Please select your home edition
Edition
Grapefruit Graphics 2019 - Leaderboard
Product Feature
2019 Crewsaver Razor Junior Drysuit Including Underfleece
2019 Crewsaver Razor Junior Drysuit Including Underfleece

2001 Worrell 1000 - Leg 4 Finish

by Zack Leonard 10 May 2001 08:47 BST

Gentle Breeze Slows the Pace, But Large Surf Still Takes A Toll


Team Alexander's rounds the cape in the lead
Photo ©: Walter Cooper

Leg 4 from Cocoa Beach to Daytona Beach was not as eventful as the preceding legs, but heavy surf is still hammering the Florida coastline and the finish was tricky in the sagging, 5-knot breeze. Winds were as high as 14 knots during the race, but they tapered as the day progressed and the sailors had tough sledding in big seas and fickle wind. The Easterly swell has grown huge after a week of strong Easterly breezes. The surf off Daytona Beach is still well overhead in the big sets even with the diminished breeze.

The race for the leg victory showed just how important the approach to the beach can be. Brian Lambert and Jamie Livingston of Alexander's aced out Rod Waterhouse and Katie Pettibone of Guident by 11 seconds after Guidant led along the approach to the beach but overstood the finish.

"We went to the wrong flag," sighed Waterhouse, "we were aiming for the orange flag on the lifeguard stand instead of the finish line." The error forced Guidant to gybe for the finish, getting dangerously sideways to the surf in the shallow water. Lambert pumped his main and Livingston slid out on the bows to facilitate surfing as they approached on a perfect angle and slipped across the line to take their fourth straight leg victory.

"We were ahead, but we went too far off-shore and didn't come in early enough," noted Lambert. He and Livingston lived dangerously, sailing the entire race with a broken rudder casting that they suffered at the start. If the breeze had freshened, the whole rudder housing could have collapsed and they would have lost a lot of time coming ashore to fix it.

The race was extremely close at the top. The lead changed many times and at least 5 boats claimed the top spot at some point in the race. Nigel Pitt and Alex Shafer of Tommy Bahama sailed a solid leg to finish third; just nipping Team Tybee Island sailed by Steve Lohmayer and Kenny Pierce.

Most of the fleet was able to fly the spinnaker after rounding Cape Canaveral. The top group rounded the cape and set the big asymmetricals to sail back towards the shore rather than running along the rhumb line, which led away from the crescent shaped shoreline. Those who waited too long to get back in-shore were punished and those who went too close to shore were equally hurt.

Katie Pettibone was upbeat about her first day sailing with Rod Waterhouse. "I feel honored to sail with him. The big thing with someone like him is that he's such a good driver, that both of us could trap, it was huge. It's amazing how tweaky these boats can be, one small change and all of a sudden you can point 3 or 4 degrees higher."

The shore team's view of this race is vastly different from the ocean-side view that the racers experience. On shore the race is a blur of check-ins and checkouts, followed by hassles with internet hookups and associated techno-nightmares. Once the logistics are sorted out, the days blend together. Shore crews and race officials spend long hours sitting on indistinguishable beaches that blend together like the faces of strangers. As the race winds on, the shore-side group becomes a big family, supporting each other and sharing jokes to pass the time.

The racers are always entertained and challenged. Even on the light-air legs, when the sailing isn't as intense and the mind may have time to wander, there are sea turtles, dolphins and sharks to spot. From the start in Miami until the finish of Leg 5 in Jacksonville, there is always the 300-mile barrier beach that fences in the swamps of Florida and forms the left side of the playing field. Sometimes, the coastline is bearded with sprig-like conifers that lean away from the prevailing easterly winds. But more often these oases have been replaced by man-made towers of random sizes and shapes that look like children's blocks from a mile offshore. The sailors approach the groupings of blocks wondering, "is this the finish?" But the GPS tells them when to come in.

Tomorrow the breeze could get lighter. The pressure map is turning ugly quickly and the once-packed bars are parting ways in a hurry. Some of the sailors won't mind. Les Bauman and Craig Callahan were one of the five that finished yesterday's leg. "We needed an easy one," said Callahan, "a little slower is fine after yesterday."

"Yesterday was a little tough on the bod," agreed Reigh North of Dinghy Shop.

