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Feelers out for Florida 300 #268690
01/22/14 07:46 PM
01/22/14 07:46 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 353
Key Largo
barbshort Offline OP
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I posted this on my FB feed and just now got around to posting this here as well. I was chatting with Dennis Greene after Tradewinds was over and I was picking up our charter boats.

He said to spread the word, so I'm doing my part. A few key folks are attempting to pull together the Florida 300 distance cat race this year. Start at The Islander in Islamorada and end at Cocoa Beach. Entry fee will probably be a buck a mile, or $300. Open unless you get 5 of your boats to enter.

Also, anybody who wants to run just the final leg will be allowed to start at the final start and race to Cocoa for a reduced rate.

Watch for more info. Larry Ferber, many of you know him, is a great guy and will be taking a "postcard" poll or some such on it. If enough folks throw their hat in the ring he will help with seed money to get it started this year. Warren Greene is working on contacting small motels.

The start would be the week following Mother's Day in May. Set up on Sunday with a BBQ at The Islander Sunday night, take off in the morning on Monday. The idea is to do the whole thing before the weekend. The first leg will be to Hollywood since no place else to stop. The rest of the legs will be shorter. Shooting for 45 mile leg on last day.

Stay tuned to the various online forums like catsailor.com for more info and a PO Box to send your cards to if you're in.

I've heard from Jake and Velocity on FB. This year is tough because folks have planned their calendars. The organizers understand that, thus the polling to see if it would fly this year, next year, or maybe not at all.

PS - I'm not an organizer, but I do have a loud mouth when it comes to the keyboard.

-- Have You Seen This? --
Re: Feelers out for Florida 300 [Re: barbshort] #268691
01/22/14 07:51 PM
01/22/14 07:51 PM
Joined: Dec 2013
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Marya Offline
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Glad you posted it, Barb. I just came here, too, to see if was posted yet.

Re: Feelers out for Florida 300 [Re: barbshort] #268696
01/23/14 07:23 AM
01/23/14 07:23 AM
Joined: Jul 2006
Posts: 304
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Hullflyer1 Offline
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Have you considered Delray Beach as a stopping point? Approx 1 mile of beach to land on. If interested I can check with Ocean Rescue

Re: Feelers out for Florida 300 [Re: barbshort] #268698
01/23/14 07:37 AM
01/23/14 07:37 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Jake Offline
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Jake  Offline
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South Carolina
This is a terrific idea and we can't wait to participate! This is a great way to hit the proverbial "reset" button on distance catamaran racing on the east coast. Drop many of the restrictions (boats/legs...not necessarily safety), shorten the distances, and see if it can gain some momentum. Make small tweaks from there year after year.

I had been worried that this type of racing might be gone for the long term. However, there's hope watching what the Everglades Challenge has been doing. That event was born out of kayaking but has since opened up to small boats. They have several checkpoints off the ocean that you have to "present your boat" at and check in along the way. You don't have to stay there for any specific period and you can just haul butt until you've either reached the finish line (in Key Largo) or decided you've had enough and need to sleep. A couple of those used to be behind small bridges that limited the size of the boats that could compete in the event (you would also have to drop a mast of any significant size to get under them). You cannot have any outside assistance (including bringing you food or supplies)...but you can stop and walk to a store or restaurant or hotel and keep going or camp along the way.

They continue to ease the restrictions and now none of the checkpoints require you to drop a mast to reach them and the boat limitations are pretty much down to what's practical to launch from the high water mark to the water and what can handle the shallow water you need to cross to reach some of the checkpoints. You also have an option to just go the first leg and be scored for that. The majority of the competitors are in it just for the adventure. Relatively few are in it for the race but both options are completely viable and supported by the event. They have grown to over 100 vessels ready to start this year. 110 or more I believe. This is astonishing and we should take a serious note of their success.

This isn't the only event they run - they run several in Florida, North Carolina, and Chesapeake. In Florida, they alternate years where the 300 mile race is it's own event and the 300 mile race is the start of the the Ultimate 1,000 mile race around Florida (including paddling the St. Mary's and Suwannee Rivers back to the gulf).

I'm taking part in the Everglades 300 this year with Alan Stewart on his self-built trimaran. A few other names you guys know have also raced this event in the past - Livingston, Pierce, Smyth, etc.

I hope these guys pull together the 300 mile race they're talking about - I think it's a great start to get something going again. We don't need to be restrictive with the boats...let everyone participate if they meet some basic skill requirements and follow safety protocols. Make the information about the event well known and easy to find (and early) and the race will grow. Don't change anything until it is either clear that the formula isn't working or the event grows too big. I bet we could get a sustainable event going with the direction these guys are looking. Let it grow from there.


