Please select your home edition
Edition
Hella Dual Colour Floodlights - Top 728 x 90px - 6 jpg

Worrell 1000 Race 2022 Day 4 - Daytona to Jacksonville

by Worrell 1000 13 May 06:59 PDT 9-22 May 2022
Worrell 1000 2022 © worrell1000race.com

The Worrell Teams scattered the beach at Daytona, with sailors and ground crew busy prepping their boats with a noticeably, more energetic cadence.

All were feeling the positive affects of having the last leg (Cocoa to Daytona) cancelled, and the social event's frivolity from the previous evening elevated everyone's disposition.

However - looking down on them from the 3rd floor balcony - something was off. I counted 12 masts pointing to the sky.....ah. There it was. One boat was completely upside down, and the steady hum of a hand-held sander could be heard even from this vantage point.

Team Restream, Mike Beurlein and Philippe Bettler, would not be racing today. After the last few legs, they noticed a crack in the bottom of their port hull. No worries - They brought a spare boat. All seemed well until, when pulling down the spare - they noticed a crack in ITS hull as well. With the large swell, high winds and the washboard surf still looming over the race course - they decided to stay back and do some boat repair. Our fleet of 13 would be just 12 for the leg.

The usual skipper's meeting had a twist this day - because only four boats completed the last leg, the remaining nine were all scored DNF and tied for fifth. As the boats for the start are lined up in the order that they finished, cards had to be drawn to determine places 5-13. Team Rudee's was up 1st - they drew 12th position.

Cackles from the group abound, and one (jokingly, of course) commented "See what you get for going 1st?" It proved not to matter at all. At the sounding horn, 10 of the 12 boats made it through the extended, Jensen-like surf with relative ease - Rudee's being one of them, and as I watched - Randy Smyth took off like a rocket, was the 1st to tack north, and rolled the approaching fleet, all still on the tack out to sea. There's a reason why he is a 6-time Worrell champ.

The leg would prove much kinder for the racers, as the winds slowly eased throughout the day, and the swells were lower and less frequent. Although the wind was still coming from the undesirable North, boats started finishing a more civilized 8.5 hours later, with groupings of boats finishing within 10 to 20 minutes of each other.

By 20 minutes to 8pm, 7 of the 12 had finished, the next 2 coming in at 8:30 and 8:36. That left just 3 boats to go. The Race Committee was starting to realize they wouldn't be on the beach until midnight. Small joys! When Team Cat in the Hat, Larry Ferber and Brett White (Zack Panetti retired from the race due to illness and was replaced by Australia Team Manager, Brett White), it became clear why the trackers had shown them lagging the last 30 miles: Their port hull was completely full of water. So much so that water was flowing out from the port hole like a rushing waterfall...for several minutes... with no indication of slowing down.

Another 1/2 hour went by... it was now 10 pm and the wind was dying, and it was overcast and very dark. The trackers showed Team Recreational8 should be at the pier, with Team The Netherlands just a few miles behind. Relying on the trackers, the Race Committee moved closer to the water - flashlights lighting the finish line flags from below.

Craig VanEaton and his 14-year-old son Adam appeared just 30 yards from shore, seemingly out of black fog. With a smooth-as-silk glide through the finish line, they had enough velocity to slide almost to the tide line, needing just a short trip to their place in line for the following day. Adam, gifted with the energy of youth, said he was excited and had a great time - after over 12 hours of an entirely upwind leg! His dad echoed the same - with maybe just a smidge less exuberance. Gerard Loos and Fred Sarafin would be the last to finish, 33 minutes later at 10:40pm.

The Netherlands Team had shown they were consistently behind the pack the entire leg, and Gerard explained that he had chosen to reef the main from the start, and would hoist it the remainder of the way at sea when conditions eased - as fate would have it, the main did not cooperate, and they had to sail the entire leg with the reefed main. Although the team was frustrated with this reality, they were happy to be "home".

The day however, did not end without some injury to both boat and body: Sam Ingham was tossed over the front beam when Team Fast Forward Composites stuffed a wave, getting his foot caught in the jib sheets, and twisted it badly trying to get back on the boat. X-rays were done - he would be fine, and said he was looking forward to the next leg.

