An approaching cold front confounded the weather forecasters, but the fleet was able to start with light NW winds and rain showers but with a good heading taking them out to the Gulf Stream. At mid-day, the fleet, while spread out, sailed into a windless hole with a choppy sea while drifting north at 4 kts. Once the front cleared the predicted North-northeaster filled in at 15-20 kts and the race began again with boats tacking north to remain in the Stream before exiting on the starboard lay line to the finish.
Once berthed at The Sailfish Club of Florida the sailors enjoyed the Club’s renowned welcoming reception and awards dinner. A special award was presented to the crew of “Grey Poupon” for catching and landing the largest fish while racing, a 15 lb. bonito!! This was appropriate since the long-time sponsor of this race is a fishing club!! Absolutely, bloody, brilliant! Next year, the J/Crew that lands the largest “big kahuna” will get a free Apple iPad!
In the seventeen-boat fleet was a trio of J/sailors in the PHRF classes, from a J/30 up to a J/160. In the end, they all had fun; some more than others! Don Lasky’s J/30 PAPARAZZI has been sailing this race for years from Ft. Lauderdale and ended up 2nd and 3rd in class in past races. This year, with a longer course, 60 miles starting in Miami, they finally won their class and PHRF overall!! And, this was in an “old J/30”, never considered a fast boat (?!). The Wirth Munroe Race rewards navigational skill besides sailing skill. Well, unlike “fake news”, Don’s crew are “real” people and dropped the hammer on their “gulf streamer” racing friends! Congrats to them! For more Wirth Munroe Invitational Race sailing information