Saturday – June 20th – Surfside to Galveston


 Copyright GT300

The morning was kicked off with an 8 AM Skippers Meeting and a 9 AM start to the second annual Surfside to Galveston Dash.  This year there were 13 Dash Boats and 12 of the 13 left the beach first, most with help from a GT300 sailor.  The last boat to leave the beach, Team Brian, returned briefly to the beach due to some boat issues.  After readjustments were made, they quickly headed out through the surf. 

The twelve GT300 boats were ready and waiting when the horn sounded at 10 AM, and all headed out through the surf with no problems. 

On the ride from Surfside to Galveston, road crews were able to pull aside and see the GT300 sailors going up the coast.  Initial sitings evidenced a close race between the F18s.  At the finish line at East Beach in Galveston, the first team to hit the beach was Dash Team Just Add Nada, sailing a Hobie 20.  They were followed by last year’s Dash winner, Team Misfits and the other Hobie 20 sailed by Team LayLynes.  Additional Dash Teams Jack Flash, Dumb and Dummer, Echelon and T&T soon followed. 

Two hours and 28 minutes after the start of the final leg of the GT300, it was a fight of the F18s.  Team Quiksilver was the first GT300 team to hit the beach.  Teams Quiksilver, Zhik, Puke Sailing and Sailboat Shop all hit the beach within a one-minute period, resulting in an exciting finish line event! 

All the remaining Dash and GT300 teams made it to the beach without incident and the final horn was sounded, signaling end of the 2009 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, which was a catered event and held at the Inn at the Waterpark. 

Congrats to Team TCDYC for their first place finish in the F18 class and as overall 2009 GT300 winner!  Congrats also to new entry Team Royal Orange for their first place finish in the I20 class and to Team Misfits for their second win in the Surfside to Galveston Dash.  All in all it was a fantastic week!  The 2010 Great Texas Catamaran Race will be held June 16th – 19th.  See you there!



Friday, June 19th – Day Three – Matagorda to Surfside


 Day 3 First to Beach TCDYC
 Copyright GT300

This morning the wind was blowing pretty good and the waves were curling into the shore.  All 12 boats lined up and at the sound of the horn, headed off through the surf.  A collision occurred between Team Yost Auto and Team Chums, leaving Team Yost with a gash in their hull.  They headed back to the shore for a quick fix with Gorilla Tape.  About 15 minutes later, after repairs were made, Team Yost headed back out through the surf. 


The teams made their ways to Surfside fairly quickly, with Team TCDYC hitting the beach first.  They were followed by Teams Quiksilver, Puke Sailing and Zhik.  The next group to hit the beach was Teams Sailboat Shop, Corpus, Royal Orange and Tybok.  The remaining group consisted of Teams Salva Vida, Chums and Dallas.  Considering their delayed start, Yost Auto was only about six minutes behind Team Dallas. 


This afternoon, Teams were arriving for tomorrow’s Surfside to Galveston Dash.  Early in the evening, teams gathered for a wonderful spaghetti dinner cooked, served and sponsored by Collin Casey and the crew from TCDYC.  Another great ending to a great day of sailing.  Team Puke Sailing even made it to the beach with both rudders!


Thursday – June 18th – Day Two – Mustang Island to Matagorda

 Day 2 Royal Orange
 Copyright GT300

This morning 12 teams left the beach at Mustang Island, while Team Tybok Racing waited back to see how they negotiated through the rough surf.  After seeing that all the teams had no problems getting out, Team Tybok headed out for a sail.  Team Royal Orange had some problems with the main sail popping out, so they returned to the beach.  After two attempts at locking it in, they were on their way as well. 

The PRO received a call about an hour into the race that Team RuffRider had snapped their mast and that they were not going to be continuing in the race.  Because it was a bit dangerous out in the surf, they unrigged the mast and headed for the beach.  Fortunately they were where Team Manager Sherri Morris could get to them on a beach access road.  After her arrival, they waited for the mast and main sail to float in.  Once the boat was unrigged and safely on the trailer, John headed back home to await the arrival of his and Tiffany’s little sailor man.  Sherri and Ian are hitching a ride up the beach with good friends and race fans Don and Nelda. 

