Sightings from Vesuvius

7:06PM
The battle of the high flyers is over. Peter McCarthy’s The Shadow II took Line Honours as first to finish at 6:26pm. Stuart Dahlgren’s Westerly wad second across 14 minutes later. The First Miltihull, Duncan Gladman’s Dragon finished at 7:06pm

A number of boats are reported in Trinomali Channel with Jackrabbit, Joy Ride and 65 Red Roses leading this group.

It certainly looks a number of boats will finish before dark – a far cry from last year. We hope the bulk of the smaller boats in the fleet have successfully navigated Sansum Narrows before the tide turns around 8.

3:57PM
We are wearing out our welcome and the reckoning has come. Time for more beer or to leave for the finish line.

The shadow Ii is well past heading for the north end on a reach as the spinnaker run ran into a wall off vesuvius. And the followers are running into a same direction change – these include Westerly, a Multi, Joy Ride, 65 Red Roses and Jackrabbit.

And now 20-25 boats have appeared out of Sansum Narrows as the wind picks up speed off Crofton. It is a colourful spectacle after the bland white spinnakers of the leaders. Not sire if they have noticed the coming changes yet?

There is still 4 hours before the flood ends but wind direction and speed changes will mean more snakes and ladders will cone into play.

3:09 PM
The first spinnaker appears out of Sansum Narrows and the Half-way point. The wind at Vesuvius is a little steadier – not strong but steady meaning that the “rich will likely get richer”

Race Committee is still enjoying the hospitality at Seaside Kitchen and is sure it sees the white spinnaker of the TP52 The Shadow II making speed in a southeast breeze. Shipfinder says a number of the bigger boats (the ones that carry AIS) lead by Joy Ride and Jackrabbit are stretched from Samsum Narrows south to Cape Keppel.

1:34 PM
Light airs were forecast for the start of Round Saltspring 2018 and they did not disappoint. A southeast breeze wafted in and out of Ganges Harbour. But the Race Committee managed to get 8 starts off in reasonably good order with the ebb tide flushing the fleet down the course.

They were a few close shaves as wind filling in at the pin end caused some divisions to crowd each other and exchange pleasantries. And as the wind flipped over to the Committee boat end, there was a small kerfuffle in the Multi fleet.

But it looked like everything worked out and 93 boats got away in a 5 kt breeze.

An hour and half later, the leaders are fighting the zephyrs and the remainder of the ebb off Fulford Harbour trying to get to Sansum Narrows for the big elevator when the huge flood starts.

Race Committee is looking at Shipfinder and sees The Shadow II off Fulford doing 4 kts. The other boats with AIS are strung behind all the way back to Beaver Point.

The breeze is non-committal at Vesuvius as Race Committee keeps watch while enjoying the beer and fish & chips at Seaside Kitchen. It might be a bit of a wait for the fleet to get here even with the tide. Good thing they have extra beer.

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