2016 Great Texas Summary

posted Jun 19, 2016, 7:54 AM by Steve Piché   [ updated Jun 19, 2016, 8:05 AM ]

Congratulations to Team Yo Baby!, Shannon Galway and Jonathan Atwood, on winning the 14th annual Great Texas Catamaran Race.  They managed to hold off second place Team Great Texas 300, Steve Piche and Juke Ball, by 4 minutes.   Yo Baby also won the F18 Class.  Fastest elapsed time was won by Team Buoy 44, Brian Lambert and Will Rottgering.  They also won the open class.


The first two legs of this year’s Great Texas were run in breezy conditions while the final two legs were conducted in lighter conditions.  The strong breeze on day 1 knocked out two teams, Sailboat Shop (broken mast) and Jack Flash (ripped main).  Fortunately, the other 8 boats were able to finish the 300 mile course.


Off the water, we had great parties in South Padre (sponsored by Silver Bullet Racing), Mustang Island (Triple Threat BBQ), Surfside (TCDYC), East Beach in Galveston (Bolivar Yacht Club) and Galveston awards banquet (Carlyle Homes).  As you can see, we kept everyone well feed during the event.


Thanks to the many, many people who help with the event!

2016 Great Texas 300

posted Jan 5, 2016, 2:01 PM by Steve Piché   [ updated Jan 5, 2016, 2:04 PM ]

The Great Texas Catamaran Race is one of the premier long distance beach cat races in the country. This is distance racing at its best. In its 14th year, it is again expected to attract world class racing teams. Awards for each class will be given in addition to the First to Finish trophy and Overall Portsmouth.  The 2016 Great Texas Catamaran Race registration will open April 1st and end May 1st. Any registration received or postmarked after May 1st will be required to include a late fee.  A maximum of 25 boats will be allowed

Race Schedule:

Tuesday June 14, South Padre Island
Boat Inspections, Opening ceremony, rules review, and starting position draw.

Wednesday June 15,
South Padre Island to Mustang Island (91 nm)
9:00am Skippers Meeting, 9:50 am White Flag 
ETA approximately 6 pm.

Thursday June 16,
Mustang Island to Matagorda Island (91 nm)
9:00am Skippers Meeting, 9:50 am White Flag 
ETA approximately 6 pm.

Friday June 17,
Matagorda Island to Surfside Beach (50 nm)
9:00am Skippers Meeting, 9:50 am White Flag 
ETA approximately 3:30 pm.

Saturday June 18,
Surfside Beach to Galveston (40 nm)
8:00am Skippers Meeting, 9:50 am White Flag 
ETA approximately 3 pm Awards at 7pm.

Contact us at greattexasinfo@gmail.com

2015 Great Texas 300

posted Jun 26, 2015, 8:34 AM by Steve Piché   [ updated Jun 26, 2015, 8:35 AM ]

2015 Great Texas 300

by Steve Piche


Taking the top five places, F18’s once again dominated the 2015 edition of the Great Texas 300, a 300 mile romp up the Texas Coast that started on Thursday, June 18th in South Padre Island, Texas and finished on Saturday, June 20th in Galveston, Texas.  Taking line honors on a C2 was an incredibly fast Team Lupe Tortilla with skipper John Tomko of San Antonio, Texas and crew Ian Billings of Austin, Texas.  They covered the 300 miles, done in three legs, in 17 hours and 39 minutes with an average speed over 14 knots per hour.


While the race was run in nearly record time, it looked uncertain the days leading up to the event whether the race would take place.  An early tropical storm named Bill ran headlong into the Texas coast the day prior to the scheduled start of the race.  With high winds, big surf and extensive flooding, the race committee decided to postpone the event for a day and combine the final two legs.  Fortunately, the delay worked and the race was run in three days rather than the traditional four days.


On the first day of the race, remnants of the tropical storm presented challenging sailing conditions.    The Great Texas 300 has beach starts and finishes.  A series of big waves broke on Team Lupe Tortilla as they headed out through the surf after the start of leg one resulting in a broken rudder arm.  They went back ashore and replaced the whole rudder assembly.  Starting 10 minutes in the hole, they were able to knife through the whole fleet to finish first despite being last off the beach.


