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  • Ward Fay

2022 Rendezvous Report



It was another glorious late summer day in Deer Harbor. Sunny skies, light wind from the north, and some of the most beautiful wooden boats you are likely to see. I was particularly impressed by the number of immaculately maintained larger boats on hand this year. Although Frank Schattauer’s “Tioga” didn’t race, her flawless presence at the dock was much appreciated. There were many others. The largest boats were the schooners Martha and Alcyone, from Port Townsend, both Pacific Ocean veterans. Other notable attendants were Sir Isaac, the fast schooner; the yawl Pacifica, Symra, an Alden sloop new to this event, and Vito Dumas, the Campos cutter who never fails to arrive and impress.


Other new participants this year were Helma, a fabulous Spidsgatter, Shan, an Alden schooner with many Pacific Ocean miles under her keel but still looking great with an adorable 4-month old keeshond as crew, and Tomahawk II, Eric Paerels’ immaculate local Dragon.


Quickstep, the beautiful International One Design, and Starfire the Blanchard 26, came over from West Sound. Nymph of Lorne made the trip from Friday Harbor, and Windsong from Anacortes. Challenge, the 1936 6-meter world champion, and Aura, my 1948 Garden/Blanchard 33, were the Deer Harbor boats. Tu-Tutsh, a Thunderbird 26, was a personal favorite, as I owned one for 13 years.


There was a nice turnout of 16 entries, and the spectacle at the starting line was something to see. We started the race sailing downwind, but the start came off well with no collisions or close calls. The skippers were all protective of other boats as well as their own. It would have been easy to cross the line early. My relief at hearing Bruce on the committee boat announce “all clear” on the radio was gratifying. A general cheer went up.


The wind near the start was off and on, but as we sailed out from behind Orcas Island, it improved. Most boats wisely waited until after starting to hoist their spinnakers. We worked our way southwest toward the Wasp Islands, taking Bird Rock, Coon Island, and Yellow Island to starboard. Then we headed north up and around Jones Island to starboard. Once around Jones Island many boats put up their spinnakers again. Then south down Spring Passage, leaving Reef Island to port, going back to flat sails, and back to the finish line in Deer Harbor. The fastest boat (Sir Isaac on this day) finished in just over 2 hours, the slower boats in just under 4 hours. Two boats couldn’t quite beat the four-hour time limit. Our heartfelt thanks to Bruce Brackett and the committee boat crew for their usual excellent job running the race.


The results show two lists of finishes, one for actual elapsed time around the course, and one for corrected time using real or imagined PHRF ratings. Congratulations to the three top finishers. Starfire sailed an excellent race and came out in first place on corrected time to receive the blue burgee prize. Challenge did very well and got second place and the red burgee. Vito Dumas also sailed well and got third for the white burgee. Sir Isaac was first across the line but corrected out to fourth. Tomahawk II won the coveted prize for tenacity, being the last boat to cross the line before the time limit. Mike Douglas supplied nice ceramic plates for the top three and the tenacity award.


All told, it was a great time on the water, with beautiful wooden boats in a beautiful place. We hope everyone can attend the next Yellow Island Race, which will be on Saturday, May 20th, 2023.

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