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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! 
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