Campbell's Sloop enters
BCYC's "RACE AROUND THE ISLANDS"


June 10, 11 & 12, 2011
130 miles

Crew:
Theresa Fry
Blake Hite
Brian Early
Maddy Stark
Kathy Luellwitz
1st Mate: EJ Wallace
Captain: Susie Campbell

RACE RESULTS: 1st Place in Class A !!!

_______________________________________________________

Dear Friends,

Here's an e-mail I sent to my friend KC about the RACE AROUND THE ISLANDS but I thought maybe some of you might enjoy reading it, as well. She asked how it went and this was my reply...

"I've gotta say....it really was nice having 3 handsome young men on board. Their presence allowed me to relax a little more and their
strength came in really handy on the backside of the island, not to mention their humor which ended up being one of their greatest
qualities. Two of the kids on my team I knew from the Sea Scouts. I have pictures of them on my boat when they were 14. It was such a pleasure to sail with them again and to have them helping me where as years ago I was teaching them.

The only person that raced on the sloop from my all women's team was Kathy, whose expertise came in really handy during the spinnaker part of our race. I met Theresa Fry when she came to help me crew for the Stand-Up Paddle Board Race from Avalon to Dana Point. I knew from my short 2 days with her that she was an amazing sailor with a sense of humor and joy that could boost the spirits and moral of a crew during difficult times like the doldrums that we often experience during our races.

The team knew nothing about my rating or sail inventory until we crossed the start line. They had the slowest boats start first so within 5 minutes we watched everyone sail past us at alarming speeds. That's when I had to tell them that we were most likely the oldest, slowest boat in the race with the highest rating and the only one with dacron sails.... so to get those Oakly sunglasses we're going to have to do something incredibly miraculous. Maddy said, "Okay....we can do it!" and that's the attitude everyone carried with them throughout the race.

When we got to the north end of Santa Barbara Island Saturday
morning, the Low pressure system from the north was sending us some really nice winds. We must have been on the tail end of that storm. Our weather report on the VHF radio sounded exciting and so we all got on our super hero garb foul weather gear to prepare for some storm sailing! Sure enough we got some great wind!! I put Blake on the wheel as we past Santa Barbara Island. He was literally scared to death but gradually got more comfortable with the helm. When I put the CD in from the movie "Master and Commander", just the sound of that made his palms start to sweat and he said, "Here Susie, you take the wheel!" I said, "No way Blake, I already know how to do that....you're doing
fine! " and fine enough he did. He was in his glory and it was so much fun for me to watch his face light up as he sailed past that remote and beautiful island of Santa Barbara with the music playing and the winds blowing. It was definitely one of those "Victory At Sea" days. It felt like a scene out of a movie.

We sailed way out past the north end and didn't tack until we could lay a line for the east end. I took the helm for the tack and we hoisted our spinnaker out there with LOTS of wind. We had just one little glitch but Blake went up to the bow with EJ and handled it like a pro. He came back to the stern, sat down and said, "I can't believe my Mom does this! " I think he developed a whole new respect for his mom (Teryl Umbaugh Campbell) and the sport of sailing.

As we started sailing along the backside I asked Brain, who was Blakes friend, if he had any experience at the helm with a spinnaker. He said no but that he had taken Diane Wetzels class when he was a little boy and had set a record for capsizing his boat. I knew then that he was my man for taking the helm down the backside. I handed him the wheel and talked to him about how important it was to keep her on a broad reach if we wanted to make the east end. Then we talked about how we did not want to jibe the boat either. EJ started telling everyone about what happens when you jibe in this kind of wind with a spinnaker. If you could have seen their faces as we explained all the scenarios you would have died!

After about an hour of being near Brain at the helm, he developed a rhythm with the sea and wind that blew me away. I was so impressed with his ability to sense the swells approach and to ride
it down without going too far down. We decided to keep him there for the entire length of Catalina Island because we didn't want to lose that rhythm. After his time at the helm, he went down and slept for 7 hours!!!

When we got to the East side of the island we hit the lee of the island and our boat speed went from 7-10 knots to 0 instantly. We spent hours trying to work our way out of the wind shadow. Finally we got to the place where we started getting our West-south west winds. It was a close reach to the finish line and we were flying at about 5-6 knots across the San Pedro channel until about 3 miles from the finish. The last 3 miles we went about 1 MPH. The little daisy came in real handy that last 3 miles. When we crossed the finish we thought without a doubt we must be the last boat to finish because the person on the committee boat yelled, "Great job for hanging in there!"

It was 2:30 am when we got to the BCYC. Everyone went home except for Maddy and EJ (the 2 sea scouts) and myself. They lived up to the "Where we go one, we go all" philosophy that Skip Wehan has always modeled in his program. Sunday morning, I walked into the club looking for a much needed cup of coffee. I was thanking the gentlemen from the committee boat for hanging in there and waiting for us. I said, "So.....we came in last, right?" He said....."You're from Campbell's Sloop?" I said, yes. He said, "No, you came in 'FIRST in your class'. I just about fell over and had a heart attack!! I ran down the ramp toward the boat yelling MADDY...EJ.....we got a 1st place in our CLASS! We all started jumping and screaming and calling our team mates but none of them could believe it! Finally we convinced them it was true and that they better get here early to celebrate with us. They came with their girlfriends, boyfriends, parents and husbands. I told them that moments like this and moments like what we experienced in the race don't come very often. Sometimes we don't realize when we're in those moments that they may very well be the most precious moments of our life. This was surly one of those moments for me."

Much Love and a Big Thank You to my crew!
Yours,
Susie

The Campsbell's Sloop Team takes 1st in Class A. A happy skipper indeed.

Only 12 hours to go, Kathy!
On the rail sailing along.

EJ's happy with his pole adjustment.

A spinnaker that needs packing.

 

Sunset off the west end of Catalina.

Susie and EJ

Enjoying some music as we sail away.

The north end of Santa Barbara Isand.

Brian takes a break down in his man cave.

The Tea Pot singers keep us going through the night!

Blake takes a break. Maddy trims for SPEED!
Theresa coming up for her watch after a trip to the bow!

"Will we make the east end without having to jibe??"
YES!

Maddy Stark enjoying the ride.



EJ sings, "I'm a little tea pot!..."

Theresa Fry tells us which way to go. Blake trims the spinnaker.