To the sound of cheering crowds (modern-day crowds, that is –– the noise a swellign crescendo of plasticky key clicks) Spawn of Frankenscot arrived safe and sound in Key Largo 1 day, 12 hours, and 46 minutes after starting the 2016 Everglades Challenge.
They were the first boat to finish and they broke the previous monohull record by 12 hours. Click-click-click hurrah! Social media applauds!
Here's a gorgeous short video of the team –– shot by Ninjee's cousin Simon Lew via helicopter over the Gulf of Mexico.
They were fortunate in the conditions. The wind stayed mostly abeam or aft, so that they were running or reaching about 75% of the course, with only a few chunks of rowing against the tide (like at the Indian River Pass), and short slogs upwind with crew on the wire.
The Spawnsters barely had time to snack during the trip, though they wouldn't have starved: an unfortunate Spanish mackerel, leaping boisterously from the water somewhere out in the dark blue empty, landed with a surprising thud in the cockpit in the middle of Saturday night. The team trained their headlights onto the piscatorial visitor. "What is it and where should I grab it?" Moresailesed inquired before flinging it (by the least harmful corner of its tail) back into the sea.
The mighty yacht herself landed with a thud from time to time in that last stretch of what navigators call "skinny water." Florida Bay (Rod Koch describes it as "lunar") is shallow and full of both mucky sand and hard coral. Said boat designer Ninjee, "I didn't realize how much running aground we would be doing." Discussion of a stainless-steel leading edge on the centerboard followed.
Spawn disturbed at least one hazard of the course: a 7-foot-long shark had the startle of its weekend when the boat passed over it in about 2 feet of water. "It looked like an explosion of mud behind us," said TwoBeers.
Special thanks to Ensign RumsDown, who IS a driving Ninja and generous friend.
As he announced to the team in a manly bellow from the shore of Chockoloskee (after Mary and I had warbled "I love you" across the starry, echoing darkness) "I LIKE YOU!" Really do.
3/8/2016 09:56:48 am
Although it was painful to watch, they did rather well crossing Florida Bay. I looked at the record book...6 hours was one of the faster times. It's a tough place to navigate.
3/10/2016 09:17:39 pm
Yeah, hard navigating -- even for us in a powerboat from shore! We went to meet them and sure enough, it's like a lunar landscape out there.
3/8/2016 12:39:52 pm
Great write up Amy. Thanks. You've given us a super insight on the race and it was very exciting to follow.
3/10/2016 09:18:17 pm
Aw gee! Thank you, I am glad to share the experience!
3/8/2016 01:00:37 pm
Edge of the seat the last bit as they crossed the shallows, with 2 computers going to cover FB, SA, WT, and Google Earth. Great fun to see the start and follow to the finish.
3/10/2016 09:18:48 pm
3/8/2016 03:11:01 pm
What a great vicarious experience. Thanks for sharing.
3/10/2016 09:19:20 pm
Thanks for joining us!
3/8/2016 06:27:22 pm
Congrats! What's next for the Spawnster and crew?
3/10/2016 09:21:47 pm
More racing (Lightnings), some farming, and then more racing (Scots and J-70s) then maybe the Black Beard Challenge in October?
EC Super Fleet !
3/8/2016 06:39:37 pm
Thanks to Frankie2014 Spawnie2016 we know it's the annual Watertribe armada paddlin' sailin' sputterin' (some standin!) past the Saturday Sarasota fleet sailors all these years. What a blast. The Olympic cadence maintained hour after hour by some of the kayakers is jaw-dropping. Middlenight sailing breakdown recoveries and other hard surprises... Much love and respect to the voyageurs, and many congratulations to the Spawn sailors and shoreside support gang too!
3/10/2016 09:23:00 pm
I know -- those paddlers are still at it, five days later! Dang!
3/8/2016 08:28:06 pm
I really enjoyed the whole campaign. The design and building of the boat. Having raced in 2014 you could feel the lessons learned being molded into the boat, The equipment required from lessons learned. My offer still stands to be support for a Black Beard 300 here in Carolina. I know the roads. I've boated the waters. I love the mission. And I believe in the crew. That was a Great Sail.
3/10/2016 09:24:17 pm
3/10/2016 09:24:59 pm
Sean Hawes (AKA SeaDogRocket)
3/14/2016 11:42:12 am
Great job to the whole team. What a fast boat! Congratulations!!
3/17/2016 10:10:49 pm
Thank you Sean!
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