Trey Garrison, Team Manager for The Clean Sailors, fell hard on the port rudder of the team's Cirrus 901 while pushing the team through the surf at the start and received a nasty gash on his chest that needed 12 staples. Team Sonnenklar broke a rudder, The Clean Sailors had to sail the last 40 miles without a jib (Chris Green was launched into at at one point) and Cat in the Hat of course, had a cracked hull. Even with these realities - all accepted the Race Committee's decision for an earlier start the next morning for the leg to Tybee. With it being the longest leg of the race (128 miles), they were grateful for at least the smaller possibility of arriving in the dark. Off to food, showers, sleep and contemplation.

Related Articles

Worrell 1000 Race 2022 - Final leg
With almost no surf at all, the 13 teams were off the beach quickly The final leg from Kill Devil Hills to Virginia Beach is intentionally short to give the Race Committee the best opportunity to arrive first: to the traditional fanfare, pomp and TV Cameras that await the Worrell at the home of the event. Posted on 22 May
Worrell 1000 Race Leg 12
Hatteras to Kill Devil Hills The expansive beach at ORV Ramp 49 in Frisco was filled with spectators; Most, here for the spectacle that is the Worrell 1000. Not because they're sailors or that they know anything about racing these F18 beasts... they just know that this is exciting. Posted on 20 May
Worrell 1000 Race Leg 11
Atlantic Beach to Cape Hatteras With just three legs to go before the finish in VA Beach, all 13 boats that started in Hollywood were lined up now in Atlantic Beach, ready for a sleigh ride to Hatteras in breezes of 16-18 knots with gusts in the low 20's. Posted on 20 May
Worrell 1000 Race Leg 10
Wrightsville Beach, NC to Atlantic Beach, NC It was a gorgeous morning on the beach at Wrightsville, NC - behind the beautiful and amazingly appointed Blockade Runner Hotel. Some of the teams were red-eyed and tired: they hadn't arrived to the finish here until after 1am this morning. Posted on 20 May
Worrell 1000 Race Leg 9
Surfside Beach SC to Wrightsville Beach NC The start of leg 9 of this 2022 Worrell 1000 saw very light, Northerly winds - 5 knots and a little less - which meant that the fleet was looking forward to a drama-free launch at 10am. Posted on 18 May
Worrell 1000 Race leg 7
Another reason to be thankful for GPS trackers A new checkpoint to the event, and although the racers were not pleased to be so close to a pier that was under construction, the Race Committee moved the start Line well South to take it out of play. Posted on 17 May
Worrell 1000 Race 2022 Day 5
At the start line, 11 of the 13 boats pushed off through the surf It was 8am, and the PRO (Principal Race Officer) John Williams was starting the daily Skipper's meeting. The general feeling in the air was one of mild "dis-jointedness"... just a little "off". Posted on 14 May
Worrell 1000 Race 2022 Day 3
No sailing from Cocoa to Daytona this year Shortly after Team Australia sailed to the finish as just 1 of 4 boats to conquer the Jensen to Cocoa Beach Leg, John Williams, the event PRO said the following day's leg has been called and the fleet would trailer to Daytona. Posted on 12 May
Worrell 1000 Race, Leg 2 - Day 2
The infamous Jensen to Cocoa Beach leg With forecasted winds of 15-20 knots from the North and a 4-6' surf - all expected to build - the 13 teams lined up at the start of an infamous Leg 2 of the Worrell 1000 knowing it was going to be a challenging day. It exceeded expectations. Posted on 11 May
Worrell 1000 Race, Leg 1 - Hollywood to Jensen
A lot of seasoned Worrell Vets rubbing elbows with first timers The Sunday evening Skipper's meeting began with a remembrance of those Worrell Alum we have lost. After folks were encouraged to offer names, a moment of silence in their honor was observed. Posted on 10 May
Selden 2020 - FOOTERArmstrong-A-Wing-728x90 gif BOTTOMJ Composites 2022 - J99 FOOTER