With just two hours in their brand new AHPC F-18 cat before the start of the Tybee 500, OTW Anarchy commentator John Casey and crew Dalto Tebo are tearing up the course, their tracker showing sustained speeds of 26 knots during today’s 59 mile two-sail reach up the coast in stage 2 of the 2010 Tybee 500. JC and Tebo caught and passed perennial top dog Mischa Heemskirk only to flip and then, reel in the Dutch team once again, holding the lead until the beach. This photo was from the first leg, when Heemskirk just made it across the bow of a Cannibal Cruise Line. JC took the liner’s stern and by that time, there was no catching the Wildcat. JC was optimistic about the new boat. "It’s definitely one fast machine, and this one is straight out of the box. "We were driving through 6-8 foot waves in 20 knots and I never worried about pitchpoling. A 60 mile leg took just over three hours," said JC. Lovers of beach cats can rejoice, for ten of the shiny new C2s are now in the states, preparing for their rotation as Alter Cup Championship boat.
For such a small fleet there was more than enough carnage to go around on Tuesday. Rudders breaking in the surf launch, rollovers in the waves, even an EPIRB rescue of a lost cat crew when Brett Robinson’s trap hook sheered off. Skipper Alan Friedman lost sight of Robinson quickly in the big waves, while Robinson saw his ride disappear and hit his EPIRB transmit button. Velocity logistics manager Allison fielded the unexpected call a few minutes later from the US Air Force, while a SeaTow contractor came out, followed the EPIRB GPS coordinates to swimmer Brett, lifted him out of the water, and brought him back to the beach cat to finish his leg with a penalty for outside essistance. Fortune smiles on the brave yet again.
UPDATE: Here’s an early-morning report from JC:
‘m back in the warm confines of my home state of Florida to race the with Dalton Tebo. The Tybee is a 500+ mile catamaran distance race up the east coast of Florida and Georgia. Dalton is a 21 year-old high school sailing coach for Sarasota Youth Sailing Program in Florida, and a sailor to watch for in the future.
Australian High Performance Catamarans, along with Red Gear Racing and Dynamic Sailing have helped us sail faster and push harder with a C2, the newest F18 design. I’ll tell you this, the boat is solid and fast (and for sale at a discount rate after the Tybee).
The leg yesterday from Hollywood, FL to Jupiter was 59 miles (as the crow flies) with a stiff easterly, which gave us my favorite conditions….screaming reach! We completed it in a little over three hours! We started the day in 5th, but took the lead in the 6 foot swells in about an hour. Shortly after taking the lead, we had a slight crew malfunction when we were swept off the boat by a breaker. After being passed by two boats, and the rest of the fleet on our heels, the C2 ate up the conditions so well we managed to get back in the lead by the finish.
The first leg was a brutal 100 mile beat from Islamorada, FL to Hollywood. It took a little over eight hours for us to finish eight minutes from the lead after an upwind battle with Team Bugaboo, a Wildcat F18. Being new to the boat with about two hours sailing in the light air the day before the start we had a lot of catching up to do on settings. As we went upwind in the 15 knot easterly, we would change some settings and get faster, and the Wildcat would change settings to match. They pulled from us in the close reach 15 miles from the finish. The C2 performed really well upwind with a ton of speed, but we changed some rig settings for yesterday and the boat was much, much faster.
After two legs, we’ve already seen it all. There was a port/starboard collision ten minutes after the start of the first leg where one team is asking for 64 minutes of redress (not gonna happen anarchist Foghorn).
One Team Velocity Sailing member had a trapeze ring fail during yesterday’s leg and went for a swim. He had to set off his Epirb because his crew couldn’t find him. He was scooped up by Sea Tow and delivered to his waiting Nacra 20. The story is, when he got back on the boat he had his EPRIB in one hand and safety knife in the other saying to his crew, "You know I’m dressed like a seal today, right?" I gotta tell you, watching a documentary about crews eaten by sharks on stranded inflatables isn’t what you wanna watch before doing this race.
Time to check my safety gear, go over charts, put my GPS waypoints in, eat breakfast, change some rig settings, rig the boat and finally push off for the 97 mile leg to Cocoa, FL. John Casey