Houston Yacht Club's Reach Down the Beach
Houston Yacht Club's second annual Reach Down the Beach from Galveston to Freeport (40 nm) was held on April 25. Two J/105s signed up but only one showed up and finished. Bee Bednar's Stinger took line honors about 30 minutes ahead of a J/120. That elapsed time also resulted in first overall. Average wind backed and veered around 105 degrees providing a 120 TWA resulting in an average overall speed of approximated 8.2 knots. Surprisingly the most interesting part of this race was yet to come. As Stinger neared the Freeport City Marina, she was stopped by two Coast Guard ribs with mounted and manned 50 caliber machine guns. The Coasties had established a 1000 foot security zone around a compressed national gas tanker that was poised to exit the channel. Their ribs were making sure that no one came withing 1000 feet of that boat. As Stinger circled, the larger of the two ribs came up and asked what Stinger's intentions were. Stinger responded by saying that she was heading to the Freeport Marina. That produced an escort, in the narrow channel, by the smaller rib allowing Stinger to safely pass the tanker. Interestingly, the Coastie manning the 50 cal was a 20+ year old young lady. Seeing that she had both hands on the 50 cal, Stinger figured the best option was to keep very clear.