Mille Lacs Crossing day 2

Share stores of your big days, soul rejuvenation experiences; moments that defy time.

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Eric S
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Joined: Tue Nov 26, 2002 2:42 pm
Location: MN, USA, Earth

Mille Lacs Crossing day 2

Post by Eric S »

The Race That Wasn't

After the thrashing I took freesailing Friday I decided to go home and sleep in my own bed in Zimmerman after having some eatz and greetz at the "Y" Club.

The "Y" Club is cool. You should go there if you are in Garrison. You can grill your own steaks and stuff in the middle of the dinning area. It was really cool, all the racers standing around the grill with their favorite beverages flipping steaks and poking at chicken. You can grill 'em as rare as you like because you are the cook.

I got up the next day (Saturday) and checked the forcast. Looks like wind for the day. I packed some lunch and headed up to "Headquarters" bar and grill to catch the last end of breakfast, skippers meeting and stuff. Here are some pictures. The ones inside are all fuzzy because my cammera's flash is shot. Some look kind of artsy. I hope you see yourself in one of these

As the meeting concluded, the secret starting spot was unveiled.


We were to race across the lake the long way down to some place I didn't know the name of south of Garrison in the SW corner of the lake. As soon as the word "Malmo" came out of Mike Fox's mouth everyone shot for the door, jumped in their cars and sped half way around the lake to the Park. I don't think anyone got a ticket. The breeze was from the NW and I kept looking at the lake when I could on the way over. After we passed Reedy Creek you could start to see white caps from the sideshore breeze. At Malmo it was looking good!

I knew right away what sail to rig. I rigged the biggest one I had. Put it on the biggest board I had and put the biggest fin on the biggest board I had. Starboard GO 150, 58cm stock fin and Sailworks Retro 7.5M. I must have had too much coffee because I was the first one ready to get in the water to test it out. Wind Dummy again. Heck, conditions were looking so good I just wanted to sail!

I was at Malmo earlier this year with Jeff G and the Rothman Brothers. I knew it was shallow WWWWAAAAYYYY out there. Fin grabing shallow. I cautiously got out about 150yds, and a few sandbars later, and jumped on the board. Yahoo!

Fully overpowered up. Just the way I like it. It let's you go WWWAAAYYYY deep downwind when you are fully overpowered up. Heading out on starboard I was slamming into the steep chop getting a little air. I try different pre jumping techniquies to keep the board on the water as best I could. Jibe on the outside and head back, no wait, do a deeeeeep downwinder. Holy cow is this fun. The rocker of the GO 150 fits nicely between the swell. No perling at all. This setup is going to rock.

After awhile more folks come out to test. I see some getting slammed perty hard. I think they fined out. I tried to be obvious on the water depth on my way out heheheheh. Now everyone's out and dailed. It's a great free sailing session!

I come in and talk to master Randy J about some tips on starting and the flaging sequence and what boats and bouys are what out there. I'm in the sport class so we go off first. Randy says look for the yellow flag (then look at your watch, wich I don't have) 10 mins. Blue flag at 5 then some horns then red flag you can cross start line. After you cross the start line you need to work upwind to the mark and round it, then off to the other side of the lake. There will be boats along the way with flags on them to follow.

I also heard at the meeting at headquarters that there would be a boat out there in the lead that could go faster than a windsurfer that would lead the way.

OK, I got it, I think. I just keep thinking to myself as I get back in the water... "Blue flag, wait, red flag, go. round upwind mark, off to the races,, follow other sailors or big fast boat."

I'm on the water now, approaching what I think the start line is. Yup that's it. two boats getting slammed in the waves with orange flags with white crosses on them. The line favors a starboard start so I inch up to the line near the upwind boat and try to drift down the line as the flags and horns go off. It' perty chaotic up there I see some folks arleady over the start line. Am I in the right spot? yep.

Blue flag!

It my excitement, I fall in as the blue flag goes up. I'm still like the onlyone I see on the start line.


oh, oh, I'm drifing closer and closing to the downwind start boat. HURRY RED FLAG!!!! HURRY!!!

no red flag. Son-of-a bi.... I'm not going to get passed the downwind start boat


I curse and have to do a quick tack. Luckily I don't fall in and now...

I'm OFF on a port tack start. I see others trying to get to the start line and I'm flying infront of them. Ye haaa!! I start looking for the upwind mark and I don't see it. What the....

There is a boat carrying a bouy. That must be it. They must want me to round the boat with the bouy in it. OK, what do I know, this must be somthing they do when it's windy. I make a tack. The bouy boat is still moving up wind. Hmmm, a bouy that moves... go tack again... boat still moving up wind. Now I'm almost inline with the boats set along the course. That moving bouy boat must just be trying to get out of the way or somthing. I start to veer towards the big blue launch to get on the course.

Moving bouy boat drops Bouy upwind of me.

"what the F#$%" I say out loud. I'm sorry if anyone heard me but I'm very competitive at this point and confused. OK, one more tack and I get around the big orange bouy globe. Yeeee haaaaa fisrt one on the race course. GO GO GO GO.

I pass downwind of the big blue launch so they can get my number. I'm flying now and it seems like the wind has picked up even more. These are the conditions I've been looking for. Wildly Overpowered downwind hell run. Yes.

I pass another corse boat, hoping they get my number. Now I'm out in the open lake and the swell is tasty. I look for the next corse boat and don't see anything. Nothing. I look back...

I'm alone.

I see what I think is the big water tower by the casino in the distance. From the map, if I remember, the finish line will be south of that. I start heading that way. I'm feeling so lucky to get away from the messy starting line and be sailing clean. I look back and now I see a big power boat with a chartruse flag on it charging my way. come on dood!!

After 10 minutes he has made some progress catching me. I see that he is making some course corrections so I try to match. I figure He's on a GPS path to the finish. Come on! pass me~!!!

I keep going as fast as I can matching his corse.

Finally! He passes me downwind but is like doing weird stuff with his hands. I look back and don't see anyone else on the corse that might pass me so I sail over to him.

"what the f.. is going on?" I say, frustrated

"The race has been cancelled. Go back" he says.

"OK" I say.

After he turns and splits I throw a mini hissy fit. I have to beat my way back half way across the lake into increasing winds with no adrenilne to keep me going.

I can look back at it now and see how immature I am. heheh. I need to work on that. I do remember a phrase that racers say over and over, in any racing sport...

"That's Racing"

I make my way back and start to have a little fun. I re adjust my harness lines to relive so backhand preasure from beating into the wind so hard. I get closer to some shore and start seeing other sails. I look behind and downwind and see good old number 69 again, comming in from the big lake. I drop down and get in behind Vojta withing chating distance. He doesn't know what's up either but has a good attitude about it. He also mentions that he was "half way across the lake" too. He speeds off to Malmo and I try to chase him.

I don't know what happened, why we didn't race. Now I don't care because this memory of Minnesota's Ultimate Challenge will last far longer than if I had finished the race.

Let's see what Sunday brings!

P.S. After we packed up the Johnson boys and Kathy met up with Jeff G and Jerry S at Izaty's for a wicked wave bash into the sunset again. That deserves another story all together...Randy??
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Joined: Sat Dec 21, 2002 5:04 pm

Post by dhopkins »

Your posts are very entertaining, keep it up.
D :P
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Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2002 10:06 pm
Location: Here, Now

Post by Tighe »

You're a master story teller. Loved reading it.

moved to Stories.
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