Saturday, November 30, 2013

RI Narragansett Bay Archipelago Rally!?

(Newport, RI)- A Rhode Island ‘classic’ comfortably reaches ‘annual’ status.  It was 2006 when Olympic silver Medalist Bob Merrick won the inaugural Archipelago Rally on a beat up Hobie 14 by a mere 30 seconds over windsurfing champion Nancy Johnson.  That first weekend in December was thrown together the week before with a few phone calls and emails and with a 20-25-knot Westerly, about a dozen “craft” raced, slowest starting first, to Spar Island, a scrubby little sand bar in the middle of Mt. Hope Bay in the middle of Narangansett Bay.

Now in its eighth year, this Rhode Island ‘classic’ has comfortably reached ‘annual’ status, sticking to its small boat pursuit race roots (under Portsmouth Yardstick Ratings). How else would everyone have an equal chance to enjoy the BBQ/Beach Party afterwards?  There were PLENTY of J/Sailors participating in this year’s edition!  Chris Museler reports on the 2013 edition:

“The only thing we expected about his year’s Archipelago Rally was having a fantastic time on the water. The unexpected was the icing on the cake at Quonochontaug Pond with aqua-marine colored water and white sand shoals the size of football fields, there was a lot of walking of boats and damaged rudders and centerboards but nothing could dampen the Rally spirit!

The highlights this year weren’t that there were thirty-five craft and more than forty kids sailing or that the breeze and bright sun made for a spectacular venue. I would say the main takeaway was the fact that two young girls were second and third and that a windsurfer won for the first time in the eight year history of the event. The third place girl miraculously has placed in the top five each time she has competed!

We tell everyone, it is impossible to plan on winning the Archipelago Rally. Just ask newly anointed Head of Sales for North Sails- Kimo Worthington, who was on his way to a top three finish before hitting a shoal in his Penguin sailboat!  He wound up steering the boat to the finish with his legs hanging off the transom while Bridget Murphy trimmed the sail on their wooden Penguin dinghy!  Jeepers, can you imagine other Volvo 70 Round the World Sailors doing anything different?”  Here are some of the Special Awards:

- Broken Head Perpetual (first place): Will Tuthill, Mistral Windsurfer
- Last Place: Matt Gineo, Crosby Fast Cat
- Lonely Loon: Rush and River Hambleton, Dyer 9
- Furthest Traveled: Ray Garcia, Zef, Babylon, NY
- First All Family: Tim, Karen, Benjamin (2) and Jamie (2 months) Fallon, Beetle Cat
- Vintage Rallier: Adam Walsh, McCaffery-built Peapod Sailing Dory

Video by Annie Tuthill, who has yet to miss a rally.