Well, it is over, Acura Key West Race Week Presented By Nautica 2009. Dave Eames and his crew aboard Lightning Rod finished off the series in 2nd overall. But we will get to that in a bit below.
Dave did a great job putting everything together. The house was great, Bill Grady's cooking was good and entertaining. The weather, though quite cold, with a bit of a rain squall line one day, was cooperative. The competition was as good as it could get. So now for the awards:
Day 1: Div 3, PHRF 4, Nautica Watches Day , First Lightning Rod
Day 2: Div 3, PHRF 4, Sperry Top-Sider Day, First, Lightning Rod
Day 3: Div 3, PHRF 4, Mount Gay Rum Day, Second, Lightning Rod
Day 4: Div 3, PHRF 4, Lewmar Day, First, Lightning Rod
Day 5: Div 3, PHRF 4, Acura Day, Third, Lightning Rod
WEEKLY TROPHY (OVERALL POSITION)
Division 3, PHRF 4, Second, Lightning Rod
CREW RECOGNITION AWARDS
"Baby Needs New Shoes Award": Deborah Deats, for her tumble on Day 1 down the companion way hatch. The event proved to be a lesson in communication as the US Coast Guard, Local EMT services, and a nearby hospital all needed to care for the girl.
"1 Scotch, 1 Bourbon, 1 Beer Award": Cute Daniel. His interest in dance (see above), mocha hotties, and boxing proved to be informative and entertaining. Who else could get a female Key West Police Officer to say "Stop it, settle down, get in the car, or your going to jail" and "Have fun!" all in the same situation.
"Milli Vanilli Award" : Jerry Deray. The same song, mincing words, strumming a six string, not quite priceless.
"Team Award" : Scott Mitchell and Glenn Purcell. Just a month before they were asking "Why are we practicing poleless sets?" 25 Weather mark roundings...13 port tack approaches.
"I Cannot Grow A Third Hand Out of My Ass, Craig, I Can't Even Try Award": Hunter Riddle. Trimming jib, tacking jib, setting main, flying sheet, pumping main, playing guy. Oh yeah, tactician.
"Every Body Loves Grady Award" : William "Shady" Grady. Tactful, delightful, an acquired taste. Grady was our roadside representitive, providing commentary on everything, mostly stuff he had no knowledge of, but commentary nonetheless.
"Falling On Deaf Ears Award" : William "Billy Ray" Rackley. "Bill".."Huh?" "Bill!"..."Huh?" "BILL!!!"..."Ready to tack?" Seriously, Billy Ray was a grinder's grinder.
"The Sails Are Up, Shut Up And Drive Award" : Gina Coulter. Damn girl, we nee a bigger boat if you gonna pull the sail up that fast! Gina also rode with Deborah in the ambulance and stayed in the emergency room with her.
"Current Events Award": Craig Wilusz: In the final race, Craig, on port approach slammed into a tack at the top mark inside a starboard tacker. The guy on starboard owed Lightning Rod one and was letting the team in, however, the current coming down didn't agree. A quick spin avoiding the mark, the crew picking up the movement, cleared us and we rounded right behind, passing the starboard tacker at the hoist. Practice your poleless sets, ya'll
"ROCKSTAR OF THE WEEK AWARD" : Stu Juengst. This guy had it on. On the final day of racing, Friday. Stu was picked up by the team aboard Santa Cruz 1. A brand new out of the box Santa Cruz 37 in Division 1, IRC 2. This was the SC37's debut to the world of yacht racing, even getting the tuning guide written as the boat sailed around the course, attracting the attention of the press and other types of media. Stu replaced Tim Kernan, of Kernan Yacht Design (he designed the Santa Cruz 37) as sewer and rail meat. Stu is the only member of Fort Walton Yacht Club and the Piney Wood Redneck Yacht Club to have ever sailed in IRC.
"All I Want To Do Is Trophy Out At Key West Award" : Dave Eames. He did it. getting a daily trophy every single day at Acura Key West Race Week Presented By Nautica. The enitre crew is proud of his accomplishment. Take a breather and relax now, Dave. All you gotta do now is win the next big event.
To all of you who cheered us on, thank you for your support, it meant a lot to us. Your texts, emails, phone calls, and messages all made the week more special. It gave us something to talk about other than the racing. To those that jeered, well, thanks for that too. We never entered the event trying to prove something, it just happened to end up that way.
From the team and crew for the sailing vessel Lightning Rod,
"Slap some lipstick on that boy and take him downtown!"