This year’s annual Enduro is now history. I won’t go into detail about the race format, because it’s been covered elsewhere, but suffice to say that the race is always interesting.
Since the race is always held in early November, weather is the first unknown factor that has be considered. We always sail the Enduro, rain or shine, heavy winds or no wind, so come prepared. It’s a study in human optimism to see how people prepare/dress to sail for 4 hours when the weather can change drastically during that period of time; especially since taking anything off, or putting anything on has to be done while sailing.
The second unknown factor is what boat to bring, given the weather, and given what other skippers might bring that could be faster. Usually, bigger boats do better in this race that smaller boats, but not always.
The third unknown factor is attrition. The problem can be electrical, mechanical, mystical, or due to incidental contact but if you have to stop, everybody else keeps going. There are no holds in the Enduro, and you have to be sailing at the end of the race for your laps to count.
This year’s Enduro started off very sunny, but with little wind. Not to disparage root vegetables, but you had to have just fallen off of the “Turnip-Wagon” to believe the weather was going to hold for 4-hours. Undaunted, it was with all of these unknowns in mind that the race began.
Fairly quickly, and not unexpectedly, the race separated into two basic fleets; the over-40 group and the under-40 group. As the race went on there was some attrition, but not as much as in previous years. Sadly, the authors 10-rater was one that fell victim to what I consider a mystical problem that might be electrical, or might be mechanical, but certainly could not have been due to any fault in the skippers sailing ability.
The race gruelled on! Sadly, but not surprisingly, the light wind held, but not the sunshine. About half-way through the race, the clouds rolled in and the temperature started dropping. Then, around 30-minutes before the end of the race it started to rain. Those of us who had dropped out of the race, due to attrition, yelled words of encouragement from our dry, warm cars.
When the race was ending, boats fairly drifting in the light wind. Some skippers were verbally willing their boats to get to the counting gate to log one more lap. Unfortunately, about 5 boats were within inches when the race ended.
In the end, it was a great day and everybody had a good time! A perfect way to end our sailing season.