Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Everglades Challenge: Mosquito to the Finish

Meanwhile...  SOS & PopTarp aboard Mosquito finished EC in  2 days, 11 hrs, 4 mins. Wow! Well done!
SOS (Alan Stewart) and PopTarp (Jake Kohl) enjoying a cold one after an awesome finish.
Photo and caption by Paula Martel at the finish line.

Mosquito (left) at rest at the finish line next to Sizzor (right)
Photo by Dana Clark

When I last posted their status, it was Sunday night around 8pm  and Mosquito had left CP2 and was rounding the Middle Cape on the way to CP3.

SOS reports that getting in and out of CP2 had been very difficult.  Progress was slow and steering was difficult going in on the narrow channel, as the current was against them and the light to vanishing wind was on the nose. An ama got banged up.  SOS walked the boat a mile or two while PopTarp steered.  They had reached the entrance to the channel (at Indian Key)  at 3:30am on Sunday.  From there it took 8 hours to transit the 7.5nm to CP2.  After a few minutes at CP2,  the winding way back to the Gulf was also slow with speeds  ~1 kt.

Mosquito in and out of CP2

Mosquito from Ft. DeSoto to CP2

Mosquito at CP2.   Chokolosky mud is deep.

Goodbye CP2!   By 1:30pm Sunday Mosquito was flying south in the open Gulf and hitting 8 and 9 kts.   They also hit a sea turtle hard and damaged one of the dagger boards (but not the ama). The batteries in the SPOT died at 2:30pm. The SPOT came back online at 5:42pm  near the mouth of Shark River.

Far far away, SewSew aboard his trimaran  Sizzor crossed the finish line at Key Largo at 6:18pm.

SewSew paddling Sizzor at CP1
Photo by Paula Martel
Meanwhile, winds were light and from the SE as Mosquito rounded NW Cape, Middle Cape, and then East Cape at 8:55pm. Mosquito's speeds were in the 3-5 kt range.

Mosquito tacking in light wind around the capes to CP3
By midnight they were in the Flamingo harbor channel and landed at CP3 at 12:43am Monday.

Mosquito at CP3

On reaching CP3, Mosquito had a 4hour lead on the next-fastest multihull, a Tornado catamaran (SwampMonkee and Chainsaw).  Tornado was off Middle Cape and moving in at 6 kts.  By 4:38am Monday Tornado landed at CP3 and  Mosquito immediately moved out into Florida Bay.  It was high tide with the next low at 12 noon Monday.  Winds were light and easterly.

Tornado cat crewed by SwampMonkee and Chainsaw
Photos at Key Largo by Paula Martel
When Tornado moved away from CP3  one hour later (at 5:38am), Mosquito had only a 2.6 nm lead.  And the race heated up.   The two boats took different routes toward the finish line.  By 6:27am Tornado was 7nm  closer to the finish than Mosquito.  By noon,  Tornado's lead was 10nm.   Mosquito gradually gained on Tornado.  By the time Tornado crossed the finish line (4:55pm Monday)  Mosquito had only 5.5 nm to go.  Mosquito finished at 6:04pm.   

Exciting race to the finish on Monday.

Lovely photo by Ginger

Official Results for the first six finishers.  Mosquito and Tornado finished within 1hr 9min of each other.

SOS and Ginger celebrating the 2014 EC at Mrs. Mac's Kitchen
Photo by PopTarp 

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