The 5th annual ‘Round The Hog was held this year on Saturday September 10th. Hog Island sits just outside Bristol Harbor in Bristol, RI. The race takes usually about 1 and 1/2 hours in light to moderate winds. It is a fun race at the end of the racing season, not taken (too) seriously by participants, and is followed up every year by the barbecue at Lou and Karen Marino’s house in Bristol.
Mr. Hog threw at us a seriously difficult and peculiar race. We started downwind going counter-clockwise around the island in light air tightly bunched. A close rounding kept the fleet close. But then…the wind died, and we sailed into the Mt. Hope Channel facing an outgoing tide of about 3 knots. It was not pretty. The lead changed at least 20 times depending on who was riding what puff. A wise strategy would have been to throw out the anchor, but that came up as a thought only after the race.
Several boats crossed the channel to find wind and to avoid the tide. It worked. For a while. Those leaders zipped back across the channel and headed up the near side of Hog well in the lead and quite pleased with themselves. But the wind gods were not done with them. As the leaders sailed into dead air, and stopped, others quickly came up riding good puffs and snuck by heading up to the finish. It was a wild ending 3 hours later. As the saying goes, “The first shall be last, and…etc”.
And we met at Lou’s for his famous barbecue and a delicious get together.
And so…That’s It, Folks!! Sure was a short summer here in Bristol. By now, many boats are pulled, all wrapped up for the long and chilly winter months. But covers come off around here in 6 months, and we will begin again.
Until then, fair winds to all.