Other teams did not fare as well.  Sailing downwind in big seas and a 15-20 knot breeze, Team Jack Flash, Collin Casey and Joshua Grissom, pitchpoled soon after the start.  Collin hit his head during the pitchpole and received a bad concussion.  Unable to continue the sail, the US Coast Guard rescued the skipper and crew and brought Collin to safety.  He went to the hospital and was later released.  Team Chiindi, Brett Johnston and Anthony Acquilla also ran into trouble.  Anthony got separate from the boat in the big seas and they also needed Coast Guard help to get him back on the boat.


After an eventful first day, the winds and waves laid down and the sailors enjoyed beautiful conditions (south breeze at 10-15 knots) for the next two legs of the race.  After clearing the surf line each day, spinnakers were set and out on the traps went both sailors for a 100 miles double trap spin reach.  It was awesome sailing conditions with the miles flying by at an amazing rate.  There is nothing quite like running 100 miles on an spin reach on an F18 adjusting nothing but the spin sheet and traveler the whole way – just pure awesome sailing.


Once again, Lupe Tortilla was able to win both legs although they had to work for their stage wins.  Overall second place team Yo Baby!, Shannon Galway and Jonathan Atwood, and overall third place team Sailboat Shop, Mike Rohrer and Chris Holt, both teams sailing C2’s, gave Team Lupe Tortilla a fight but John and Ian ultimately put the pedal to medal and won the legs.  It was a good showing by the defending champions.  Lupe Tortilla also won the F18 Class while Team Chums, Lee Wicklund and David Cerdas, took first in the open class.  


Hats off to the race committee who persevered despite the tropical storm and put on a heck of a race.  To see complete results and detailed stories on the race go to www.gt300.com.  You can also follow the race on Facebook by liking the page www.facebook.com/greattexas300.  The 2016 Great Texas 300 will be held June 15-18, 2016 and you are invited to join the race up the Texas Coast!

Top 10 List for Day 3 of the 2015 Great Texas

posted Jun 21, 2015, 8:26 AM by Steve Piché   [ updated Jun 26, 2015, 8:27 AM ]

Top 10 List for Day 3 of the 2015 Great Texas 
by Steve Piche of Team Great Texas, June 20th
Matagorda to Galveston Island, 85 miles

Enjoy my top 10 list for day 3 of the Great Texas:
1. 17 hours and 39 minutes: How long does it take to sail from South Padre to Galveston Island? Yep, 17 hours and 39 minutes to cover the 300 mile course if your Team Name is Lupe Tortilla! Can you believe it? That is some serious flying! Yes, the defending champs took a punch on the starting line in South Padre with a broken rudder but once they were back in the ring, they tore the coast up. Congratulations to John Tomko and Ian Billings. Amazing job!
2. Sailing Nirvana All Day: Wow, we ripped off 85 miles today in just over four hours. It was full on double trap spinnaker reach all day. We never dropped below 15 knots. It was, dare I say it, the most perfect sailing leg ever in the Great Texas. It was just nirvana. You will not be able to get the smile off my face for a year. You, yes, you need to come experience this! If you can sail a cat, get your boat here next year. If you don’t sail, learn how and come join us! I guarantee ear to ear grinning fun!
3. The Race for Fourth: We entered today in fourth place with a 1 minute 12 second lead over Team Carbo-Link, Luke McCallum and Aaron McCulley. We were determined to keep our lead no matter what it took and it took a lot! We zoomed down the beach to Bryan Point side by side for 30 miles. Team Carbo-Link got a small lead going into the point but we decided to roll the dice and cut the corner at the point. This was extra dicey because this is where the Brazos River comes out and we knew it would be nasty (waves, shallows, logs and debris). We managed to work our way through the shallows with one rudder pop up and hit a few small float logs. However, our strategy worked and we were able to gain a small lead. We then got in front of them and covered them to the line. We were 10 feet from the line when one of our dagger boards dropped and we stopped. Team Carbo-Link got line honors but only by a few seconds. Mission accomplished, we hung on to 4th. Now, that was tight racing. One minute separated us after 300 miles!
4. Chums takes the Open Class: Congratulation to Team Chums for taking a first place in open class. They proved that Wings lead to a victory. Good job Lee and David!
5. The F18 Battle: John and Ian sailed off the horizon once again but our team, Sailboat Shop, Yo Baby! and Carbo-Link all battled it out in a very tight group. We became obsessed today with covering team Carbo-Link while Team Sailboat Shop and Yo Baby battled for second. For second place, Team Sailboat Shop got an early lead but then Chris Holt got knocked off the boat. Bungee lines broke and they could only use one trap on a double trap day. Yo Baby rolled over them in the last few miles and secured their second in the regatta. Again, only a few minutes separated these two boats. Really good job!
6. Wisconsin and Arizona: We want to thank Team Wisconsin, Todd Bouton and Tyler Gruen, and Team Chiindi, Brett Johnston and Anthony Acquilla/Jose Cerdas, for joining us! They had a great time playing with us this past week and we had a great time meeting them and their team managers! We hope to see more teams from the Midwest and Arizona next year!
7. AnnStrong: I sailed the entire race with my AnnStrong yellow bracelet. Ann Apel had previously served as a race officer on the Great Texas. Unfortunately, she got cancer and it has knocked her out the last couple of years. However, she is a survivor and was just recently pronounced cancer free. She has one more round of chemo and then hopefully she is all done. We all sailed with AnnStong on our wrist this year. We are very, very fortunately to get to do what we do. Thanks Ann!
8. Our Organizing Committee: Thanks so much for our awesome organizing committee. We had some very tough decision to make this week and our organizing committee did a great job navigating some tricky waters. Hats off to Billy, Trey and Terri who keep this whole show moving up the beach.
9. Awards Banquet: We will be handing out awards this evening followed by a catered dinner from Lupe Tortilla. Those that won deserve their trophies but everyone deserves their food. Thanks Lupe Tortilla and Cat Alley for hosting us.
10. Wednesday before Father’s Day Next Year: This is my last top ten list for this year’s Great Texas. I know y’all have a tear in your eye but fear not, I will be back pecking away at my computer in a few weeks when I am in Kiel Germany for F18 Worlds (July 14-18). As I finish all my final top 10 lists for the Great Texas, I invited you, yes you, to join us at the 2016 Great Texas. Come as a sailor, team manager, volunteer or spectator. We start at 10 am on the Wednesday before Father’s Day in South Padre Island! See you in SPI next year! 

