2011 HOOK Race Wrap Up!


HOOK 2011 is now in the history books and boy did it make history.  This year we had one more boat registered than last year with 54 boats on the starting line, July 16.  Iwould like to thank you all for participating in this year’s race.  We had an early finish, exciting weather, great sponsors in Death's Door Spirits, Black Beard Spiced Rum and Johnson Insurance.  And it all got started on Friday, July 15th.


Friday for the racers is check-in/registration day.  For the race committee it is a big day and Sue Beres was the person in charge.  Sue, with the help of office manager Kim Shortess, got all the necessary paper work together and made sense out of it all.  Then Friday morning Sue, along with Mary Vandehei, put together the skippers bags.  This year (and only this year) the skippers got a Stormy Kromer hat (retail value of $45) and some rum samples thanks to Death’s Door Spirits and Black Beard Spiced Rum.  One of Sue’s great ideas this year was to give each boat a kringle from Larsen's Bakery and to have some available on Saturday a.m. prior to the start.  At 1700 Jeff Wakefield of Maritime Reefpointe got the seafood buffet going, along with Jim and Kevin on the patio playing guitars.  While the party was going on, Black Beard’s wenches were giving out samples of Death’s Door and Black Beard specialty drinks.  At 1900 the skipper’s meeting got underway with a thanks going out to Ken Luedtke for filling in for our weather guesser who had to cancel at the last minute.


Saturday a.m. got started with no wind, but the RYC breakfast buffet was going strong,  as were the kringles on the patio.  Gene Hermansen got his starting crew together and headed out at 0900.  By the time of the first start we had a light wind from the south. And that made everyone happy.  First to start was the double handed division with 12 boats.  Because of the wind, we had a spinnaker start and boy was it pretty watching everyone coming to the line with nothing but white sails, and then as the gun went off the colors were launched.  It was great to be able to watch this up close.  Did anyone notice the poker run?  Boy, we could not have timed that better if we had planned it.


Sunday morning we started to get the club ready for the boats to finish.  We expected the first boat around midnight, like last year.  However, around 1300 I got a text from Charlie Manning and he was 30 miles south of Death’s Door.  Not what we expected.  However, with the help of Sue Mars of MMYC we were able to get everything ready.  I do want to give Dianne Luedtke a great big thank you; she was the mastermind of the finishing committee.  She was able to get and schedule all the shifts, both inside the club and on the finishing line.  Speaking of the finish line; another thanks to Bill and Tom Haakenson for setting up the trailer for the committee.  While at dinner with our judges we saw two boats sailing in, with sails trimmed and crew hanging over the side (they weren’t cruisers).  It was Syrena and Rogue crossing the line around 1900 Sunday night.


As it turned out it was a good night to finish early.  Those that finished by 2100 that night were able to ride the storm out in the safety of Menominee’s Marina.  Those on the water had a front row seat to some very extreme weather.  This weather system capsized two boats that night, one racing the HOOK and one racing in the Chicago Mackinac race.  Thankfully the crew of Goombay Smash all survived.  A special thanks goes out to crew of White Cap and skipper Bill Walsh for assisting Goombay Smash.  Thank you, Bill.


Monday came with the news of the events of the night prior.  With the good news that everyone was all right we started getting ready for the festivities scheduled for later in the day.  Mary Vandehei worked very hard to ensure that the rum party was ready to go at 1500 and she was successful.  Also Bernadette Mercer had her hands full with selling last minute dinner tickets, rum party wrist bands and t-shirts.  Speaking of dinner, we brought back the pig roast (brought to you by Schussler's) this year and the food was just awesome.  After dinner we had awards.  Overall winner was Dave Pollock on Sojourner. And line honors went to Nick Hayes on Syrena.  For all the results go to http://www.racineyachtclub.org/RaceResults/2011HookRace.html.


I would like to say that this year’s HOOK was a great race and one that will definitely go down in the History books.  This race is great for two reasons; first great competitors.  You all are great to work and fun to party with.  Second, the HOOK team with which I have the pleasure to be associated with.  These folks are the backbone of the race and please pass on your thanks to them. Thank you all.


Next year’s HOOK: 7/21/2012.  Look for early registration between Thanksgiving and Strictly Sail.