Trans-Superior Cruising Class Aims For
Fun, Challenging Event
Adoption of Atlantic Rally And Southern California Options Allows Cruising
Boats To Play In The Longest Freshwater Race in The World
By Thom Burns
The Newport, California to Ensenada, Mexico
offshore race is the best attended offshore race in the world with routinely
over 500 boats participating. The Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) has
become so popular that a second rally was added. What is the common
denominator in both offshore events? The organizers have found a way for
cruisers to play in a challenging environment.
The Newport to Ensenada race is commonly plagued with light winds which
equates to a long floating contest rather than a fun sailing event. When
comparing your average cruising boat or even an older race boat to the
ultra-light displacement and high tech sails on modern race boats, the net
effect of this offshore race used to be a parade of sail. This was rather
unpleasant for the folks who were on the older, slower boats which tend to
park in light winds. Many cruising class boats would not finish in the
allotted time or would abandon the race altogether. The enlightened folks in
the Newport Ocean Sailing Association introduced an engine allowance about
twenty years ago when participation was waning in the Cruising Classes. They
then began to refine their rating system so that everything from double
headsails to dragging three bladed props is now covered.
The results have been impressive. The six cruising classes are the second
largest group in the race with 146 entrants one week before this year’s
race. Only the twelve PHRF classes total more with 197 entries.
The Trans-Superior Race Committee, chaired by Dale Hedtke, has adopted most
of the Newport Ocean Sailing Association formulas and rules for the Cruising
Class in this year’s Trans-Superior Race. The only significant difference is
based on the length of the race. The Newport to Ensenada race is 125
nautical miles, engines can only be used for a maximum of twelve hours.
Since the Trans-Superior is the longest freshwater race in the world at
approximately 343 nautical miles, the engine time allowed has been increased
to not more than 24 hours. This pretty much ensures that the adventure can
be completed in a reasonable time even with light winds.
A quick look at the engine penalty formula reveals that the penalty for
engine use is significant. Approximately two hours are added to the
corrected time for every hour of engine use. Additionally, Cruising Class
boats only compete within their class and are not scored against other
classes in any overall trophy categories. “The main reason I like this
formula and class is that we finish with the rest of the fleet for the most
part and enjoy the camaraderie of the people and event while sailing our old
boats fast,” noted Thom Burns who sailed Aerie, an Islander 36, in the past
two Tran-Superior races.
“The Cruising Class is for family and friends who really want to have a
great adventure on Lake Superior aboard whatever boat they have. We welcome
cruising class boats,” said Race Chairman Hedtke. Whatever sails you may
have, from spinnakers, gennakers, double headsails, they are all covered
with rating adjustments so that the class can be pretty diverse.
Cruisers can add the adventure of sailing the length of Lake Superior from
the vicinity of Gross Cap light at the base of White Fish Bay at the eastern
end of Lake Superior to the finish off the lift bridge in Duluth, Minnesota
on the western end of Lake Superior, while finishing with the fleet.
For more info: http://www.transsuperior.com or Dale Hedtke at 218-728-4802.
Captain Thom Burns publishes Northern Breezes and Sailing Breezes magazines.
Link to Northern Breezes Sailing School Racing Page.
All contents are copyright (c) 2007 by
Northern Breezes, Inc. All information contained within is deemed reliable
but carries no guarantees. Reproduction of any part or whole of this
publication in any form by mechanical or electronic means, including
information retrieval is prohibited except by consent of the publisher.