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Harvest Moon Regatta

Jan 22, 2008
525
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
Harvest Moon Regatta 2019 - MAProgress
Link to a good tracking site for the Harvest Moon Regatta from Galveston to Port Aransas. Start time at 2:00 today. I’m not sailing in it this year, but I have it on good authority a prolific member of this forum is racing on a J105 named “Pesto”. Weather could get nasty when the front comes through on Friday for boats that haven’t finished yet.
 
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Nov 6, 2006
8,477
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
What a hoot! I did it a few times as crew on my buddy's Tartan 37.. We always had fun even though we were not very competitive..
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,693
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
It was a blast. I co-drove the 105 with my friend Buddy. Our ORC start was actually at 3 PM and we covered the 145 miles in basically 17 hours. Do the math to get the average (above hull speed) speed, pretty amazing for 35 foot boat. As expected the wind went into a zero breeze conversion zone when the front hit . We were half a mile from the finish.
The wind died, and we did everything we could to move toward the finish line against The Current. Then the front came in and gave us the expected 35 to 40 knots in which we finished it. I don’t think we won. We would’ve had that not happened. The front Also gave us an exciting ride to the marina! I’ll try and post some pictures later, after the award ceremony tomorrow. I slept maybe 15 minutes last night. Tired. But a great time. I love Texas!
 
Jan 22, 2008
525
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
Everyone is safe as far as I know, but one boat that does bay races in my class was reported abandoned and leaking from the keel in the intracoastal after leaving the race with problems and another boat lost their rudder and seven were rescued by the USCG. No report on the status of that boat yet. I don't know if the problems were before or after the front came through and winds hit 35 to 40. Will update when I find out more.
Glad you had a great race, Jackdaw! I'll buy that beer for you next time you're in Texas.
 
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Nov 8, 2010
10,693
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
we got through fine. Never any danger, but it had our full attention. Yea the VHF was lit up with SAR chatter all night, and again the next day.
 
Jan 22, 2008
525
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
Another FB post about a boat sinking in the race. I’m going to try to find out the whole story, how many started, how many finished, how many abandoned racing, how many abandoned ship...
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Nov 8, 2010
10,693
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Stayed up at the YC the night before after a great dinner. Got the boat about 10am. It had been moved down from Clear Lake the day before, saving the crew a 3 hour delivery. Spent an hour+ going over every pin, line, and rigging and system. Found one of the bow lights were out, which pissed of the owner (JB) because he inspected the day before. That’s why we look. Anyway now a quick trip to WM for him while we swapped the 150 for the blade based on forecast. Boat getting read to rock, ‘Buddy’ gives the high sign.

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On the way out of the cut we are watching the wind forecast and planning our route, The easterly wind is supposed to veer in the middle of the night, so we plan to be above the rhumb line when we get pushed down. The big question is when the front hits. It’s planning for right around our projected finish time, With breeze dying before going hard 180 and building to 35+ knots.

We also feel the current breeze is lighter than expected, so we swap the blade back to the 150.

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We are the smallest boat in ORC, something I hate. Ratings aside, it seems the bad things always happen to the slowest boat in a rating band. Anyway our plan is to NAIL the pin (on port), not letting any boat be windward to steal our wind and roll us. We pull that off. After a few miles close hauled to gain height and hold off boats, we crack off to our planned course (220-240 depending) and set up a reaching sheet. Soon holding 8-5 to 10.5 knots on a jib reach. Total blast driving thru the waves with the boat on a plane. We have a 3-driver rotation, me, Buddy, and JB. We got Mudd on the bow, and Russell as trim/utility. Like the 10 knots here.


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Soon the sun sets, and we’re blasting through the slower fleets in the waves, darkness, boats and drilling gear. Breeze around 20, wave height hard to tell, but when the driver misses the correct line the entire crew gets soaked. Every now and then we get cell coverage and we get a peek at our position. We’re flying. Sailing the boat pretty much on the edge. All three drivers doing a great job.

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Just before sunrise (6:45am) and we are twenty miles out. The wind is down a bit, but they waves are still big. We not racing the fleet anymore, we’re racing the convergence zone that will hit us before the actual front does.
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Ugh. We miss winning the whole damn thing (Bacardi Cup) by 15 minutes. A mile before the finish, the breeze simply turns off, and we bob in the waves. No way to keep any sail filled. 90 minutes later, the wind does a full 180 and builds to 25 out of the NWN. We rocket down to the line and finish, but the no way we can catch any boat that finished before the lull. So 6th. The front comes in HARD, and we fly (10 knots under main alone) towards the jetty. Buddy driving, me on main, everyone else on the rail. A wave sweeps the boat and pops every vest on the rail. Everyone on the boat has since ordered a deckvest. We get in and put the boat away. I think I got 15 minutes of sleep the night before. The J105 was NOT set up well for sleeping. But what fun!

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JB rented a huge beach house fore the crew, and his wife came down and showered us with Texas hospitality. While rugged on the water, we didn’t suffer on shore. Hot tub and full bar at all times. And tons of boat swag. Well done JB!

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Finally the awards after the rum party. What a great team. Loved this regatta!

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(L to R) Mudd, Buddy, JB, Clay, Russell
 
Jan 22, 2008
525
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
I’m still trying to find out about the status of boats that had crews rescued. One reportedly sank while under tow. The boat grounded in the intracoastal is still there, another attempt to free her didn’t work, airbags next.

Great narrative and photos of the race, Jackdaw.
 
Nov 6, 2006
8,477
Hunter 34 Mandeville Louisiana
Great race narrative, Clay.. Always a hoot ! sometimes more "Hootier" than others..
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,693
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
I’m still trying to find out about the status of boats that had crews rescued. One reportedly sank while under tow. The boat grounded in the intracoastal is still there, another attempt to free her didn’t work, airbags next.

Great narrative and photos of the race, Jackdaw.
the vhf was lit up all night. Not too sure what was going on, the conditions were sporty for sure but no where near dangerous unless you did something wrong. After the front came is I could be boats getting into trouble.The seastate was tricky, and lining up for the cut thru the jetty was not easy.
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,693
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Great race narrative, Clay.. Always a hoot ! sometimes more "Hootier" than others..
thanks Claude, has a great time. Wish I had more time for pics, but with 5 on the boat we were pretty busy. Warm water was a real treat!
 
Jan 22, 2008
525
Hunter 340 Baytown TX
Latest info I have on the damaged boats from the Harvest Moon. The grounded S2 10.3 "Leopard" was on a trailer headed back to the Clear Lake area for repairs. The Catalina "My Assis Dragon II" that had the crew air lifted off during the race, reliable rumor has it, washed up on a beach somewhere in Mexico. And it's still reported a Tartan 27 did sink under Coast Guard tow after the crew was removed.
 
Nov 8, 2010
10,693
Beneteau First 36.7 & 260 Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
Latest info I have on the damaged boats from the Harvest Moon. The Catalina "My Assis Dragon II" that had the crew air lifted off during the race, reliable rumor has it, washed up on a beach somewhere in Mexico. And it's still reported a Tartan 27 did sink under Coast Guard tow after the crew was removed.
With the breeze that was blowing at the time, that is not hard to imagine.