From Beverley Simmons
The final leg from Kill Devil Hills to Virginia Beach is intentionally short to give the Race Committee the best opportunity to arrive first: to the traditional fanfare, pomp and TV Cameras that await the Worrell at the home of the event. Being just 55 nautical miles, its extraordinarily difficult for a come-from-behind victory or any substantial shake-up in the overall standings for the racers, barring any major catastrophes. This day, the wind Gods were kind: the start saw an 8 knot, off-shore, Southerly breeze which coaxed multiple teams into setting their spinnakers for the starboard-tack start. With almost no surf at all, the 13 teams were off the beach quickly. The off-shore breeze created some narrow wind passages along the near shore due to the varied heights of buildings and one of these caught team Recreational8 by surprise: the beach crowd that had gathered watched as they flipped less than a quarter mile from the start. They righted themselves, and set off to catch up to the pack which were well on their way.
The breeze seemed to soften (unexpectedly), midway up the course. The fleet again would face the challenge of changing gears while they waited for the forecasted winds of 12-15. By the time the lead boats were 20 miles out, the breezes finally built to that prediction and spins were up again and full – boats were moving along at a much better pace. It wouldn’t be long now. At least – not for 12 of the 13. Team Recreational8 suffered a mast failure under spinnaker near Kitty Hawk, and needed to call for assistance to be towed back to shore. Disappointed, they called into the race committee that they would have to trailer the rest of the way to VA Beach.
Seasoned sailors understand that in a long series, the ultimate victory does not always go to the swift – a well-prepared team and consistent performance lead to the best results, and the 2022 Worrell 1000 proved this yet again. Teams that completed every leg of the race, incurred no penalties, and at the same time exhibited navigational skill and boat preparation rose to the top of the standings. Even while basking in the relief and camaraderie of accomplishment, it was evident at the evening party that many teams are already making plans for their next attempt – and we can’t wait to again greet them on the start line with a shimmering ocean, a fresh breeze and the promise of another challenge.
Final, Overall Results as well as elapsed times for individual legs can be found here:https://worrell1000race.com/results/