Well, we decided to take an extra day on Mackinac, and do the first annual "Around the Island" Regatta. We had had decent weather after we got to the island, and we heard about 30 boats would be doing the race. Could be interesting to see who stayed and sailed. So, we got ready for Wednesday afternoon. We had lost Whale and Steve to work, and had picked up Nicole and Jean to sail with us. NOT a bad trade at all!
So, Don went and got the SIs, section breaks, etc... and.. lo and behold! We are now a Turbo boat! Yes, when they did the section breaks here is how who we were grouped with: Vincitore, a Kiwi-made 58 footer, custom built racing machine... Pororoca, a GL70 Class boat... Jason, the Farr 395 from across the dock, and Scirocco VI, a Mumm 36. O.k.. the Mumm, I can handle... but really, the rest of it? They all owe us at LEAST 45 seconds/mile in PHRF... what an absurd section break, when the boats in the next slowest section were all within a few tenths of a second with us normally. Sheesh!
Well, nothing to be done about it, and Turbo Maskwa was born!! Of course, we did not have a Section 1 flag, so we had to improvise.. :) George managed to find a red pen, and we had all this notebook paper... so that'll work.
We were a few seconds late for the start, but we were having a great time. We had tried to flag down Vincitore before the start, and convince them they had to do TWO laps, but they were not biting. Rats. We fell in line after the start, and accelerated away. The wind was blowing nicely, we had a good crew, and the boat was handling quite well. Nothing to do, but sail fast. We had an advantage, in that we only draw 6'9", compared to the big boats 14' or so... so we could cut closer to the island. We used this to good effect, but were hampered by one thing. We just could not make the first turn close enough. We had sailed close to the island, but could not get past a small shoal that was marked ahead of us. That kind of put us behind a bit, but we were still sailing well. We even passed Jason and Scirocco, because we were the better sailors. ;)
Passing around as we went over the top of the island, I noticed that at the halfway point, we were still in sight of the big guns, AND... we had only been sailing for 35 minutes! This was gonna be a short race! On the West side of the island, we watched Jason and Scirocco get into a little match racing... the only problem for THEM, was that we were still there, and we took advantage of them letting down their guard to pass them both. Jason managed to overtake us towards the end, but they lost sight of the big prize, which is that there were more boats on the water.
We had great wind the entire time, but needed the island to be a big bigger. We finished the race in 1 hour, 20 minutes, just a few seconds behind the 3rd place boat, Scout, on corrected time.
After the race, they had all you can eat free burgers and brats, and all you could drink beer and wine, so we had to do SOMETHING with our time!
All in all, we had a great time; the race was a hoot, even if we only got 4th place. Just kind of hard to beat the big boys in a short race. After the race, we made some new friends, with Stacey, from Jason, who would join our crew for the Harbor Springs Regatta, and Dan, also temporarily from Jason, who needed a ride down. It really was a great time all around....