The rest of the ground crews arrived in Matagorda around 2:00 p.m. and awaited the arrival of the first boats.  Team Sailboat Shop was the first to arrive, followed shortly by Teams TCDYC, Corpus and Royal Orange.  Next group to arrive consisted of Teams Yost, Quiksilver and Zhik.  Team Puke Sailing arrived on the beach next, with the surprise of only one rudder again! Steve Piche reported they again sailed with one rudder for about the last 50 miles of the leg. Fortunately though, they did not lose the rudder or the crossbeam, so repairs are underway again.  Team Chums followed next.  Out on the water, Team Chums took a spill and lost their hot stick.  Team Puke Sailing passed by and seeing how their hot stick was of no use to them at the time, lent it over to Team Chums for the reminder of the race.  Team Chums was followed in by Teams Salva Vida, Dallas I and Tybok Racing.

After the safe arrival of the 12 remaining teams, Team Quiksilver served up some tasty rice and gumbo.  A wonderful post-race meal following the homemade lasagna graciously cooked and served by Andrew Tatton and Stephanie May last night at Mustang Island.

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

Wednesday, June 17th – Day One – South Padre Island to Mustang Island


 Day One Puke Sailing

 Copyright GT300


Bright and early this morning, teams were on the beach doing last minute tweaks and getting ready to hit the water.  The Skippers Meeting was at 9 AM and at 10 AM they were off.  All 13 boats left the beach fairly easily.  Team Puke Sailing bobbed around in the surf a bit, fighting to move forward through the surf and it didn’t take long before they were off.   Spinnakers popped out on all the boats and they were flying off toward Mustang Island. 


About 10 miles into the race, Team Puke called their team manager to inform them of a cracked rudder.  As the race progressed and with about 50 miles left, Team Puke lost their port rudder, along with the cross bar and hot stick.  Steve Piche spent those last 50 miles driving the boat with the one rudder and in spite of it all, arrived on the beach much sooner than expected.  It’s going to be a long night for Team Puke as their team is meeting others halfway to Austin to pick up needed replacement parts.


Young guns Jared Sonnlekar and Colin Page of Team Royal Orange were first on the beach, followed by I20 Teams Yost Auto, Salva Vida, Chums and Tybok.  Team Sailboat Shop was the first F18 to hit the beach, followed by Teams Quiksilver, TCDYC, Zhik, RuffRider, Dallas I, Corpus and Puke Sailing.  Aside from Team Puke, all boats arrived in one piece. 

Pre-Race Day Wrap-Up June 16, 2009

All-in-all, it was a successful day!  A new year in a new hotel.  This year we are at the Padre South Hotel rather than our usual Tiki Condos.  Boat space is limited, but we had a great lobby meeting area to do registration and have the yearly Team Meeting in air conditioning!  A good change for sailors and crew who have been in the scorching South Padre sun all day.  Safety inspections went smoothly and teams were right on time for their individual registrations.  New changes this year included the addition of a Safety Officer, Trey Garrison.  The biggest surprise of the day was the arrival of John Tomko and Ian Billings of Team  Tiffany said she was sitting at home with her legs crossed and her knees together until the race was over!

After safety inspections and registration were done, teams returned to their boats for additional fine-tuning and a few teams decided to go for a sail.  Teams Sailboat Shop, Corpus and Royal Orange went out through the surf to check their boats and sample the weather conditions.  Mike Rohrer of Team Sailboat Shop said a little more wind would have been nice, but the weather was perfect for heading up the coast to Mustang Island.  Weather forecast for Wednesday morning in South Padre calls for temps in the high 80s and wind s of 15 MPH from the south-southeast.  Getting closer to Mustang Island, the winds are likely to pick up to 20 MPH from the southeast. 

The Team Meeting last night was kicked off with a pizza party sponsored by Scott Kee of Team Puke Sailing offered up Green Puke Punch, wine and beer.  Andrew kicked off the meeting with a welcome to all the teams and handed things over to the Coast Guard.  They commended the teams on taking great safety precautions for themselves and educated us a bit on Coast Guard procedures and expectations.  A short question and answer session followed.  All the teams were very appreciative of these guys taking the time to come out and talk with us.  After they finished, Andrew spoke a little more about safety issues and handed the meeting over to Billy, then to Terri.  Teams drew numbers for starting line-up, a coin was tossed and the line-up stayed as is.  After weigh ins, the meeting was ended.  Some teams dispersed and others hung around to catch up with old friends.  I’m pretty sure it wasn’t a late night for anyone – the big race is off to a great start!