The Great Whortonsville Race
The 16th annual Whortonsville Yacht and Tractor Club's Summer Solstice Sailabration was held on Saturday, June 16th. The event includes a friendly sailboat race followed by an awards ceremony and an old fashioned pig pickin' on the grounds of Ensign Harbor. Joey and Dorothy, our dock mates and members of the WYTC placed in the top five but at this writing I don't have the names of the winners. Since I haven't listed the winners, you may have guessed that racing is not a high priority to the crew of Southern Star. As a matter of fact, Southern Star did not participate this year due to the sudden onset of a fuel pump problem on Thursday before the race. Stefan (a dock mate) kindly offered to tow us to the starting line and back again. I almost accepted his offer but on further consideration decided that would be a recipe for disaster and Southern Star would remain safely at the dock to await our return.
Whortonsville Race Pictures
The good news is, the crew was invited to sail with dockmates Chuck and Tish on their beautiful Island Packet yacht. We readily accepted the invitation to sail with them along with their friends Dennis and Sharon. It seems to me that the weather on the Pamlico Sound is either spectacular or terrible, with little in between. I am glad to report that the weather on Saturday was an example of the former. Clear Carolina blue skies, winds from the northeast at 10 to 15 knots made it a delightful afternoon of sailing. I have never been sailing without some sort of small emergency or technical glitch and this trip was no different. There was considerable confusion with the race committee about the position of the starting line and the order in which the course marks were to be rounded. Due to this and some crew discomfort the skipper decided to formally withdraw from the race. We landed the Island Packet back at Ensign Harbor with absolutely no damage to the vessel or the crew which is the ultimate requirement for a successful voyage. Our early arrival at the dock allowed the opportunity to grab a quick shower before the rest of the fleet arrived.
About 15 minutes after we arrived at the dock, the boat that had actually won the race arrived. She was a San Juan 21 skippered by a lady captain and a crew of two. As soon as they landed the crew set about securing the vessel. They immediately pulled the rudder out of the water. I would guess that this is to prevent any marine growth that might occur during dinner. Then they removed the sails and carefully rolled them into tubes. Another guess here is, so they wouldn't get wrinkled. Watching both these actions as well as their landing led me to think that most of the casual cruising fleet didn't stand a chance no matter how hard they tried.
Now it was time to rest a bit, help others land and get ready for dinner. This was a hungry group of sailors because most of the crews did not have the opportunity to eat while on the water due to the bumpy conditions. There was plenty for all at the picnic. Judy had made one of her famous apple snack cakes and it was completely destroyed, barely a crumb in the bottom of the dish. Nick the harbormaster presided over the presentation of the Whortonsville Cup which is the only sailing trophy that contains cookies. There were several other prizes that had nothing to do with the race.
WYTC members met during the early evening in the "Cockpit", a new screened-in room that was added to the existing bath and shower facility. We discussed the day's events and plans for future outings. The crew of the Southern Star had to rise early to attend a family lunch in High Point NC, nearly 4 hours away. Sunday morning we packed and left early. It was a most excellent weekend.
Whortonsville Race Pictures