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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!