Worrell 1000 2022: Atlantic Beach to Hatteras

Photo by Don Bowers

From Beverley Simmons

With just three legs to go before the finish in VA Beach – All 13 boats that started in Hollywood were lined up now in Atlantic Beach – Ready for a sleigh ride to Hatteras in breezes of 16-18 knots with gusts in the low 20’s, all coming from the South/Southeast. Each team were permitted 2 pushers instead of the rule-dictated 1 and most got through and on their way with relative ease. Directly in front of the live feed camera for Facebook, Team Rocket 88 Racing became sideways to the surf and took a hefty knock, sending Jeremy Boyette off the side. Brandon Busch (the team’s skipper) tried to slow the boat as much as he dared, but Jeremy wasn’t able to catch up. Seeing this, Brandon turned up into the surf, pulled a ballsy jibe in the middle of a roll and was able to get back to the beach and pick up his crew. Now, about 10 minutes behind the rest of the fleet, several folks from team’s ground crews pushed them back out, and by the end of the day – Rockett 88 would sail their way into a sixth place finish. 

The Race Committee, knowing that this leg had its share of logistical issues for the ground crews, put three contingency plans into place. The evening before, a skeleton-crew of Race Committee was sent ahead to Hatteras to ensure that a finish line would be in place. Secondly, a few, additional Race Committee members were to take the 7:30am Ferry, missing the start, but augmenting the skeleton crew at the other end. Lastly, the start was moved to 8am to permit ground crews ample time to reach the 10:30am ferries. With the teams now off, those of us left had a race of our own by land to reach the Cedar Island to Ocracoke terminal and get in line. Regrettably, we received word that the 7:30 ferry had been cancelled. And now, 40 minutes into waiting at the terminal – even more bad news came: Due to one ferry undergoing a Coast Guard Inspection and the other, experiencing “mechanical issues” – we were informed that the ferries MAY go out around 4:30 that afternoon. 

No. Bueno. 

With that, our large caravan exited the terminal line and started the very long, almost 5-hour jaunt to Hatteras – We would NOT make it before the fleet. And as it were – we arrived just before the last boat finished. 
Thankfully, we were in contact with our folks who had made it the night before, and one of our event Sponsors – Cape Hatteras Motel – was on the beach ready to enjoy the finishes. Jan Dawson, one of the owners of the Motel, took it upon herself to be our Facebook Live MC for the afternoon. She dusted off her previous announcing shoes from a not-so-past life and caught one of the most EPIC, Nascar-style finishes EVER. Team The Clean Sailors, on their Cirrus 901 came screaming onto the beach in first place, with enough velocity to sail them up on the beach and end in a 180 spin amongst the onlookers who were just able to get out of the way. We understand the footage is now being used as a gif.

The next 10 boats were to arrive in a less Gucci fashion, but some within seconds of each other. The last two – Way of Life and Restream – had a story of their own. Mike Beuerlein & Phillipe Bettler of Restream had to receive assistance from the Coast Guard after Mike went off the back of the boat and got swept away. Seeing what was happening, the Way of Life team of Stefan Rumpf and Andre Hauschke stopped to render assistance and stay for almost an hour – sailing around with Phillipe trying to find Mike. The Coast Guard arrived and were able to retrieve him and delivered him to his ground crew who were waiting onshore as Phillipe sailed it in safely. They trailered the remainder of the leg, received a DNF penalty, but informed the Race Committee they would be on the start the following morning. For their Corinthian spirit – Team Way of Life were granted a 1-hour redress. 

All teams safely back at the Hotel, the Organizing Authority treated everyone with pizza from Gidget’s and beverages provided by Mendy Worrell. In tail-gate style, everyone enjoyed an easy evening of nosh & debrief, trading stories of tactics and big waves. Jan and Dave Dawson provided a raffle of Cape Hatteras Motel merch that went to 3 lucky winners: Dave Credas of Team Sonnenklar, Phillipe Bettler of Restream and James Eaton of team Outer Banks. With the 24 pizza boxes emptied and the beer coolers drained, it was off to a much-appreciated early snooze for all – The 10am start the next morning would see folks in decent shape. Just two more legs to go….. 

Overall Results as well as elapsed times for individual legs can be found here:https://worrell1000race.com/results/