The Black Diamond crew is back safely in Toronto (My self, Paul Thornton, Rick, Mark and Monica Doedens)…We had a lot of fun, and a great race. We were competing against professional sailors, hard core amateurs, and locals with knowledge of the gulf stream, and lots of ocean racing experience. As you know we just completed a couple of months in the Bahamas, so the boat was out fitted for cruising, with scuba gear, dinghy, and lots of other junk. Most of the boats in this race, had a chase truck. They would unload the entire boat of everything, including the crew’s bags, and items deemed unnecessary by the skipper. Their driver would meet them in Charleston with their stuff. On Board the two STP65 all out race sleds, only one roll of tooth past amoung 20 crew was allowed, and the tooth brushes were cut in half to save weight. Many of the crew decided it was not necessary to brush teeth, and they were only allowed one pair of shoes, the ones you were wearing, either you have your deck shoes or boots not both. The amazing thing was, the race boat beat the chase truck to Charleston!
Considering all, I was very happy with our performance, 408 nautical miles (800kms), in 2 days and about 6 hours 37 minutes. Initially I thought it might take over 3 days. We had a respectable finish, with PHRF only 10 mins behind 3rd place. Had we known that, we might have taken it far more seriously. Like calling for the spinnaker more often. One time I said we should put it up after lunch was done and all cleaned up. Right there we could have saved 10 mins alone. Our Sirius Sat went down for the first part of the race, and we went far to far east, and were out of the gulf stream for half a day before we noticed. Once we got our Sirius Sat back, and were back in the gulf we were making good time again.
There are additional photos available at http://www.imagesbymarco.com click on Fort Lauderdale to Charleston.
I will now be heading down with a new crew for Charleston Race Week on Thursday. Details and results will be at http://www.charlestonraceweek.com – The crew will consist of myself, Craig Russell (PCYC), Derek Presswood (PCYC), Ivan Vulicevic (Bronte), Chris Bonner (Charleston Local) and possibly a another local. There will be 3 days of offshore racing around the buoys. This will be the first time Black Diamond will race with Spinnaker around the buoys, first time offshore around the buoys and with this crew. We are in the cruising fleet, more appropriately placed, so we should not do too bad. However we are the 2nd fastest PHRF rated boat in this fleet, so we will be handicapped for it. The bottom line is, we are all here for fun, and I am sure we will have lots of it.
After the Charleston Race Week Regatta we are heading for an offshore cruise to New York City, leaving on April 20th, hope to arrive April 23rd, 24 or 25th. Weather depended. We have to round Cape Hattaras, one of the most dangerous capes in the world, in bad weather. We may have to wait for a weather window which could delay our arrival.
** UPDATE **Sailing a large format colour glossy international magazine in October’s issue ran a story about the Fort Lauderdale to Charleston race, that we did with the Doedens and Paul Thornton, the last two paragraphs in the article mention Black Diamond, even though we were credited for losing, we are still one of the only other boats mentioned! Hey for the record we came in forth, beating some boats, and one that did not finish. Hey, we were 4 hours behind first place, and only 2 hours or 8 mins in PHRF corrected behind getting a 3rd place trophy. We completed 408 nautical miles in 2 days and about 8 hours. Not Bad. – See Link below for the full article.
Thanks for your interest in our little adventure, it makes it more interactive knowing so many friends are following along.
Congratulations guys (and Monica)!