The call of the unseen may be what sends men off shore to race at night. It may be the camaraderie of friends working as a unit under pressure, united against the fear of the unknown. Certainly the challenge of it all is at the core of desire to descend into the dark side of 18 hours racing in the Mudnite Madness Overnight.
And so it was, Friday evening, July 6th
, 8 boats, loaded with talent, set off from the shadows of the New London skyline on the 65 mile trek around Block Island. At first, the battle was with ferries in the river and zephyrs in the sails, but all were soon around channel marker 2 and ghosting east with spinnakers flying through Fishers Island Sound, Watch Hill passage just a few miles ahead.
Five hours later, there they were, Watch Hill passage just yards ahead, hidden in the darkness, the haze. And there was bashing of teeth as the current held them in place and the wind barely breathed. Ahhh, the challenge, the unknown, the danger! The frustration!
But, things got better and the breeze filled in around Block Island, only to drop out on the south side, then fill in again from the southwest. Eventually, around 0940 on Saturday morning, the intrepid ship Balance, Jim Ohlheiser’s J-109, found her way to the finish line at the mouth of the Mystic River. Toby Halsey’s Patriot crossed a couple of hours later, followed shortly by the doublehanded boats Shearwater and Dark N’ Stormy.
About an hour later, defending champ Arabesque, then Checkered Demon, followed later by Euphoria and Breaking Wind. And now PHRF takes over and Balance covers with Checkered Demon correcting out 2nd
and Arabesque 3rd
. The results attached here
Gumball awards and the Blow Hard Trophy will be announced at the Wednesday Night Mid Season party on Wednesday at Noank Village Boatyard sometime after dark, when men and women seek adventure. This time, there will be plenty of air, hot tho’ it might be.