2015 Pacific Districts: Wild, Weird, and Wonderful!
Twelve Flying Scots and seven Thistles lined up for the annual SBYC Sequim Bay Regatta which was held on Saturday August 29th and Sunday August 30th. The racing was wild and intense as a rare October wind storm (in August!) came through Puget Sound and the Olympic Peninsula on Saturday.
Waiting for the wind to die down Fighting the microbursts
The boats had to wait on shore on Saturday until the gusting winds of up to 35 knots died down into the mid-teens. At around 1:30 pm the race committee felt the conditions were safe and headed out of the marina for the bay. What they and the racers faced on the water was intensely weird. A calm southerly breeze was replaced by several micro-bursts and 360 degree wind shifts. Back to calm and then suddenly boats where off planing. A Flying Scot nearly capsized and the wind shifted to the north, then south, and so on. This all happened before the race committee was able to even set a course. It was wild.
After numerous tries to set a course due to the changing wind, the race committee finally settled on a south – north windward-leeward course. The Thistles started first with the pin and left side being very favored. Five minutes later and the Flying Scots were off and what looked like a favored left side suddenly became a hole with no wind. Scots that tacked out early to the right were greeted with wind from the west and were able to pop their chutes on the windward leg. At that moment the Thistles had rounded the windward mark under spinnakers headed directly for Flying Scots under spinnakers. That was certainly weird.