Day Four ( Final ) Saturday June 14, 2008 Surfside to Galveston
The morning started with light winds and light waves – what a great sight to all the GT300 sailors who had been beaten and bashed around the previous three days.  The day was also the first ever Surfside to Galveston Dash.
We had six Dash boats at the starting line and all six boats sailed through the surf most with help from a GT300 sailor!  Team Git-R-Done unfortunately returned to shore with a broken rudder arm.  It was amazing the number of GT300 sailors who ran to help them onto the beach and started discussing ways to get them back on the water.  The team decided not to sail and trailered the boat to meet us in Galveston.
At the starting line for the GT300 were eleven boats – Team Yost had their mast up with a shroud they got from Team Dallas, Team Dallas was back on the line, Team TCDYC was back with a new mast and mainsail after a long night of repairs, and Team Fast Cat Racing was back on the line with new battens.
At the finish line in Galveston, spectators saw the approach of a red spinnaker.  Everyone assumed it was Team RuffRider and were all excited to see it was actually Team Misfits – a Dash team!  They were quickly followed by Team RuffRider.  All the remaining Dash and GT300 teams made it to the beach without incident and Commodore Andrew Burnard blew the horn, signaling end of the 2008 Great Texas Catamaran Race.
After packing up their gear, taking apart the boats and getting them back on the trailers, teams left the beach for some rest and refreshment prior to the dinner and awards ceremony and Galveston Yacht Club.  Congrats to Team RuffRider for their first place finish in the F18 class, to Team Chums for their first place finish in the I20 class and to Team Misfits for winning the first ever Surfside to Galveston Dash.  It was one hell of a week, but all of the sailors persevered and came together to help each other succeed.   Everyone is definitely looking forward to next year & what the wind and water will have in store.


Team show us how it's done ( picture from the top of the mast ) 

Day Three Friday June 13, 2008 Matagorda to Surfside

Today was another extremely windy day & the waves coming into the beach were at least five feet tall.  Seven boats were at the starting line, but only six boats decided to sail. Most bounced their way out through the surf and Team Gazelle had a bit of a stall in the waves, but managed to get going again.

 About 600 feet from the start line, TCDYC was rolled over backwards by a large wave.  Unfortunately were still close in toward the shore and the mast snapped in half. Jessie Fulmer said he was briefly caught under the trampoline, but was able to get to the surface and was relieved to see skipper Chris Green pop up as well. Team Tybok helped Team TCDYC derig the mast from the boat and got the boat uprighted and back on the trailer. 

Teams Quiksilver and Bayou Bros decided not to fight the Gulf, so they made their trip by land, receiving a 4 hour time penalty.

The remainder of the day proved to be another vicious day.  RuffRider was first to hit the beach and Team Sailboat Shop crossed the finish line just minutes later.  Team Chums was next, followed by Team Poison Girl and Team Gazelle.  Team Chums reported they were doing well and then were hit by a wave that almost knocked them off.  They pitch-poled and the two lines on the spinnaker pole snapped. Team Gazelle also reported that the spray was very intense and it was hard to see what was going on. 

Teams Yost and Dallas joined us in Surfside for an awesome BBQ dinner sponsored by TCDYC and Team Chums.  Word also came during dinner that Team Fast Cat Racing had returned to their boat and successfully sailed it back to Port Aransas.  They were then on the road to join us in Surfside the following morning.

Team TCDYC Snap mast in the surf at the start of day three 

Day Two Thursday June 12, 2008 Mustang Island to Matagorda

The morning’s weather report was a carbon copy of the day before – more of the same.  Winds were forecasted to be 15-20 out of the southeast and the waves were going to be big. 

All teams got off the beach and ground crews got on the road headed toward Matagorda.  We got a call that not too far from Port Aransas, Team Fast Cat Racing had a problem with their mainsail & had made it to the beach on Matagorda Island.  Apparently every batten in their mainsail had been broken and their spinnaker had blown.  After weighing their options, Team FCR decided to rig the mainsail & attempt to get through the surf & sail back to Port Aransas.  Unfortunately the surf was too rough & they drifted back to the beach.  Fortunately, a kind soul from the KZ Aransas Wildlife Refuge was out on his boat & spotted them.  He picked them up off the beach and ferried them to Rockport, where they spent the night.  Word from Jill Scala is that they are being ferried back to the boat, new battens in hand & they will sail back to Port Aransas, trailer the 
boat & meet us in Surfside.

