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So there we were, making over ten knots, with the finish line fast approaching.

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 9, 2010

August 6th 2010  

1535 – 46.52.6’N x 84.24.3’W 

By Matthew Maples 

Europa, Europa! What is your intention?”

“Overtaking you!” shouted Captain Robert Vos with a wild flourish of his hands as he informed our night watch about his recent radio communication with the Denis Sullivan – our de-facto opponent in the race.

Just abaft the beam of our vessel hovered the green navigation light of the Sullivan, a mere handful of miles away. As we sailed ahead we watched that light fall more aft. It would never again be forward of us.

In the beginning of the race, Milwaukee’s large schooner, the Denis Sullivan, had left us in their wake. Our course was similar to theirs- to head in a more northern direction over the Keewenaw Peninsula of Lake Superior. Unable to catch the smaller schooner, Robert changed tactics. We would instead hug the coastline to shave off miles. Downwind, with our studding sails, and Robert’s coast-cruising navigation, we were able to creep, mile by slow mile, alongside the Sullivan, finally overtaking her on the morning of August 5th at about 0200.

Click here to continue reading about Matt’s racing adventure on Europa

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