Jake Kohl
Re: Feelers out for Florida 300 [Re: barbshort] #268701
01/23/14 09:07 AM
01/23/14 09:07 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 930
Solomon's Island, MD
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samc99us Offline
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I'm definitely interested, but have a few thoughts:

1) The first leg is going to be long, no way around it. I spent Monday driving through the north end of the keys, those mangrove forests aren't real friendly for landing on and access is pretty limited. Honestly, I wouldn't make that run without a spinnaker boat (that can also do 12kts + upwind). On the flip side, I'm a fan of the run what ya bring concept.

2) 80 mile days are fine IMO. With the opening leg being close to 100 miles, that would make the event 3-4 days. If you can schedule it over a weekend, that may make it a lot more feasible for teams who have real jobs. Big might, since the islander is a long haul for anyone outside Florida.

I do like Jakes checkpoint idea. That would enable run what you bring, and the faster boats can make less stops (saving time and money).

Might be worth mentioning that there is a ~100 mile distance race in the works in NJ for the June time frame, and a possibility of a 120 mile non-stop race on the Chesapeake memorial day weekend.


Scorpion F18
Re: Feelers out for Florida 300 [Re: samc99us] #268703
01/23/14 09:22 AM
01/23/14 09:22 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,304
Gulf Coast relocated from Cali...
TeamChums Offline
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Opening the last day to a one day race for another fleet has worked out great for the GT300. It's called "The Dash". It's only about 50 miles and the turn out has been fantastic since it's inception. It's open to 16' and up, spin and non spin. It gives others that don't want the full commitment of the long distance race a taste of it. I believe all the same safety equipment is required but the E-Pirbs. The GT300 starting on a Wednesday (Weigh ins and safety check on Tuesday) and ending on Saturday has worked out great since it gives people the travel day home on Sunday. If you guys get it put together, we may make the run out there and join you. Still sad that the Tybee isn't running.


Lee

Keyboard sailors are always faster in all conditions.
Re: Feelers out for Florida 300 [Re: TeamChums] #268704
01/23/14 09:23 AM
01/23/14 09:23 AM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,304
Gulf Coast relocated from Cali...
TeamChums Offline
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If they did an "Ironman" race, non stop for 300 miles, we'd be there for sure, without a doubt.


Lee

Keyboard sailors are always faster in all conditions.
Re: Feelers out for Florida 300 [Re: TeamChums] #268706
01/23/14 09:56 AM
01/23/14 09:56 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,222
Roanoke Island ,N.C.
Team_Cat_Fever Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Team_Cat_Fever  Offline
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Roanoke Island ,N.C.
Originally Posted by TeamChums
If they did an "Ironman" race, non stop for 300 miles, we'd be there for sure, without a doubt.


Lee,You need to consider the Ches. Bay Race Sam was talking about. 150 miles Down the bay w/ a pile of big boats to use as course markers or slalom cones.


"I said, now, I said ,pay attention boy!"

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea
Isak Dinesen
If a man is to be obsessed by something.... I suppose a boat is as good as anything... perhaps a bit better than most.
E. B. White
Re: Feelers out for Florida 300 [Re: barbshort] #268707
01/23/14 10:02 AM
01/23/14 10:02 AM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,222
Roanoke Island ,N.C.
Team_Cat_Fever Offline
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I think it's a great idea ,but the majority of the past distance racers have gravitated to F-18 and fill their schedules w/ marks racing. It's been the trend in the past that distance races are lower on the priority list and previous posters were culprits of that.
For me it will solely depend on work and if it's a slack period ,I'd be in, but that leaves me as a last minute,comittmentless contender for this year.


"I said, now, I said ,pay attention boy!"

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea
Isak Dinesen
If a man is to be obsessed by something.... I suppose a boat is as good as anything... perhaps a bit better than most.
E. B. White
Re: Feelers out for Florida 300 [Re: samc99us] #268708
01/23/14 10:07 AM
01/23/14 10:07 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Jake Offline
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Jake  Offline
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Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
To be clear: I wasn't saying they need to open up the checkpoints to make them stop-n-goes. I was only pointing out what is working for the Watertribe events. Their checkpoints are in very remote locations and there's no chance the various checkpoint facilities could support 20 vessels, let alone 100, and the associated people. It's a different type of event in that regard. You take food and shelter with you so you can take care of yourself in the remoteness. That's not possible or practical for a sizable fleet of catamaran sailors on the east coast of Florida. The fleets in the Watertribe were built out of personalities who kayak and tent camp for recreation so it is natural for their events to be structured that way.

