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wild texas wind

It has been a few years since I have done the annual Harvest Moon Regatta (HMR) and I am extremely excited to race down the Texas coast once again. 2017 saw the HMR kind of canceled due to hurricane damage, so this year will be a special one. I have done the race 5 or so times and everyone has been vastly different. It has been a variety of conditions to say the least. The race has treated me to upwind in 35kts, downwind in 35kts and everything in between. One year, at 3AM, we ran through a squall that sent raindrops into my eyes that felt like darts, not a good feeling. For the most part the race has been pleasant and fun.
This year’s editions seems to offer much of the same uncertainty as far as weather predictions are concerned. As I sit in Costa Rica (sorry had to throw that in there) waiting to fly tomorrow I can only look at the different models wondering what to expect. Perhaps the notorious GRIB files will be correct? As I checked the surf trot this morning it dawned on me that the hurricane pushing swell north would affect the weather in Texas. Then I realized it was cold and raining in Texas. Seems like a good sign to me because that means the weather will be perfect come Thursday. The Gulf Coast has a weather pattern that goes from horrible to good in 2.5 days, which is a total guess based on my experiences.
If you do not know what the HMR is then let me explain. It is a 150 mile race from the beautiful Galveston Pleasure Pier (yes that is what it is called). to the amazing Port Aransas! You get the opportunity to dodge unlit oil platforms, oyster beds and a plethora of shrimp boats as you vie for the elusive Bacardi Cup Trophy. The fleets range from ORC, poless spinnaker, non spinnaker, Catalina Class and everything else you can think of. It really is a race for everyone!
This year I am back on James Liston’s J-120 “Aeolus” and I am super excited to meet up with old friends and do the race. We have been close to winning with a second overall being our crowning moment. This year we have a great crew, new sails and a positive attitude towards the race. We have done it enough to know to expect the unexpected, and are looking to place well within the competitive fleet.
The race always offers something different and it truly makes it exciting in many ways. My favorite moment was pushing the J-120 to a constant 17kts of boat speed with our 3A up in flat water for a good four hours. I was not aware the J-120 was capable, but it proved to be an amazing sail.
One more day of surfing and then it is back to reality, whatever that is! See you in Galveston my friends. – K Mag.
Song title thanks to The Flyin’ A’s.