Top 10 List for Day 2 of the 2015 Great Texas

posted Jun 21, 2015, 8:23 AM by Steve Piché   [ updated Jun 26, 2015, 8:28 AM ]

Top 10 List for Day 2 of the 2015 Great Texas 
by Steve Piche of Team Great Texas, June 19th
Mustang Island to Matagorda, 101 miles

Enjoy my top 10 list for day 2: 
1. Team Lupe Tortilla has to work for the win: John Tomko and Ian Billings of Team Lupe Tortilla did not get anything free today – they had to work for their first to finish today. The race started in light winds off the beach and they put up the kite and took off with Yo Baby. They paced away but then the wind filled in from behind and the fleet caught back up. On a good double trap spin reach, the fleet tore up the miles until a rain storm crossed over the fleet. The rain storm sucked the air out of the atmosphere and everyone compressed together. John and Ian got out first followed by Yo Baby, Chums, Sailboat Shop and our team – Carbo-Link got hung up after having a good first half of the day. John and Ian were able to work back out to a lead and came in 7 minutes ahead of Sailboat Shop. It was a good job of sailing in some variable conditions.
2. Hanging out with my good friend Juke: I spent the entire day hanging out with my friend Juke – I mean really hanging out, on a trap. No better way to spend a day with a great friend than riding waves, flying spinnakers, and trying to beat your friends on a 100 mile leg down the Texas coast. You need to hang out with your friends more often!
3. Sailboat Shop was Awesome: A big congratulations to Team Sailboat Shop, Mike Rohrer and Chris Holt, on an awesome sail today. They had a great start off the beach, set the chute and then BANG – their spin halyard block blew up! Back to the beach they went for a repair. They gave everyone a ten minute start and then pulled a John Tomko. They flew through the fleet and then almost won the leg. In the end, they came up seven minutes short but they looked like the fastest boat out there today.
4. Double Trapped Spin Reach Nirvana: About a third of today was spent in what I call beach cat sailing nirvana – a smooth double trapped spin reach. There is nothing more fun than running down the beach with the spin up and both of us out on our traps. Once double trapped, we try to run the same compass heading – 48 degrees most of the day. As the puffs roll in and out, I work the traveler trying to keep the windward hull flying and going the same compass heading. When it all works well, as it did much of today, it is just a wonderful form of sailing! 
5. Team Managers Rule: As I write this top 10 list, I am once again reminded why Team Managers Rule! I have to admit that my brain and my body are jelly right now. I am wasted from pushing the boat all day long. The only reason I can write this top 10 list is because my Team Manager, Tom Meyer, has been so helpful. He is running around getting food, charging batteries and even helping with my family that just returned from Sweden. There are nine other team managers that are working their butts off this week and we could not get up the Texas Coast without them. Thank you so much Tommy!
6. Zhik Trapeze Harnesses Rule: I spent much of the day hanging from a wire and that wire is attached to a harness. Now when you are in a harness all day, it becomes really, really important that that harness fits well or else your day is basically hell. I have been using a Zhik harness for the past year in my buoy regattas and decided I would switch out my old and very trusted harness which has done two Worrells and 12 Great Texas’ for the Zhik harness. I was a bit nervous about this decision but damn it worked out great – what a comfy ride. Thanks to Mike Krantz at Zhik for hooking me up. 
7. The Billy Washing Machine: Tropical Storm Bill delayed our start and dumped a lot of rain on Texas and that rain had to go somewhere and that somewhere was out the Port O’Connor cut. Now, when a lot of water exits into the gulf, well, it is pretty darn turbulent – basically a big washing machine of turbulence. As we sailed by the jetties near the Port O'Connor cut, it got totally wild. We were in sailing nirvana one moment (see point 3) and in Billy’s washing machine the next. We had huge waves going every direction. We were double trapped running the kite and all of the sudden we were getting pounded by waves. We quickly dropped the chute and jib reached through the mess. We got out the back side and went back to sailing nirvana (see point 3)!
8. We Miss Beuerlein: Damn it all, Matagorda was where Mike Beuerlein always served us the world’s greatest Gumbo each year! Unfortunately, Mike could not make it this year and we were left Gumbo-less (is that a word?). We miss you Mike – you need to join us next year!
9. Cat Alley F16: Good job to team Cat Alley F16, Matt Parker and Nick Maudlin, on hanging in tough today on their F16. I spent the first hour of the day trying my hardest to pass those boys but they had the Mojo going and I just could not get them. Finally, the wind came up and I was able to sneak past them. However, when we hit the rain storm, they came rolling back up out of nowhere and almost smoked past the whole fleet. They sailed very well today.
10. Another Long Leg: No rest for the weary (and I am the weary). We jump of the beach tomorrow and do a combination leg to Cat Alley in Galveston. We have about an 85 mile run down the beach – a bit shorter than our two 100 mile legs. It will be tough but somebody has to do it!

Top 10 List for Day 1 of the 2015 Great Texas

posted Jun 19, 2015, 4:54 AM by Steve Piché   [ updated Jun 26, 2015, 8:29 AM ]

Top 10 List for Day 1 of the 2015 Great Texas
by Steve Piche of Team Great Texas, June 18th

Whew, we actually got to go sailing today after having to postpone the Great Texas by a day to let the remnants of tropical storm Bill clear out of the south gulf.  So, here is my top 10 list for our 103.5 mile run from South Padre to Mustang Island.

