Tracking the GCBSR - Part II

USS KEARSAGE has set out a welcome display for AMERICA 2.0, arriving here in Portsmouth at 1655 on Friday, well in advance of the rest of the fleet. Andrew Neuhauser, Captain of AMERICA 2.0 with Bill Mellen, Race Chairman. AMERICA 2.0, racing in AA, earned line honors at Thimble shoal for an elapsed time of 23h36m00s and received the Perpetual Trophy for the best corrected time as well. Launched at Scarano Boat Works in August 2011, she appears above the waterline to be a ¾ replica of the original, but is in fact a light displacement rocketship featuring many new innovations. WOODWIND, another speedy Scarano schooner, second to finish, and first again in Class A is in her usual spot, prepared to host Ken Kaye’s Annual Rum Party following the Awards Ceremony. Art Birney’s 1984 Cherubini ADVENTURER 56 is alongside. Second in A was Roger Worthington’s PROM QUEEN, here hosting a group of local students. Prior to the race, at the Parade of Sail in Baltimore the schooners sailed with young cancer patients from Johns Hopkins. The GCBSR has donated more than $153,000 to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to support children’s education programs where kids get out on the bay for hands-on experience. Alongside BRILLIANT is ADVENTURER 65, first in B, with second place SALLY B across the way. If you were tracking the race you may have wondered why ADVENTURER halted south of Windmill Point. She was anchored to deal with a mechanical problem, but managed to get underway just in time to reach the last half of the awards ceremony. Denise Meagher and Ian Thomas brought Mystic Seaport’s BRILLIANT back to the race after a 17 year absence, and she is looking better than ever. AVELINDA, an Outward Bound HI 30 open, non-auxiliary oar and sail-powered sharpie schooner with a hardy crew of Outward Bound instructors, was first in C by corrected time. Following her finish at Windmill Point she put in for a rendezvous with a tow truck to complete the journey to Portsmouth. The first night of the race featured a breeze of 8 - 18 kt veering between S and SE with a full moon flood tide in the early evening. Seven C class schooners, for various reasons, withdrew as it became apparent they would not reach Portsmouth in time for the awards. ASA commodore and GCBSR president Al Roper presents the C class first place Award to AVELINDA’s Captain Diane Sternberg as Dick and Leigh Woodling from ADVENTURE hoot it up. Captains Diane Sternberg (AVELINDA), Mark Faulstick (ADVENTURER 65) and Dan MacLeod (SALLY B). By corrected time AVELINDA finished 29 seconds ahead AVENTURER 65, whose elapsed time was the best in the B and C fleet at Windmill Point. Bill Durkin’s CUCHULAIN was first in C (elapsed time) at Windmill,and the only C boat to reach Portsmouth by the watery route. Glenn McCormick’s MISTRESS, built in 1930 for George Roosevelt is a regular in Class A. Captains Linda Gunn (FAREWELL), Steve Briggs (NORFOLK REBEL) and Nicholas Alley (VIRGINIA). Linda was shorthanded and had to abandon an early lead when the breeze got a bit much. Steve did the math early on the prospect of finishing under sail against the southerly and fired up his iron jib in good time to reach Portsmouth. Nick was wondering how VIRGINIA will fare against AMERICA 2.0 if the Virginia Maritime Heritage Foundation can acquire the funds to get her sailing again. It’s a hoot tracking this race on the internet but there are too many mysteries about who’s doing what when you follow the boats closely. Every boat has a quite a story to go with its track and you need to be here to get the “rest of the story.” Although quite a few boats put in up the bay, most of their crews found some way to reach the Pig and Oyster Roast Award Ceremony. For most of the boats participation in this race involves a substantial commitment in time and expense. Getting to Baltimore and getting home again can be a big deal, especially for the smaller boats. QUINTESSENCE is still working her way back to Barnegat Bay a week after leaving Portsmouth. She has had engine problems coming and going. Class A HERON was towed into Rebel Marine by David Briggs after her third place finish because of an ailing transmission. AJ MEERWALD had to withdraw because of expense issues. This race is a complicated event and it endures thanks to the sophisticated work of many volunteers. In Baltimore the docking had to be moved out of Fells Point this year because the city restricted the number of vessels at the Broadway Pier. The word is that the move to Baltimore Marine Center was positive however, and the All Hands Party was improved with its new location. The start has been a real challenge since the Naval Academy withdrew the use of its YP’s. It is no simple matter to position two boats in the middle of the bay for the start and this year back-up plans had to be instigated at the last minute because of mechanical problems with the committee boat. Thanks again to Scott Ripley of the Town Point Yacht Club in Norfolk for bringing ORZA back for the start and to the unflappable Bill Mellen for managing the race. What a pleasure it was to be in Portsmouth again for a reunion with all those volunteers and crews! And… there are surely a few thousand photos out there somewhere, as well as dozens of sea stories from participants. Don’t be shy. Let’s see some additions on this website. Here are the race results Al Bezanson GREEN DRAGON

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Brilliant and Adventurer 65.jpg161.78 KB
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Another wonderful race

Quintessence finally made it home on Sunday, October 23. Fuel problems half way down Delaware Bay Monday evening delayed us a day in Cape May. This was our second major fuel problem of the trip, so on Tuesday I had all of our fuel pumped out to make sure we totally resolved any issues. We threw in a couple of gallons of clean fuel, sloshed it around a bit and then pumped that out too. We then tore apart and cleaned out all of the fuel lines, flushing out what looked like marsh mud from our port lines.

While all that was happening, a front was moving through with forecasts topping out with 8-11' seas and 30-40 knot gusts for Wed, Thurs and Friday. Two crew members, Barry Long and George Doby opted to jump ship and head back home to Virgina, while Jay Irwin and I waited out the weather.

Taking advantage of the situation, I rented a car and Jay and I headed up to Bayshore Discovery and hung around with the A J Meerwald crew for a day. We ended the day with a few beers on Bill Mylet's front porch and dinner with Jesse Briggs. Heck of a lot worse ways to spend a weather delay!

Seas calmed to 2-3' on Saturday and Sunday with 5-10 knot NW winds. Jay and I motorsailed to Atlantic City on Saturday ending the day with a great dinner of Jamaican Jerk Chicken at the Back Bay Ale House at Gardner's Basin. We hopped up to Barnegat Bay on Sunday and were tied up back at deRouville's Boat Shop by mid-afternoon.

Barry Long took a whole bunch of photos and video of the Parade of Sail and the race. You can take a look at some of them at Barry's web site. Really nice stuff. Thanks Barry for some great images!

Quintessence's masts will be pulled some time this week, and she will be put up on the hard for the winter in a week or so. I have quite a bit of work to get done this winter, so I will be down to see her quite frequently!

Paul