CYC’s annual Commodore Gibson race/cruise to Port Ludlow took place on August 6, with the follow on Gibson race back to Shilshole the next day. Seven CYC boats (Those Guys, Charlotte, Gratitude, Wind Dancer, Altair, Comet, and Second Sun) sailed in the best conditions we’ve seen in years. There was a nice north breeze both days, with high temperatures in the 80s – it just doesn’t get better.
CG is a pursuit race with the slowest handicap boat starting first, and subsequent boats starting behind by the amount of time they owe the first starter. Since you get your entire handicap time on the front end, the faster boats are catching up to the early starters through the entire race. So in theory, every boat would arrive at the finish line at the same time.
Saturday featured zero breeze at Meadow Point at the appointed 9:00am start time, so the fleet motored to Apple Tree Point (just north of Kingston) to a backup start line. A light northerly had filled in, so we were off and sailing. As the breeze built to 10 plus, it quickly became apparent that the J35 Those Guys (Jenny Heins and Tim Huse plus friends) was the boat to beat, which no one did. They were first to finish, followed by Charlotte (Quest 30 – Jane and Al Johnson), Altair (Sceptre 41 – Suzette Connolly and Paul Baker plus friends), Gratitude (Hanse 415 – Karen and David Barnes), Wind Dancer (Tartan 3800 – Chris McMuldroch and friends), Comet (Jeanneau SO36 – Monica Howell and friends), and Second Sun (Young Sun 43 – Kate and Andy Bereson and kids).
After finishing at Foulweather Bluff, the boats sailed / motored to Port Ludlow, and were able to appreciate what a gorgeous day it was, take in Mt Rainier and Mt Baker in their snow-capped glory, and see how bare the Olympics are now after a string of ninety-degree days melted most of their snow.
Even though it was a lovely day and evening, Karen and David Barnes treated the fleet to Dark and Stormies on Gratitude and the adjoining dock area. That was followed by a bring-your-own dinner under the marina tent, a shared dessert table, and finally some fiddle, mandolin, and guitar tunes.
Sunday’s return race to Shilshole (the Gibson race) had excellent breeze to start, and it carried the boats all the way to the finish at Meadow Point. A favorable tide assisted the entire way, and most boats sailed the 17.75 miles in 2.5 to 3.5 hours. As the highest handicapped boat, Second Sun was first to start, and led most of the way until Altair and then Charlotte caught them between Edmonds and the Highlands. The finish was remarkably tight with Charlotte finishing first, Altair 2 minutes behind, then Second Sun a few minutes further back. They were followed in close order by Those Guys, Gratitude, Wind Dancer, and Comet. And if there was an award for coolest new spinnaker, Altair would win hands down for their bright red asym with a very cool horse graphic on it.
This year’s Commodore Gibson was one for the ages. You need to get a piece of the fun at next year’s event.