1.     The Champ can take a Punch:  Beach launches are always exciting as we have to bash through the surf before heading off on course.  Today, the surf gremlins got John Tomko and Ian Billings, defending champs of the Great Texas.  One big wave stopped them, the second wave started to move them backwards and the third broke their rudder.  The champs had to head back to the beach as the fleet sailed off to Mustang Island.  Fortunately, for the champs, Team Great Texas (formerly sailing under team Rudderless), had a complete set of rudders (from Mike Beuerlein) stashed in their trailer.  A quick ten minute fix and the champs were back on the course slicing through the fleet with abandon.  A ten minute deficit turned into a 23 minute lead over the second place boat by the end of the day.  They pulled up with smiles on their face and a big thank you to Team Great Texas and Mike Beuerlein for getting them out a jam!
2.      Coast Guard to the Rescue (Part I):  It was lumpy, bumpy and windy out on the course today and it was easy to go down the elevator shaft and not come back up.  Team Jack Flash flipped over shortly into the race and skipper Collin Casey hit his head.  Due to Collin’s condition, they decided to ask for Coast Guard assistance.  A Coast Guard helicopter rescued Collin and he was taken to a hospital.  He was checked out, found to be OK, and released.  The team later found the boat washed up on shore.  A tough break for a great sailor and friend.
3.      Big Wind Makes for a Fast Run:  Lupe Tortilla (John and Ian) finished the course in just over 6 hours – over 100 miles.  Do the math – they were flying today.  It was a big downwind run in good size seas with a nice south breeze of around 15 knots.  It was game on from the beginning to the end.  A good day to put your crew out on the wire and floor the boat!  Ah, it was fun.  I mean really fun.  Hee, hee, hee!
4.      Coast Guard to the Rescue (Part II):  Team Chiindi came to the shores of Texas to get a wild bull ride and they got one today.  Unfortunately, the bull tossed the crew from the boat part way through the leg and we had a Man Over Board incident.  The skipper was able to keep the boat up right but could not find the crew in the big waves.  A coast guard helicopter located the crew which allowed the skipper to pick him out of the water.  I bet these guys will be using their safety lines tomorrow – I know I always do! 
5.     Three time’s a charm:  Team Yo Baby pitchpoled 3 times today but yet still managed to finish in second!  When they were up and going, they were going fast!  Maybe they were pushing the limits a little too much!
6.     Texas BBQ:  Wow, did we fill our bellies with sailing and BBQ today.  Thank to Andrew and Stephanie of Triple Threat BBQ for the outstanding BBQ on beach.  The ribs were incredible and we finished it all off with peach cobbler.
7.      What a Ride:  The waves got pretty big today and it was quite a ride down the face of some of those monsters!   It was pretty technical sailing today.  When you got on the backside of a wave, the boat would slow down and you had to power back up.  Once powered back up, you would then start to get a good run going until you surfed down the front side of the wave at which point you had to head deep to keep from crashing into the next wave.  Next, you would slow down on the backside and start the whole process over.  Obviously, John and Ian are better at this game than the rest of us.
8.      Kids on the Beach:  The sailors are playing like kids and the kids are playing, well, like kids.  John, Ian and Juke have their kids and wonderful wives along for the ride.  When we showed up at the beach today, all five kids (Dylan, Ryan, Lauren, Lux and little Lorelei) where playing in the water and having just a fantastic time.  They had big smiles as well as their daddys – the moms looked like they were having fun too.
9.      New Beach:  Due to problems at our scheduled beach for today's finish, we tried out a new beach.  We went just north of Peckery Channel and it worked out just fine.  A big, big thank you to Corey Harding and Andrew Tatton for finding us a new beach for the finish yesterday.  At one point, we did not know if we could go because we could not find an open beach.  However, we pulled it off and made it to Mustang Island.
10.   Off to Matagorda:   We have another 100 mile leg tomorrow – no rest for the weary.  It is always a tough leg as we typically go from a downwind ride to a wild reach.  The weather looks good – we start at 10 am.  You can follow us live at www.gt300.com

Great Texas Start Postponed until Thursday, June 18th

posted Jun 16, 2015, 6:28 PM by Steve Piché

Due to Tropical Storm Bill, the start of the Great Texas in South Padre Island has been postponed until Thursday, June 18th at 10 am.  The race will still finish in Galveston, however, the last two legs will be combined into one leg, thus, allowing the race to be finished in three days rather than four days.  

Here are the three legs for the 2015 Great Texas:
Thurs, June 18th, South Padre Island to Mustang Island (100 miles)
Friday, June 19th, Mustang Island to Matagorda (100 miles)
Saturday, June 20th, Matagorda to Galveston (Cat Alley) 85 miles

The sailors unanimously support the postponement.  John Tomko of Team Lupe Tortilla said "I think it is a good call".  "We have a better chance of all finishing the regatta."  Lee Wicklund of Team Chums added "It is good foresight that the race is structured this way because we have that option to combine the last two leg which are shorter than the other legs."  Brett Johnson of Team Chiindi commented that "the storm picked a hell of a time to come through and screw up our regatta.  But I also think it is a good call to go ahead and delay the race a day."

So with all sailors in agreement, the race is postponed until Thursday.  We go race at 10 am on June 18th.  Watch it live at gt300.com!