Team Yost also suffered boat damage when they lost their mast due to a broken shroud.  Witnesses say the team was able to get their sails back on the boat but had no way to get the mast back up.  Team Dallas caught up with Team Yost & both teams decided Team Dallas would tow Team Yost to a beach location to meet up with their ground crews.  The two cats made it to the ferry at Port Aransas, met their ground crews & trailered the boats.  They spent the night in Port Aransas & are headed up the coast to meet us in Surfside.

Team Gazelle’s left rudder twisted and bent the rudder pin.  They made it to a beach where they replaced the leeward pin with the windward rudder pin, then made a makeshift windward pin with a screwdriver and spectra.   Fortunately, they kept in touch with the ground crew at all times & we were able to track them with the Spot, so we knew they were safe and might be a little late to Matagorda.  When they arrived there, Steve & Juke both hopped off the boat & kissed the beach.

On their way into the beach, Team Quiksilver tried to flip, but managed to right the boat.  Mike Beurlein however, managed to fall off the boat taking a dagger board with him.  The boat kept full speed ahead toward the beach, where Aaron quickly jumped off to find Beuerlein in the surf.  We could all see Beuerlein's head popping up through the surf until Aaron was able to reach him & help him walk in.  He then walked over to the gate & stepped through to the applause of all on the beach.  Beuerlein, always the sailor, took off his gear & went back into the surf in search of the lost dagger board.  As he had just given up, a spectator on the beach whistled at us, holding up the dagger board.  What a great ending!

Team Bayou Boys also had some problems on their approach to the beach and flipped.  With Clay holding the mast, Jim was attempting to right the boat, but the wind and the fierce waves weren't having any of it.  Members of other racing teams rushed over to help Clay and Jim right the boat and Team Bayou boys brought the boat through the gate to finish leg 2.

Although not all teams made it to the beach at Matagorda, it was a victory for all knowing everyone was safe and without injury.

At the end of the day two, Team RuffRider is in first, followed by Team Quiksilver in second, TCDYC in third and Team Sailboat Shop in fourth.


Team Dallas tow Yost Auto 8 miles to shore day two

Day One ( Start ) Wednesday June 11, 2008 South Padre Island to Mustang Island

After a day of safety inspections, completing registration and relaxing by the pool for some pizza and race meeting, all teams were ready to get this race on the water.

After the GO horn was blown, all the boats made a great start off the beach.  While spinnakers were popping out, Team Chums was headed back to the beach with broken rudder casting.  When we left the beach, the part had found & repairs were underway.  We also just received a report that Team Fast Cat Racing was back at the beach with a  problem.  Repairs were made & they were back on the water shortly thereafter. 

Team RuffRider was the first team to arrive, followed by Teams Quiksilver, Poison Girl, TCDYC, Sailboat Shop, Gazelle, Yost Auto, Chums, Bayou Bros, Dallas and Fast Cat Racing. Team Tybok unfortunately suffered a lot of boat damage.  They were driving the boat hard & all of a sudden turtled twice.  The mast broke, the spinnaker pole was bent and battens broke.  They managed to float to the beach - just two miles down from the finish line. Fortunately, neither Tommy nor Todd were injured and they were within quick driving distance of their road crew.

Steve Piche reported that the first leg of the Great Texas yesterday tested the fleet.  The  combination of big seas and big wind made it a challenging but fast run. Their mainsail ripped into two pieces at the level at the level of the fourth batten, but they were able to continue sailing under spinnaker, doing 15 to 20 mph according to their GPS.  Piche said that with crew Juke Ball out on the wire, they headed out to sea and they were able to fly the spinnaker the rest of the way to Mustang Island.

Team Gazelle finish day one with a ripped main