Race- March 3
  • Scatchet Head Race- March 10
  • Three Tree Point Race- March 24
According to Jan Anderson, the famous Pacific Northwest sailing photographer from Seattle, WA, “at long last, it was a GORGEOUS day for sailing the Blakely Rock Benefit Race.  And, the action on the water reflected that.

But, great weather alone doesn’t come close to describing what this sport is really about- - it’s more about the people with whom we share our experiences, and the relationships we’ll cherish for all time.

blakeley benefit race flowersEach year, this day, this race, this moment rounding Blakely Rock, is about celebrating the life of Kelly O’Neil, the photographer that impacted all of Pacific NW sailing, forever. Neither I nor my Boat Boy Skip had ever met Kelly, but fate would have it that Skip and I met the same year she passed. To this day, literally this day, Skip and I are both deeply moved with the fleet’s expression of love for Kelly, by casting daffodils into the water. Above all others, this is a day where everyone wins. From the bottoms of our hearts, we thank you, Kelly.”

Dozens of passionate J/sailors turned out for the 21.0nm race and, in many cases, enjoyed the spectacular day and took home some silverware to commemorate their contribution to the causes the race benefits.

In the Overall category, John Murkowski’s jet-black J/122E JOY RIDE took third overall, while Jimi Geros’ well-known J/105 LAST TANGO took 8th overall.

J/160 cruiser racer sailboatIn what amounts to the full-on racing boat fleet, with three TP52s and a Fox 44 in the mix, the J/160 JAM sailed by Bill Fox acquitted herself quite nicely, taking third in Class 9; not bad for a fully-equipped cruiser/racer with heating, air conditioning, freezers, refrigerators, hot & cold running water with two enclosed heads.  It would be safe to say the only creature comfort on the other race boats was a carbon toilet on centerline! Meanwhile, Murkowski’s crew on the beautifully appointed J/122E JOYRIDE took second place in Class 7, while Shawn Dougherty & Jason Andrews’ J/125 HAMACHI finished sixth.

Class 6 had a flock of J/109s and a J/120.  Taking 5th place was Chris Johnson’s J/120 WITH GRACE, with the top J/109 finishing two places back- Stu Burnell’s TANTIVY, then Jerry Woodfield’s SHADA sitting in eighth place.  Two J/35s and a J/92S sailed in Class 5, with Don & George Leighton’s J/35 TAHLEQUAH snagging 5th place.

The J/105 One-Design Class 4 had one of their largest turnuts in years, with nine boats on the starting line.  Winning was Geros’ LAST TANGO, followed by Erik Kristen’s MORE JUBILE in second, Chuck Stephens’ PANIC in third, Chris Phoenix’s JADED sitting fourth, and John Atchison’s MOOSE UNKNOWN rounding out the top five.  For Class 3, Pat Denny’s J/29 HERE & NOW walked off with class honors. In Class 2, John Sezer’s J/80 RECKLESS was 5th place.   Sailing photo credits- Jan Anderson/ Jan Pix  For more CYC Blakely Rock Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.