Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fort Lauderdale to Charleston Race Looks Like a Tough One

By Paige Brooks, SORC PR

With a high-pressure system sitting over the ocean path between Ft. Lauderdale and Charleston, it is anyone’s guess where the best spot in the Gulf Stream will be.

Wednesday morning, the teams from seven ocean racing sail boats will make their final preparations, eat their Wheaties, and shove off for an early afternoon start off of Port Everglades in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for the 2nd running of the reincarnated SORC race.

Chris Woolsey, the winning navigator last year, has been following the path of the Gulf Stream closely, but today said, “I have no idea how we’re going to get through the roadblock across the entire course.” He will try to chat this evening at the Lauderdale Yacht Club with Peter Bowker, considered locally as the best navigator around, who he expects will say it’s a crap shoot. Bowker simply said to this reporter, “You have to stay in the stream as long as you can but you have to get out of it to turn off for Charleston. At about 100nm away, you must turn, but you have to decide when exactly to do it.” Based on weather, the current, and most off all the opposition, even though you might not see them, he said.

Woolsey will be sailing aboard Jasmine a Little Harbor 54, and his keeping his eye on his old sailing buddy, Frank Junkin, navigating for Bandana, an Oyster 48. And vice versa. The two have sailed together on and off for the past 20 years and have spent the last two weeks testing each other’s research on the stream. Wednesday morning will begin the true test, as they sail east to catch the escalator up, along with the rest of the fleet.

You’ll be able to watch the sailors’ course via GPS tracking devices, updates from the race committee and results on the race website: www.fortlauderdalecharlestonrace.org