Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik 2020 AnneMarieRindom LEADERBOARD

Resurgence of the Worrell 1000, SailGP foils on San Francisco Bay

by David Schmidt 7 May 2019 08:00 PDT May 7, 2019

If you've read this newsletter for a while, you'll know that Sail-World and its North American editor have a massive soft spot for sailboat races that involve a significant adventurous component. This, of course, is self-defined: for some sailors, a trip into the danger zone could involve sailing out of sight of land; for others, it could be crossing the Gulf Stream or rounding Cape Horn on an "Ultime" trimaran. But for others, the adventure game involves full-commitment sailing aboard small, engine-less sailboats.

In recent years, the Race to Alaska (R2AK; June 3, 2019) has dominated a lot of this limelight in North America, but yesterday marked the resurgence of the Worrell 1000 Reunion Race. This high-octane event, which is open to Nacra 20 and Formula 18 catamarans, will take the brave-souled fleet some 1,000 miles from Hollywood, Florida, to Virginia Beach, Virginia.

While there are planned nightly stops, this does nothing to dilute the challenge of sailing high-performance catamarans over some 1,000 miles of Atlantic brine.

Some backstory: The Worrell 1000 began in the early 1970s as a bet between the brothers Chris and Michael Worrell about the feasibility of sailing a Hobie catamaran from Virginia Beach to Florida. While Michael Worrell and his crewmate Steve McGarrett didn't collect on their wager, they did negotiate two hurricanes and multiple repair jobs in October of 1974, en route to reaching Fort Lauderdale after twenty days of sailing.

In 1976, Michael Worrell created the "Worrell Bros. Coastwise Race," which unfurled in May of that year as a four-way contest. Rules were loose: racers were supposed to make landfall each night and call the race organizers and advise them of their progress once per 24 hours (remember: no cell phones). Otherwise, they were more or less free to sail as they liked.

Michael Worrell and his crewmate Guerry Beatson were the only team to finish that year, and, in 1979, Michael's interests turned elsewhere and Chris took over the helm, truncating the race's moniker to the Worrell 1000 and opening up the vessel eligibility to cats 20 feet by 8 feet. By 1987, the beam box measurement was dropped.

The race experienced its first big hiatus from 1990 to 1996, when it returned as a production-cat race. In 2002, Brian Lambert and Jamie Livingston established the current course record of 71 hours, 32 minutes and 55 seconds in a race that was to be the Worrell 1000's last running...until yesterday, when three boats set off from Hollywood, Florida, with dreams of reinvigorating East Coast sailing with a big hit of adventurism.

This year's Worrell 1000 Reunion Race will feature just three teams, but it's important to remember that great things can come from humble (re)starts.

Sail-World loudly applauds the brave efforts of the three teams that are competing in this year's Worrell 1000 Reunion Race, and we highly encourage other race organizers to look at the massive following generated by events such as the R2AK and the Worrell 1000 as possible solutions for helping to attract more adventure-minded people to the sport that we all love.

Moreover, we highly encourage sailors to check out these events and to consider trying something a bit less varnished and with a few more lingering question marks.

And for the hard-core adventurous, it occurs to Sail-World's North American editorial staff (that would be me) that a truly motivated team could theoretically speaking finish the Worrell 1000 in time to participate in the full-course R2AK. (To anyone who just started hearing the siren's song of an irresistible challenge, please consider the gauntlet thrown down.)

Finally, this weekend also marked an exciting adventure of a different sort when SailGP hit the waters of San Francisco Bay for a high-speed, full-foiling weekend of fleet and match racing. Racing played out over Saturday and Sunday, with Nathan Outteridge's Japan SailGP Team dominating on Day 1, followed by a juggernaut performance on Sunday by Tom Slingsby's Australia SailGP team.

After five fleet races and a single match race (between Australia and Japan), Australia SailGP team topped the San Francisco leaderboard, followed by Japan SailGP Team, and Great Britain SailGP Team.

And while Rome Kirby's United States SailGP Team didn't make it onto the podium, the team saw a huge, confidence-inspiring surge forward from their performance at the SailGP Sydney event in February to take fourth place.

The next SailGP event is slated to take place on the waters off of New York City from June 21-22. Sail-World extends a big congrats to the Australia SailGP team for cinching up a great victory, and we also lift our glasses to a fine job by Mr Kirby and his American-flagged crew.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt
Sail-World.com North American Editor

Related Articles

Celebrating offshore success and the CCA's awards
Latest Sail-World newsletter from David Schmidt in the USA The Cruising Club of America's annual awards are a great opportunity to celebrate offshore sailing in the depths of winter. Posted on 25 Feb
Gladwell's Line: What do we really know?
A look at the use of prototype or test boats, alternate strategies and the nuances of a dry tack A look at the use of prototype or test boats in this America's Cup cycle, and the alternative strategies teams could be using as they keep their Cup developments running. Plus a look at dry tacks and gybing in the AC75. Posted on 24 Feb
Time for Fresh Oil
It's a new year and a new season of SailGP, so it's definitely a great time for some fresh oil. It's a new year and a new season of SailGP, so it's definitely a great time for some fresh oil. As we know, this is really important for the best shallow or deep fry, and for Season Two the gas has been turned up somewhat with the seven F50s. Posted on 23 Feb
James Mitchell on the 2020 Laser Radial Worlds
An interview with James Mitchell about the 2020 Laser Radial Worlds I checked in with James Mitchell, event chair of the 2020 Laser Radial Worlds (February 21-28, 2020), via email, to learn more about this high-level One Design world-championship regatta. Posted on 19 Feb
Tokyo 2020 U.S. selections, Tea Route, Cup news
Latest Sail-World USA newsletter from David Schmidt While the Tokyo 2020 Olympics don't start until July, the sailing world got clarity as to which sailors will be representing the USA at this summer's Games as racing concluded at four critical world-championship regattas. Posted on 18 Feb
Olympic moments abound
The Summer of Sailing around Port Phillip has been quite the big deal The Summer of Sailing around Melbourne's Port Phillip has been quite the big deal. How cool would it be to have Australia represented in the 470M, Laser, 470W, Finn, 49er, FX, Nacra, and also Laser Radial Posted on 16 Feb
Rolex awards, anticipating four Aussie worlds
Honoring sailing's greats and looking forward to Down Under worlds US Sailing's annual Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards are two of the biggest honors that are awarded to U.S.-flagged sailor. Mike Martin and Adam Lowry, as well as Daniela Moroz, received these honors for 2019. Posted on 11 Feb
Steve Burzon on the Caribbean Multihull Challenge
An interview with Steve Burzon about the 2020 Caribbean Multihull Challenge I checked in with Steve Burzon, event organizer of the 2020 Caribbean Multihull Challenge, via email, to learn more about this exciting, warm-water multihull event. Posted on 11 Feb
Welcome sign, not toll booth, nor boom gate
The question of participation is the proverbial whipping boy of yachting Quite possibly, and even more so than keels of Unobtanium and constantly dynamic sail membranes filled with Helium, the question of participation in our sport is the proverbial whipping boy of yachting. Posted on 9 Feb
Gladwell's Line: SailGP rings changes for Season 2
SailGP was very much at the forefront of the sailing stage this week SailGP was very much at the forefront of the sailing stage, this week - and not for what happened on the water. Great Britain SailGP announced a crew line up stacked with members of the INEOS Team UK America's Cup team and a minority investor signed on. Posted on 9 Feb
North Sails 2019 - NSVictoryList - FooteriSails 2020 - February - FOOTERSOUTHERN-SPARS-MISSY-FURLING-BOOMS-728-X-90 Bottom