2015 Great Texas will be June 17-20

posted Oct 9, 2014, 8:20 AM by Steve Piché

Once again, the Great Texas will be run the Wednesday through Saturday prior to Father's Day.  In 2015, that means that the Great Texas will be run June 17th-20th.  We will once again start in South Padre Island on June 17th and finish up in Galveston on June 20th.  Please join us as a competitor, volunteer or spectator!  See you in South Padre Island on Wednesday, June 17 at 10 am sharp for the start of the 13th annual Great Texas!

2014 Race Summary

posted Jun 16, 2014, 12:41 PM by Steve Piché

Overall Top 10 List for the 2014 Great Texas.  The Great Texas, gt300.com, is a 300 mile beach catamaran race run up the Texas coast in four legs which concluded on Saturday.  This article is a summary of the race written by Steve Piche, founder of the race and also the skipper of Team Great Texas 300.  If you enjoy this article, please like us at www.facebook.com/greattexas300 so that you can follow us in the future.  Here is the final summary list for this year:

1.  The 8 Time Champion Works his way of a big hole:   On leg 1 of the Great Texas, Team Quiksilver, Mike Beuerlein and Philippe Bettler, took a flyer after getting behind off the start.  It worked big time.  They beat the rest of the fleet in by 35 minutes.  The seven time champ (now 8 time champ), John Tomko with his crew Ian Billings, did not panic.  They clawed their way back by winning the next three legs by 15 minutes each day.  In the end, 2 Wire Sailing, John and Ian, took home the big trophies for overall win, fleet win and total elapsed time.  It was exciting and a nail biter but they manage to get themselves out of a big hole.
2.  Flying up the Texas Coast:  Leg 1 of the Great Texas was a 100 mile downwind flyer from South Padre Island to Mustang Island.  We sailed in a building sea breeze.  As always, this leg was fun, fun, fun.  There is nothing like just blasting downwind doing 20 knots for hours on end.  I stuck with the fleet and we battled all day.  In the end, four of us finished within a minute of each other.  
3.  The Big Bang:  The finish on leg 1 was too close for 2 Wire Sailing and TCDYC, Chris Green and Aaron McCulley.  Thirty feet from the finish in six inches of water (the Great Texas starts and finishes on the beach), 2 Wire Sailing and TCDYC collided.  2 Wire Sailing got the worst of it - a big hole in their starboard hull.  The eventual winners got beat by 35 minutes and now had a broken boat.  It looked pretty bad for them but they rallied.  They had a spare boat along - John Tomko is the local C2 dealer.  Within a few hours, their boat was fixed and they were ready to come back from disaster.  Team TCDYC was determined to be at fault and given a 30 minute penalty.  They never recovered from the penalty and end up at the bottom of the fleet.
4.  Man Over Board:  Leg 2 of the Great Texas ended up being a big time downwinder that turned into a reach over another 100 miles from Mustang Island to Matagorda.  The main fleet ran the rhumb line while a couple of boats tried the beach without success.  John Tomko fought his way back to win the leg by 15 miles.  Meanwhile, my crew got washed off the boat as we flew downwind in big waves 10 miles off-shore.  We wear safety lines but his safety line connector line broke and we suddenly found ourselves in a bad situation - man overboard, 10 miles off-shore, big air, big wind, one person on board flying the kite.  I was able to get the kite down and work my way back to my crew without flipping the boat.  Team TCDYC saw the incident and stopped to render assistance if needed.  They were granted redress for the time they stopped.  We all watch out for each other as there is no one else out there to help us.
