A Sturgeon Bay Start
Posted by Tall Ships America on August 18, 2010
Pride Crewmember Jef untangles the flag from the lines_J. Smith
From Pride of Baltimore 2 at 11:00pm last night:
POB2 is more than half the distance to the finish line for Race Four of the ASTA Tall Ships Challenge Series. This final race features the largest fleet yet. Currently Pride II is duking it out with sister War of 1812 vessel Niagara, with both boats just behind the uber-modern Fazisi from Poland…
It couldn’t have been a better way to spend a sunny Tuesday morning. I found myself out in Lake Michigan with Steve, a volunteer race committee boat owner from Sturgeon Bay, and his family and friends. I had spoken to him the night before and he was stoked to be a part of the race start and to see these magnificent vessels under sail and up close. In fact, he said it was like the day before Christmas and he didn’t think he was going to be able to sleep the night before. We met early yesterday morning and had our line set an hour before the start. Then, we waited. Gradually, the ships started to make their way slowly to the starting area. As they motored along, you could see crews scurrying aloft and shaking out the sails. Some ships, Lynx and Friends Good Will, were eager to start and came by to sniff out the line, test the wind and get warmed up. Before we knew it, it was time for the 10 minute warning signal and you could see the ships perk up and begin to prepare for the start…
Five minutes to go…
- Approaching the start, Roald Amundsen, Denis Sullivan and Roseway
And they’re off!
GO! Denis Sullivan, Europa, Roald Amundsen, Europa
Usually at the start, the ships remain spaced apart and cross the lines within a few minutes of each other. This time, our timekeeper was frantically trying to keep pace as I called out the ships crossing the start line. It looked like a scrum along the start with the ships slicing through the water, flying everything but their underwear. We could hear the water slapping the hulls and the yells of the captain’s on deck as the crew threw in everything they had to come out ahead. It was thrilling and we couldn’t help but cheer our fleet on from the race committee boat.
Denis Sullivan crosses the start
Hauling lines on Pride of Baltimore 2_ James Smith
Pride of Baltimore, Niagara and Fazisi
And a few moments later, it was over and the ships were headed to the finish line off of Wind Point. On the race committee boat we were still giddy and kept recapping for each other what we had all seen. It was one of the best starts I have seen all summer. Thank you to TUSEN TACK and Steve, the race start would not have been possible without you.
Next stop, Wind Point
Pride of Baltimore 2