The 2017 SailFest series kicked off Friday August 4th with some amazing conditions! 20 boats escaped the heat of the city and made it out for the 7pm start off Shilshole Marina and found themselves in very comfortable temperatures sailing along on a nice northerly that kept building until their rails began to push down and the bow waves started making some noise.
The smoke from the fires in Canada made for some hazy yellowy red scenery but overall you couldn’t have asked for better conditions for the kickoff of the 2017 SailFest series. Three starts for the SailFest series, Fast boats, Half Fast boats and dinghies. Fast boats start first and it was heartening to see who thought they had a fast boat – everything from the quick and nimble Flying Tiger to the smooth and stable J/105’s and big cruising boats on down to some J/80’s, C&C 27’s, an SC27, a Pocket Rocket and even some J/24’s jumped into the fast boat start.
Next up was the Half Fast boats and again the class had a mix of boats from the J/105’s not flying spinnakers on down to J/80’s, C&C 27’s, and some bigger cruising boats. The dinghy fleet had just one boat, so they simply started from the beach and ripped their way around the course on their fun, and wet at times, Aussie 18.
In an unplanned attempt to make sure everyone had the most fun possible the race committee posted a course on the reader board different than the course printed in the sailing instructions online – so 2 races happened at once – twice the fun and twice the winners! As always racing was followed by a party at the court yard in front of the main building at Shilshole Marina complete with complimentary hot dogs and sides, chips and salsa (thank you Chuck), wine and beer graciously donated by Maritime Pacific Brewing Company over on Ballard Way – give them a big thank you next time you are in! Ending the evening with a big free raffle giveaway done by none other than the PNW’s biggest sailing supporter – Robert “J Bob” Ross of Sail Northwest and the Seattle Sailing Club. Sailors walked away with everything from Gill Jackets to free haulouts from CSR Marine to 48 degrees North swag and more. Thank you to all our sponsors and for everyone that made it out on this smoky hot Friday – see you next Friday, August 11th for SailFest #2!