CABB Chicken Key Distance Race
April 9, 2011
Miami, Florida
By John McKnight,

The beach was covered with our boats, bikini clad bathing beauties, big bellied beer drinkers, belching beach bums, bothersome bikers, bouncing babies, basking bathers, and brazen bar-b-quers. There were even some boisterous Baptist beach baptizers immersing a bevy of beleaguered believers into Biscayne Bay. It was just another one of those bizarrely entertaining days at the Rickenbacker Causeway; the scene was set for another CABB race.

Our CABB Chicken Key Distance Race was held the week before the infamous Miami - Key Largo Race (MKL). This was a good warm up for the big race the following Saturday. Several people discovered glitches in their rigging which needed attention prior the big MKL Race. We had a beautiful balmy day for a race with sunny skies and a building 5 to 8 knot breeze. We decided to shorten the planned course because of the moderate winds. We used Matheson Hammock and Marker 21 as the turning points instead of Chicken Key. This probably knocked at least an hour, maybe more, off the elapsed times. It was still a nice 16 nautical mile sail with the quickest boats making the circuit in 2:44, while the slower boats took 3:30 to complete the course.

There were seven boats in the race. Jay Sonnenklar and Terry Greene were sailing Jay's Inter 20. Jay had not had the boat out since the Tybee 500 last year. They said they were in need of a shake down sail. Nelson Eads was sailing with Anne Gittins on his venerable 30 year old Hobie 18. He calls his boat "The Great White Hope." It has white hulls, and I am guessing he is hoping it holds together. Mike Phillips was sailing with Taylor Palmer on Mike's outrageous orange Marstrom 20. They had problems because one of the rudder bushings inadvertently got left in the sail box and one rudder was wobbling all day. Jofre Rosero was sailing solo on his bright red Prindle 19. Jofre loves to trapeze, fly the hull, and go fast. Chris Stater was sailing with Josh Rosenbaum on the Blade, F-16. Chris was also doing a shake down in preparation for the MKL Race. Marcio Sezerino was sailing with Carlos Hernandez. They are partners in a Nacra 6.0 which they recently acquired and refurbished. The boat is looking really sharp. This was just their second time out with the boat. They are keeping their boat, mast up, at the US Sailing Center in Coconut Grove. Oscar Garcia Coni was sailing his Hobie 20 with John Esquivel. It is great to have John Esquivel back in Miami after an extended work stay in Louisiana. He is glad to be back in Miami and back sailing on Biscayne Bay.

The race circuit started with a timed start just off the CABB beach on the Rickenbacker Causeway. The first leg was a close reach going south to a marker just offshore of Matheson Hammock Park. The second leg was a multi tack beat going easterly across the bay to marker 21 near Stiltsville. The third and final leg was a broad reach back north to the CABB beach. There was close competition between the Phillips M-20 and the Sonnenklar Inter 20. The boats have similar Portsmouth ratings. There was also close competition between the Stater F-16 and the Rosero Prindle 19. Jofre said that this was the best day of sailing he has ever had. Wow, that is saying a lot! The other three boats we also very close all day. Marcio and Carlos flipped their Nacra 6.0 on the third leg and had trouble righting the boat. Oscar and John came to the rescue. John jumped into the crisp cool bay water and helped Marcio and Carlos right their Nacra 6.0. We will have to teach them that power righting technique.

Back at the beach it was a photo finish between the Inter 20 and the Marstrom 20. Jay squeaked out a two-second, boat for boat, win over Mike's M-20. The Inter 20 also won by a 10 minute margin on corrected time. But, as I said before, the M-20 was having rudder issues all day, and Mike said that hurt their performance. Nelson and Anne corrected into third place with their Hobie 18. They were only 6 minutes behind the M-20 on corrected time. Jofre Rosero came in 5th place, finishing only 2 minutes behind the Stater F-16 which took 4th place. Oscar came in 6th place followed by the Nacra 6.0 which had spent considerable time on its side. Oscar and John get kudos for their rescue. Everyone enjoyed yet another great day of sailing on Biscayne Bay.

Our new launch beach is still working out well. We are able to park right on the beach with our cars and trailers and leave them there all day. While parking is at a premium elsewhere along the beach, we have our own dedicated sailboat beach with ample space for launching. Everyone is enjoying the reserved parking. It has been a long two year wait, but it is now a thing of beauty. If you haven't tried it yet, come on down. We need to use it regularly to establish our presence at the beach.

I posted pictures taken at the race on our CABB facebook page. If you are "on" facebook you can do a search for Catamaran Association of Biscayne Bay and then "Like" the site so you will know when new posts are made. If you are not "on" facebook, you can still look at the pictures by putting this link in your browser.

John McKnight
Commodore, Catamaran Association of Biscayne Bay (CABB)
(305) 251-7600
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