Saturday, March 04, 2006

GO !

... as reported by "DancesWithSandyBottom"

The challengers left the starting line at 7:00 am today and headed south toward the first checkpoint.

All the challengers left at 7:00 am regardless of whether they are doing just the 67-mile UltraMarathon, or continuing on in the 300-mile Everglades Challenge, or going all the way around Florida in the 1200-mile Ultimate Florida Challenge.

If you had been standing on the beach when "Chief" said 'Go!' you might have been surprised to see that the challengers all headed off in slightly different directions. "Aren't they all going to the same place?" you might ask.

Indeed they are. When the winds are favorable, as they were this morning, the sailors in the class3 (stowable sail rigs) and class4 boats (unlimited sail rigs) head out on varying tacks toward the open waters of the Gulf to make maximum speed from their sails. The class1 kayakers (sails < 1 sq. meter) and class2 kayakers (racing kayaks with no sails) usually aim for entrances to the intra-coastal route that is eight miles away on the far side of Tampa Bay.

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