Annapolis to Newport on Integrity

Brad took up his role as Coach again on one of the Naval Academy MkIIs for the Annapolis - Newport race.  Needless to say, it'll be interesting getting down the Bay tonight after a 4 hour race delay due to Tropical Storm Andrea.  Not to mention incredibly wet and probably just a bit stormy.  The really fun part will be over night when the storm is passing the mouth of the Bay.  If anyone is prepared for something like this, it's the mids and the many people like Brad who volunteer time for a rather worthy cause.

Brad and our friend David enjoy a little bit of the pre-race party at the Annapolis Yacht Club.  What a great event it turned out to be, with open bar for a couple hours, a huge spread of fantastic food, a live steel drum band, and a lot of people ready to go sailing.  The talk of the night of course was Andrea and what impact on the race she might have.  And that is a serious ice sculpture for the singular purpose of dispensing shrimp.  Nice.

The showers started during the festivities, but things were really rolling come this morning.  Brad though, is clearly ready for some foul weather.

Finally, though all the waiting was over and the race was ready to get started.  The wind was coming out of the NE in the high teens when the PHRF II class started sometime after 1600.  Usually these races start at Noon, and when I'm at work, well obviously I don't get to see it.  However today, since the races started late, I actually was able to see the last class, the big boats, heading off down the bay about 1645.  The visibility was terrible, but you couldn't miss the huge dark, super high tech, sails. 

And off Integrity goes flying the spinnaker to start, fair winds and following seas?  

Here's where the PHRF II boats are as of about 2130 or so on Friday evening.  Go Integrity!