2017 Great Cross Sound report
Jeff K ran a fantastic race. Crisp pre-race mtg, organized and coordinated with ferry traffic. Oh and he provided a very, very large whale showing. Not everyone got to see it, which was maybe a blessing. The whale didn't give a crap who or what was in the water around him, just moved on across the race line a mile or so off Alki point.
The start horn sounded at Nine AM straight up. There was a light northerly breeze and light flood tide. I cannot recall ever doing this course in a flood tide. Maybe I'm not the only one because most boats got swept down channel and gave some of us lurkers a change to close gap. I found myself in a party of four for the event. John Day took point with various of us trying to close up on him. David S jumped on John's draft early then half-way across lost the ride. DeMow jumped over David with Mark W. on back for a while. I noticed the crowd being swept down channel so I ferried up early and got past DeMow & Mark, but couldn't quite close on John. I got closer at the rock, but John was able to squeeze more out of his boat in that flat stretch from the rock to the turn buoy. Also right in that area DeMow and Mark caught me. After the buoy Gentleman Dennis jumped over me, but I was able to hang on his bow wave. So our little three-pack hammered back across looking hungry over at John's 100 yard gap. I was thinking that sweeping tide would still be running so I pointed up thinking that John would get swept down and give us an opening. The boat wakes and counter-current (wind against current) gave us a little bouncy-bouncy sometimes. The weeds were in bloom as well. About half-way back to the finish we saw the whale. Huge breath-cloud and a whole dang lot of animal showing behind it. I talked with john after and he was close enough to experience discomfort. Nearing the finish I was able to use some of the little runners from the North breeze to close up on John and gap DeMow and Mark. But not enough to finish before John. He did get into some of the sea-wall rebound and slowed a bit. But I had pointed too high and gave away too much distance. This should teach DeMow and Mark to not trust my navigating. Some of this navigating stuff played into the grudge match between Greg B and Double-Ski of Kevin and Paul. Also, the chop and currents took a lot of the edge away from the hot shot rowers. So check upcoming listing of results. Which reminds me, Michael L once again captured photos of us all. I think I saw him in time to wipe the slobber off my chin and drag up a sort of smile.
It was one of the finest mornings I can recall for this race. A good day for spectators. The support crew was on point, snacks were plenty (lots of M&M's). Of course the parking sucked, but you know, trade-offs. Great to see Shane even though he couldn't paddle. Probably between surgeries again. Some newer paddlers. I talked to a really neat couple. The guy was raised in Brazil, but lives and plays in Seattle now. I was going to join the B'ham crew for munchies after, but they were already teasing me about my miracle garbanzo bean diet. And the dang place didn't even offer any garbanzo beans.