5.   Every Point of Wind:  Good sailors can make boats go on every point of wind and John Tomko proved that on leg 3 of the Great Texas, a 60 mile run from Matagorda to Surfside.  Thunderstorms had moved through the area the night before and left us with a north wind.  In the summer in Texas, we hardly ever see a north wind.  The sea breeze comes out of the south east and it dominates all summer long. We started the leg in a light downwinder that turned to a light up winder.  Then it happened, the wind gods said this north wind cannot last and they turned off the wind.  The fleet bobbed around for 20 minutes until the wind turned on from the south east ever so slowly.  John Tomko, looked and saw ripples near the beach.  He inched his way to the beach, caught the express lane and was gone.  He sailed away to another 15 minute win in a building sea breeze.
6.  Is Four Minutes Enough?  After three days of sailing, only four minutes separated the top two boats.  Was it enough for Quiksilver to hold of 2 Wire Sailing?  No.  In light downwind breeze, 2 Wire once again showed they were masters of working the slight breeze on the beach.  Within the first hour, they had built a good lead on the last leg which is a 40 mile run from Surfside to Galveston.  As the sea breeze kicked in, the wind shifted more off-shore and the fleet sailed in to the finish on a beautiful double trap spin reach. Once again, 2 Wire was 15 minutes ahead while Quiksilver battle it out with a group of four boats for second.  Quiksilver put up a good fight but John and Ian are simply amazing at distance racing.
7.  Chums wins Open Class:  We all sail for the big overall prize of best correct time.  We also have trophies for within class performance.  We had two fleets, F18 and Open.  2 Wire won F18 and Quiksilver took second.  Hats off to Team Sailboat Shop, Mike Rohrer and Chris Holt who took home a third in F18 fleet.  Finally, not to be forgotten, Team Chums, Lee Wicklund and David Cerdes, took home the top prize in the open class sailing on an I20.  (They were the only boat in the open class this year as all the other sailors were on F18s.)
8.  The Streak Continues:  Ok, time to toot my own horn (which I am often unfairly accused of doing).  My streak of consecutive Great Texas finishes remains intact.  I have now managed to finish every leg of every Great Texas race - a feat no one else has managed.  (John Tomko  broke a mast in one race and had to retire.  It worked out quite well for him because his son Dillon was born on the last day of the Great Texas that year.)  We have had many close calls over the years.  This year I lost my crew overboard.  Other years I have had equipment problems including a few consecutive years where the rudders kept falling off.  One way of another, I have managed to make it to the beach each year and keep the consecutive finishes streak going.
9.  Great Texas Organization:  The Great Texas is an association with elected officers.  Our commodore, Terri Reuwsaat, does an amazing job of running the race.  We have an awesome PRO, Billy Richnow, and great safety officer in Trey Garrison.  Andrew Burnard does a great job with the web site, social media, and all other internet postings.  Thanks to all the organizers.
10.  See you in South Padre:  The 2015 Great Texas will start at 10 am on the Wednesday before Father's Day.  Please come sail, volunteer, or follow us up the beach.  Everyone is invited to join us.  There is no better way to see the beautiful Texas coast.  You can find out more about the race at gt300.com.  We will see you in South Padre next year!

