sailing las vegas
This is an annual long distance race held by Nevada Yacht Club, that starts in Boulder Basin near Boulder Islands and goes through The Narrows, across Virgin Basin, through Temple Basin into Temple Bar. The racers stay overnight and the whole thing begins in reverse the next day. Depending on the wind and track traveled it can be up to a 72+ mile race
This blog entry was contributed by Jennifer Davis, a recent graduate of our Sail Training. Jennifer has jumped in wholeheartedly into sailing, and we thank her for the race report below.
On the morning of the race, which would start at the Lake Mead Marina in Boulder City, Nevada, the Boathouse Restaurant was a total ghost town (complete with giant plastic spiders). Nevertheless, the kitchen still whipped up some solid breakfast burritos for the incoming crew and had plenty of hot coffee for the 8am Skipper meeting to get underway. The 37 mile track would take approximately eight hours, and all six boats would end their journey at the Temple Bar Marina in Arizona.
A little after 9:00 A.M. everyone had launched from the dock and got off to a strong start with the help of 13 knot gusts. About an hour after the horn was blown to start the race, some boats were caught dead in the water after stumbling into scattered air pockets with a wind speed of absolutely nada.
While two boats managed to avoid capture, the rest lagged behind waiting for the wind to pick back up and pleading with the wind gods for mercy. In time, a fair amount of opinions began to sound off over the VHF-radio about how to proceed. Race Captain, Clay Ostrom, put an end to the discussion when he "called the race" around 11:25 am in favor of making good time to Arizona before night fall under power. Head sails came down, engines turned on and everyone safely motored through “the narrows” to head to the next starting line.
On the other side of the Narrows, the winds were much more favorable for a race! The race committee set up for the second leg of the race starting at East Point.
To make up for the rather anti-climactic end of the first race, everyone was at full tilt for the start of the second. Starting line nicely demarcated by with the puffy floating triangle on the port side and the race committee boat on the other, all 6 boats went barreling through in what felt like pure mayhem. In an all-around attempt to take the lead, there were several close calls and shouts of “STARBOARD STARBOARD!!” to avoid outright collision. Once all the boats found their place and got out of each others way, Kona managed to pull ahead. Immediately the competition clustered together, leaned hard to the right and hugged the cliffs to get around the bend, creating an impressive sight and an intense moment of exhilaration.
As racers pulled out of the curve, they spread out and began to zigzag back and forth across Virgin Basin towards Temple Basin, trying to stay in front of the wind in order to keep their momentum. Temple Bar came into sight around 3:45 pm. The first boats to arrive were:
All the boats pulled in and got checked in without much fanfare. Soon the music came on and the food came out as everyone gathered on the dock for a family style potluck dinner with more than enough of everything to go around. Special mention goes out to Race Captain Clay’s really fresh and tasty gourmet wraps as well as Cruise Captain Tim’s super tender steaks and chops! NYC is lucky to have some really great and generous cooks in the bunch. As the sun went down and the stars came up, many stayed up as long as they could to catch the meteor shower before giving up and going to bed.
Sunday morning started at the Temple Bar Marina Restaurant with a hearty breakfast, GREAT coffee and group chit chat about family crests, fire safety and the jewel paved streets of Dubai. Its easy to linger here but soon everyone had to head back down to the docks to get ready for the trip back home to Lake Mead Marina in Boulder City, NV.
Once we were out of the marina, Clay rode out ahead to check the wind speeds. He radioed back to say it was “smooth as glass all the way” so we pretty much motored most of the way back to home base. But, there was no love lost because the journey was still just as breath-taking as it was on the way in, only we got to enjoy it a little more…
Thanks for sticking through to the end of this post, I know it was a little long winded! :) If you would be interested in coming out with us please check the event calendar for one of our many social sails: Winter Sunday Fun-day’s or Summertime Thirsty Thursdays to meet everyone and get a taste of the sailing in Las Vegas on Lake Mead.