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Flying everything but their underwear

Posted by Tall Ships America on July 13, 2010

Pride, Lynx and Appledore 5

Monday morning dawned grey and drizzly. As the Edgewater Yacht Club volunteers headed to their boats, there was hope that the sun would stop playing around and make an appearance. Once out on the lake, the start boat dropped anchor at 10:15am and prepped the boat for the race start. We weren’t the only ones out on the water. St. Lawrence 2 was having a blast playing around and enjoying the wind that had picked up. They were zipping around with all their sails up and looked like they were having a great time out on the water.  For the next hour, we watched the ships slowly make their way out to the start line from the Port of Cleveland. Many of the ships decided to have a little warm up and soon enough, Europa, Lynx, Pride of Baltimore 2, Pathfinder and Appledore V had thrown up their sails and were enjoying the wind and the sun, which had finally decided to come out.

St. Lawrence 2 with Cleveland skyline

On the race committee boat, we were prepping the signal flags, testing the start cannon and checking in with the boat at the other end of the line as they put the tetrahedron (a bright yellow, seven foot tall floating triangle) into the water. The first start for Roald Amundsen and Europa was scheduled to being at 12:00pm. Roald Amundsen asked for and received permission to go over the start line about 15 minutes early. As Europa crossed the line, they sounded their ships horn (which they are very proud of) and were soon little more than tiny square sails on the horizon.

The second start was scheduled for 12:30pm and was for the smaller vessels. There were a few moments of concern when we noticed a massive tanker steaming toward the starting gate. Technically they crossed the line first but, since their engine was on, they were disqualified. Of the tall ships, first across the line was Lynx out of California, followed closely by a good looking Appledore 5 who hauled by the start boat.

Lynx approaches the start line

Lynx first across the line

Two minutes later, Pride of Baltimore 2 blasted by our boat. We were close enough to hear the hull slicing through the water and to hear Captain Trost shout commands to his hard-working crew.  On the other end of the line, St. Lawrence 2 crossed the start a minute and a half later. Six minutes later, Denis Sullivan cruised by followed by Pathfinder.  A few minutes later, the trash talking between the Baltimore Clippers was heard over the radio when Lynx was heard asking Pride of Baltimore to take a picture of their stern and that, if they want, the crew got some good pictures of their bow. Captain Trost of Pride II replied that they were right on top of them. One of our bravo boats came over the radio saying that Pride was bearing down on Lynx and they had everything flying but their underwear and boy did they look beautiful!

Pride of Baltimore heads to the start line

Pride of Baltimore 2 blasts by the race committee boat

It was an exhilarating start and even the two teenagers we had on board exclaimed that it was awesome. High praise indeed.

Flying everything but thier underwear

Alas, the wind blew itself out and a few hours later the fleet was only making one or two knots toward the finish line. By the time the time limit expired on the race at midnight and 12:30 respectively, only Europa, Pride of Baltimore 2, Appledore 5 and St. Lawrence 2 remained in the race. When the time limit was called Pride had made it to within an eighth of a mile of the finish line, so close!

Off to Pelee Passage

 Because these ships are all differently rigged, we impose Time Correction Factors to even out the playing field. Final results based on those numbers will be announced during the crew part on Sunday night in Bay City, MI during the Tall Ship Celebration festival.

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2 Responses to “Flying everything but their underwear”

  1. mjspringett said

    great report i almost felt like i was there, keep up the good work, especially from the computer keyboard, i love it

  2. norskie said

    We saw the Tall Ships in Cleveland and what a sight !! Living in landlocked Pittsburgh (well we do have three rivers) we traveled to Ohio to see the ships and will follow your blogs on the internet. Good luck to all of you and how fortunate we are to be able to see and read about the ships.

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