By Peter Engel, Director
By the time race day arrived on Friday June 27th, Milwaukee had experienced thick fog for nine days straight. The Queen's Cup Party on Thursday was completely fogged in and the Summerfest fireworks were cancelled. Friday morning the race committee began to seriously discuss what to do in the event the conditions did not improve. In the 75 years of Queen's Cup history there are very few instances of the race being delayed or cancelled. At 2:00 PM when the first boats in the Cruising Fleet tentatively slipped thier lines and began to head out to the starting area the fog still persisted. Suddenly at 2:15 the starting line appeared out of the fog. While downtown was still not visible, fog completely cleared from the south side of Milwaukee Bay.
The racers breathed a collective sigh of relief only to realize that there was very little wind to be found once the boats started. For several hours boats were pointed in every direction searching for a puff of wind. When the wind filled in from the south it soon began to blow 10-15 knots which continued throughout the night. In spite of fears that this would be one of the coldest races in recent history, racers reported relatively warm weather and great sailing conditions. What started out as a drifter soon became a sprint across the lake. Gusty conditions and an encounter with a freighter punctuated what was to be a quick race for all boats.
The first boat to finish was Il Mostro, a Volvo 70 ocean racer, at 12:50 AM. The rest of the fleet finished in rapid succession with the last boat finishing at 8:17 AM. The race commitee stationed on the finish boat, a 50 foot steel sailboat named Kraken, not only enjoyed the accomodations but were able to get off the lake early.
Muskegon Yacht Club were excellent hosts and provided breakfast and lunch buffets, Mt Gay Rum tastings, and a great band to keep the party going. Since the party started early in the morning for all boats there were many happy sailors by the time the awards ceremony was held at 2:30. In addition to the section awards, the following overall trophies were awarded.
Fons America Trophy
Awarded to the SSYC PHRF full crew mono-hull with the best overall corrected Time
Sensation, Eric Jones and Crew, from SSYC
Awarded to the first non-cruising boat to finish
Il Mostro, Peter Thornton, from Chicago Yacht Club
Silver Jubilee Trophy
Awarded to the boat with the best corrected time in the largest non-PHRF fleet of 10 or more boats
Cool Change 4, Robert & Paul Cooley from MAST
The Queen's Cup
Awarded to the PHRF fully crewed mono-hull with the best overall corrected time.
Viper, F William Laslow, from Anchorage Yacht Club
Full results can be found at http://www.ssyc.org/index.php/queens-cup/2014-results
The local Muskegon press was on hand to interview the racers including this news item on WZZM News 13. http://www.wzzm13.com/video/3649425284001/1/Queens-Cup
Preparations are already underway for the 2015 Queen's Cup Race which is going to South Haven, MI. Members of the SHYC will be meeting with our Special Event Committee later this month to get a head start on making next year's Queen's Cup Race a truly special event.