Race Day 1

Today proved that no matter how much you practice, train and prepare, you can’t change the weather.  Upon arrival at the beach this morning, Bill attached his amas to the kayak.  For those wondering, these are inflatable “pontoons” that are on either side of the kayak to give stability.  Or, as I like to refer to them, kayak training wheels.  They would probably slow him down, but at least he would not get dumped in the waves.  Normally Bill is excited on the morning of the race.  Not so much today.  I think everyone on the beach took a collective breath as Chief, the race coordinator, walked up and down the beach announcing the race would start at 7:00, but it was their choice if they launched or waited.   In the past I would have to wait anxiously for a phone call to find out where Bill was and how he was doing.  Now, I know exactly where he is every ten minutes thanks to SPOT.  I finally got my phone call at 12:38am.  Bill had stopped on a little spoil island.  Considering what his day had been like, I think he sounded pretty good.  The calls are typically short and to the point…  “Hey, what a day.”  “Glad I had my amas.  It got a little spooky out there at times.”  “I’ve never not made it to checkpoint 1 the first day.  I don’t know if people will make the deadline of noon tomorrow.”   “If today was the last easy day, I think I’m screwed.”  I’m going to attempt to attach some pictures and a video of this morning’s start.  Good night!!