03 Oct Ethan And Cat Compete in AYC double-handed race
Oakcliff Training Program Director, Ethan Johnson, and Cat Chimney, Technical Specialist & Rigger, traveled to Ethan’s stomping grounds, the Old Line State of Maryland, to compete in the 2019 Annapolis Yacht Club Double-Handed Distance Race. With the support of their sponsor, CFOforaday, they entered in the J/105 one-design division.
On race day, they came out of the gates hot with a great start close reaching in 12-13 knots of breeze. They kept great boat speed as they hardened up after rounding the first mark. They continued down the Chesapeake Bay edging East towards Taylor’s Island. They crossed over to the West side of the Bay towards Cove Point to keep in touch with most of the fleet. Unfortunately the wind died on them; they and the four other boats on the West side were forced to throw out anchors while the two boats on the East had just enough pressure to inch ahead. About an hour and a half later, the breeze filled in from the Northwest. Ethan and Cat silently pulled up their anchor and set the kite, which they already had rigged on the correct side. They took a nice downwind ride and pulled ahead into 3rd place.
They rounded the turning mark, the Hooper Island Lighthouse, around 5am, about 16 hours after the start. They headed back up the Chesapeake in full upwind mode. The breeze built to about 15 knots and kicked up a choppy wave state fighting the current. Ethan and Cat’s rig tune was set for the light wind based on the forecast, so they had trouble carrying momentum through the waves. They did their best but couldn’t stop two boats from passing them. They crossed the finish line around 2pm in 5th place with an elapsed time with just over 24 hours.Ethan and Cat would like to give a big shoutout to their sponsor, CFOforaday.com, and Kevin Fitzgerald, the owner of the J/105 they competed on named Rum Puppy, who let the team use his boat for a week of practice and racing. Also a special thanks to their Annapolis host, Lisa Ausherman who gave them a stay with hospitality that was above and beyond.