Racing up the east coast of Florida in (mostly) well populated stretches of beach lends itself to structured checkpoints...it might be tough to do it any other way for teams. Imagine not knowing if the conditions will support a 120 mile day? You probably won't be able to find a hotel when you do eventually stop...and you certainly aren't going to be able to pop a tent on the beach or sleep on your trampoline with a reasonable expectation of not getting disturbed or in trouble.

I think structured starts every morning is a good way to go for this event. It makes it easier for the non-experienced to get involved. Keep it simple until the next evolution is obvious. Maybe an all out get to the finish as fast as you can may be an option that draws out a sizable facet of our sailing fleets (I kinda doubt it) but we won't know until we get something started. Above all, make the event about having fun and the seriousness will grow within.


Jake Kohl
Re: Feelers out for Florida 300 [Re: Team_Cat_Fever] #268709
01/23/14 10:11 AM
01/23/14 10:11 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Jake Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Jake  Offline
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South Carolina
Originally Posted by Team_Cat_Fever
...It's been the trend in the past that distance races are lower on the priority list and previous posters were culprits of that....


I wouldn't believe you included Lee in that statement and that's certainly not been my approach.


Jake Kohl
Re: Feelers out for Florida 300 [Re: samc99us] #268711
01/23/14 10:21 AM
01/23/14 10:21 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
Jake Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Jake  Offline
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Posts: 12,310
South Carolina
One last point, and then I'll quit for the moment. with regards to the length of the first leg and the boat's "worthiness"; Let the sailors decide if the first leg is too far. If my thing was non-spinnaker boats, that distance wouldn't scare me. If the conditions were really light, finishing at 4am and having to start at 10am might rub some folks the wrong way. Consider this, however: people are doing nearly that same distance on freaking paddle boards in the EC. yeah.. Stand Up Paddle boards.

If it is taking too long that turning around a start the next day after that 1st long leg might cost you entries, maybe they consider a lay day after the first start - or an exceptionally short leg on day 2 with a later start time (15 miles?). Let's brain fart here! For the guys that go fast and wouldn't be happy with a 15 mile day, maybe have a buoy race at the check point of day 2 for bonus points...or send them around Fowey Rock before they can go back north to the next check point. Nothing says everyone in the whole fleet has to sail the same exact course or start at the same time.

Heck, maybe the spin boats have to round a mark off the pier at the 15 mile day 2 check point, return to Hollywood, and sail back while the non spin boats do one leg. It lets everybody get to wave at each other. Throw out the rules, consider everything, try stuff, change it, fix it, improve it.


Jake Kohl
Re: Feelers out for Florida 300 [Re: barbshort] #268712
01/23/14 10:41 AM
01/23/14 10:41 AM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 353
Key Largo
barbshort Offline OP
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barbshort  Offline OP
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I'll definitely be passing all this great feedback along to the organizers. Unfortunately those folks don't follow this forum for some reason.....

Again, I don't know any of the details, but from my casual conversation I believe the notion of avoiding weekend dates was to keep motel costs as low as possible. I'm sure the organizers will consider how weekday vs. weekend will affect attendance.

Re: Feelers out for Florida 300 [Re: barbshort] #268713
01/23/14 10:47 AM
01/23/14 10:47 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 774
Greenville SC
bacho Offline
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I'm interested. I know Jordonna will not be able to take that week off.

I like the idea of it being open, I also like the idea of the extra/bonus races to add some flexibility.

Re: Feelers out for Florida 300 [Re: Jake] #268715
01/23/14 12:39 PM
01/23/14 12:39 PM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,222
Roanoke Island ,N.C.
Team_Cat_Fever Offline
Carpal Tunnel
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Roanoke Island ,N.C.
Originally Posted by Jake
Originally Posted by Team_Cat_Fever
...It's been the trend in the past that distance races are lower on the priority list and previous posters were culprits of that....


I wouldn't believe you included Lee in that statement and that's certainly not been my approach.


Lee wasn't included.
You and Sam ( and a bunch of others) had both told me in the past Nats, etc. were your priority ( time off from work). Posts are in the archives to back that up.


"I said, now, I said ,pay attention boy!"

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea
Isak Dinesen
If a man is to be obsessed by something.... I suppose a boat is as good as anything... perhaps a bit better than most.
E. B. White
Re: Feelers out for Florida 300 [Re: Jake] #268716
01/23/14 12:43 PM
01/23/14 12:43 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 930
Solomon's Island, MD
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samc99us Offline
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Solomon's Island, MD
Originally Posted by Jake
Originally Posted by Team_Cat_Fever
...It's been the trend in the past that distance races are lower on the priority list and previous posters were culprits of that....


I wouldn't believe you included Lee in that statement and that's certainly not been my approach.