The sailors need a little time to heal their wounds, but more than another day of light air will bring frustration and a different kind of fatigue. Rather than the bone bruising and muscle depleting workouts that they endured in the first 3 legs, the sailors will be subjected to sun damage, dehydration and muscle cramps from holding uncomfortable positions for hours. Tactical and strategic options are greater in wavering, light winds and good decisions can mean huge money while dumb ideas can bring ruin.

After much of the fleet had finished, disaster struck team Bay Wind as they attempted to surf to the finish. An 8-foot wave spun the boat sideways and flipped it violently snapping the mast. It is unclear if they have a spare available.

We'll have a report at the start tomorrow morning and then we'll try to catch the fleet at the finish in Jacksonville.

More Information:

Related Articles

11 teams already registered for Worrell 1000 Race
1000 miles of offshore sailing for the most daring and capable sailors They said it couldn't happen. They said that the Worrell would never again be the revered event it once was. So - the Organizing Authority, made up of former Worrell Competitors, Race Officials and a few "fans" started planning its comeback for 2019. Posted on 25 Feb
2001 Worrell 1000 - Final Leg Finish
The 2001 Worrell 1000 has come to a close and will forever be remembered as the upside down race. Th The 2001 Worrell 1000 has come to a close and will forever be remembered as the upside down race. The early legs in South Florida nearly decimated the fleet with huge surf and strong winds, while the notorious Cape Hatteras was as tame as a pussy cat. Posted on 20 May 2001
2001 Worrell 1000 - Leg 12 Finish
The surf was so large at the finish that with proper timing a boat could catch the wave and accelera The surf was so large at the finish that with proper timing a boat could catch the wave and accelerate to more than 10 knots in just 1 knot of wind. The beach here is extremely steep, so the boats that caught the wave came to an abrupt halt. Posted on 19 May 2001
2001 Worrell 1000 - Leg 11 Finish
At 1:15 AM Lambert and Livingston of Alexanders on the Bay ghosted onto the beach to win their 9th At 1:15 AM Lambert and Livingston of Alexanders on the Bay ghosted onto the beach to win their 9th leg of this race. While 15 hours doesnt touch the longest leg ever in Worrell 1000 history it was insult to injury after the previous leg. Posted on 18 May 2001
2001 Worrell 1000 - Leg 10 Finish
Todays leg from Wrightsville Beach to Atlantic Beach took 9 hours and 24 minutes for the leader to Todays leg from Wrightsville Beach to Atlantic Beach took 9 hours and 24 minutes for the leader to complete. At just 67 miles, this was one of the shorter legs on the course, but light winds from the Northeast turned the leg into a long slow beat. Posted on 17 May 2001
2001 Worrell 1000 - Leg 9 Finish
While the shore crews and race officials set up camp at the Blockade Runner Resort in Wrightsville B While the shore crews and race officials set up camp at the Blockade Runner Resort in Wrightsville Beach, the wind went from West to Northwest to North and eventually to Northeast. Race Director Mike Worrell modified his ETA for the fleet. Posted on 16 May 2001
2001 Worrell 1000 - Leg 8 Finish
Team Guidant must have drawn inspiration from the return of injured teammate Sandra Tartaglino. They Team Guidant must have drawn inspiration from the return of injured teammate Sandra Tartaglino. They arrived 10 minutes ahead of second place, Tommy Bahama, and 31 minutes up on fourth place, Alexanders, to cut into their big lead. Posted on 14 May 2001
2001 Worrell 1000 - Leg 7 Finish
The fleet started this evening in a Southerly breeze and made great time towards Isle of Palms for 5 The fleet started this evening in a Southerly breeze and made great time towards Isle of Palms for 50 miles until a cold front arrived from the Northwest. Sailing the last 18-25 miles upwind added at least an hour to the finishing times. Posted on 13 May 2001
2001 Worrell 1000 - Leg 6 Finish
Leg 6 began in a 5 knot easterly, but the breeze built an hour into the race and the whole fleet was Leg 6 began in a 5 knot easterly, but the breeze built an hour into the race and the whole fleet was soon trapezing with spinnakers flying. The 12 - 15 knot breeze slowly shifted from East to South during the course of the day. Posted on 12 May 2001
2001 Worrell 1000 - Leg 5 Finish
Brian Lambert and Jamie Livingston of Alexanders on the Bay held off Waterhouse and Pettibone of Gu Brian Lambert and Jamie Livingston of Alexanders on the Bay held off Waterhouse and Pettibone of Guidant to win their fifth straight leg and build on their overall lead. Lambert and Livingston led from the start and built a 15-minute advantage. Posted on 11 May 2001