Once again, if you enjoy this article, please like us at www.facebook.com/greattexas300 so that you can follow us in the future.  Do it now!

The 2014 Great Texas in a Nutshell!

posted May 9, 2014, 8:33 AM by Steve Piché

The 12th running of the Great Texas is ready to go starting on Wednesday, June 11.  Eight teams have early registered for the race including former winning skippers John Tomko (7 times), Mike Rohrer and Chris Green.  The event will start with a kick-off party and skippers meeting in South Padre on Tuesday evening.  The racing starts at 10 am on Wednesday, June 11th in front of Clayton's in South Padre.  We will race to Mustang Island State Park.  Expect sailors to arrive between 5-7 pm after a 100 mile leg.  Andrew Tatton and Stephanie May will be serving BBQ on the beach.  We are off once again at 10 am on Thursday, June 12th at 10 am headed to Matagorda Beach near the outlet of the Colorado.  Expected the sailors to hit the beach between 4-6 after another 100 mile leg.  A gumbo cook-off will be held on the beach pitting local Matagorda cooks against some of the sailors turned chefs.  Again, the racing starts at 10 am on Friday with the sailors heading 70 miles over to Surfside.  The Texas City Dike Yacht Club will have a spaghetti dinner for the everyone at Collin Casey's beach house that evening.  On Saturday, June 14th, another set of sailors (the dashers) will join the Great Texas sailors for the last leg.  The dashers will start at 9 am and the Great Texas sailors will follow them with a start at 10 am.  The destination is East Beach in Galveston about 50 miles from Surfside.  Awards for the dashers will be given on the beach in Galveston.  We will also be serving hot dogs and snacks for the hungry sailors.  The formal awards ceremony for the Great Texas will be at Cat Alley at Jamaica Beach in west Galveston.  A shrimp dinner will be served and then awards will be handed out.  Our events are all open to the public so come join us for the 12th running of the Great Texas.

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