That's two out of the fleet of ~60 present at Nationals. There are a handful of others that enjoy distance racing, and I'm lucky Jessica likes it, plus has more vacation than me. The reality is we sail at events with the biggest turnout, and highest time on water per dollar spent. That means events like Nat's, Catacup and Worlds often take precedence, though this year might be a little different for us.

I'm eager to see what the format will be and agree with most of Jakes suggestions, keep it interesting and different.

Barb, good point on the hotel costs, in reality vacation time may be a wash with a weekend vs. a week. It's still a solid days worth of driving to get down there from MD, further if you are north. Unfortunately, that likely rules out most of the new england teams unless we leave the trailer in Florida until after the event (unlikely).

Last edited by samc99us; 01/23/14 12:46 PM.

Scorpion F18
Re: Feelers out for Florida 300 [Re: Team_Cat_Fever] #268718
01/23/14 01:09 PM
01/23/14 01:09 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,304
Gulf Coast relocated from Cali...
TeamChums Offline
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Quote
Lee,You need to consider the Ches. Bay Race Sam was talking about. 150 miles Down the bay w/ a pile of big boats to use as course markers or slalom cones.


I remember you mentioning it on the phone the other night. I am interested as long as I can get David to drag the boat out there and I can fly in (which has worked out great when we did the same out to Cali last year for the Land Rover Island Series). BTW, David has started school for his Captain's License now and I'm thinking how great it will be to hand the tiller over to a Professional Captain now. If I can get a harness shaped like a Lazy Boy recliner, I'll have it made.


Lee

Keyboard sailors are always faster in all conditions.
Re: Feelers out for Florida 300 [Re: barbshort] #268721
01/23/14 01:23 PM
01/23/14 01:23 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 2,844
42.904444 N; 88.008586 W
Todd_Sails Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Todd_Sails  Offline
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Posts: 2,844
42.904444 N; 88.008586 W
This is getting interesting.

The GT300 is a nice race, but I might opt for the long trek to the race course to be in the Atlantic again myself.

And Barb, you could use the GT 300 as a 'how it's done' along with spin rigged boats only for the long event, and the safety equipment, etc.


F-18 Infusion
#626- SOLD it!

'Long Live the Legend of Chris Kyle'
Re: Feelers out for Florida 300 [Re: TeamChums] #268723
01/23/14 01:48 PM
01/23/14 01:48 PM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,222
Roanoke Island ,N.C.
Team_Cat_Fever Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Team_Cat_Fever  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,222
Roanoke Island ,N.C.
Originally Posted by TeamChums
Quote
Lee,You need to consider the Ches. Bay Race Sam was talking about. 150 miles Down the bay w/ a pile of big boats to use as course markers or slalom cones.


I remember you mentioning it on the phone the other night. I am interested as long as I can get David to drag the boat out there and I can fly in (which has worked out great when we did the same out to Cali last year for the Land Rover Island Series). BTW, David has started school for his Captain's License now and I'm thinking how great it will be to hand the tiller over to a Professional Captain now. If I can get a harness shaped like a Lazy Boy recliner, I'll have it made.


That's awesome for David.
Make sure you get the back massaging Lazy-boy harness.


"I said, now, I said ,pay attention boy!"

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea
Isak Dinesen
If a man is to be obsessed by something.... I suppose a boat is as good as anything... perhaps a bit better than most.
E. B. White
Re: Feelers out for Florida 300 [Re: samc99us] #268724
01/23/14 01:59 PM
01/23/14 01:59 PM
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,222
Roanoke Island ,N.C.
Team_Cat_Fever Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Team_Cat_Fever  Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 3,222
Roanoke Island ,N.C.
Originally Posted by samc99us
Originally Posted by Jake
Originally Posted by Team_Cat_Fever
...It's been the trend in the past that distance races are lower on the priority list and previous posters were culprits of that....


I wouldn't believe you included Lee in that statement and that's certainly not been my approach.


The reality is we sail at events with the biggest turnout, and highest time on water per dollar spent. That means events like Nat's, Catacup and Worlds often take precedence, though this year might be a little different for us.



Sam, Thanks for paraphrasing my post for me.Facts is facts, that's all.I just don't want to see Dennis and Larry thinking they're going to get a ton of participants and be left holding the bag for race costs. Souring them for any future of the race happening again.It's already happened to 2 of my friends (OBX 500) and I don't want to see it happen again.This is factually what has happened since the Tybee went into hiatus and WAS the reason for that decline.


"I said, now, I said ,pay attention boy!"

The cure for anything is salt water - sweat, tears, or the sea
Isak Dinesen
If a man is to be obsessed by something.... I suppose a boat is as good as anything... perhaps a bit better than most.
E. B. White
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