Well, it was the 52nd Annual Dauphin Island Race...around the lighthouse. While we didn't get to officially make the 18 mile run to the island, despite the groanings of a few drunken lunes, it was definitely the right call by Donnie Brennan and the rest of the race comittee at BYC. The race was originally scheduled for Saturday but was post-poned until Sunday due to the severe weather conditions. The song "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" and lyrics were playing on repeat in my mind as we sat in the Alba club house on Dog River watching our boats get tossed around on the docks. As we stared at the pounding wind and water, we were all thankful we didn't race on Saturday. Someone might have made the trip to Davy Jones Locker.
Spencer Smith of SailTrailers invited me to come down and crew on his Cal 30; it was our first time competing in this event and I have to say, it was really something. I've never seen so many sailors all convened in one place. There were originally 170 boats registered to race but only 90 of those actually started. Boats of all shapes and sizes turned out for the event and sailors of every age and background. One boat had 9 kids below the age of 12, besides regular crew, and WON. It is a race, sure, but it's known more as a fun event. The classes are divided into PHRF, Portsmouth (Open), and One Design/ Multi-Hull. The wind started out a little flakey but as the day progressed, so did the wind and water. By around 1:00pm, the wind was blowing steady at around 18-20 and by the time we finished, it was around 25 with gusts up to 30. After a bit of a botched start, Spencer and I managed to squeak out a 3rd place finish in our class. We were happy not to be sea sick and not to come in dead last. We got a small trophy and a few T-Shirts and that made us pretty darn happy. I can't wait to do it all over again. Check out my videos of the action on YouTube and additional pics below. The third video isn't mine, but gives you a great look at how crazy the start line can be!