Hiram's Haul hosted by Performance Sail and Sport completed its 11th run covering 60 miles along the Space Coast’s scenic Indian River Lagoon. The race parallels several barrier island cities and could be seen at several vantage points along the way. Although the race was first run in 1997, sick Hiram’s Haul had a new venue at the halfway point just one mile South of Captain Hiram's Restaurant in Sebastian, FL. which proved to be a big upgrade with much potential for future races. Hiram's Haul is the least difficult of the six Endurance Series races because of the protected, flat waters of the Indian River Lagoon. The race consists of two 30 miles legs with a party in the middle and a barbecue at the end.
The race started near Pineda Landing adjacent to Performance Sail and Sport and boasted three father and son teams, two of which finished the weekend top three in points. The start was a Le Mans style start in light wind from the back with clouds looming. The weather forecast was less than ideal with thunderstorms forecasted for most of the day. Immediately after the start of the race, the front moved through with varying degrees of rain. The front spinnaker equipped boats were able to ride the front all the way to the halfway point. The slower and non spinnaker boats lost the good wind produced by the front early in the day.
Team Davis Island Yacht Club (DIYC) was first to finish with a time of 2:16:17, less than 9 minutes in front of AdventureOnline.com followed by Dingo Racing less than 9 mutes behind them. Most of the top teams capsized but only Carbon Cruising suffered damages. Carbon Cruising was battling up front but had vicious pitch pole with crew flying clear to the leeward side of the boat and broke the mast. Dingo Racing was granted 0:12:30 for assisting Carbon Cruising and Adventure Online which put them second on corrected time.
Towards the end of the day the skies cleared and the wind died down a bit. Most finishing teams stayed at the park, prepared their boat for the next leg and watched the other sailors come in. After the last boats came in, the sailors went to the hotel and gathered at Captain Hiram's for dinner, dancing and drinks.
The second leg ran north, back to Performance Sail and Sport along US Highway 1. The wind was more consistent and out of the North making the finishing leg an upwind beat. It was a tight three way F18 battle with Dingo Racing, AdventureOnline.com, and Performance Sail finishing in that order. The I-20 teams DIYC and BMW On A Cat struggled to keep up and DIYC became the only casualty of the day with a broken rudder gudgeon. The hardest battle of the day was between Quietly Making Noise and Dinosaur Riders who fought hard to avoid last place honors and Quietly Making Noise edged out a 35 second gap over Dinosaur Riders after exchanging places many times during the thirty miles.
After two days of varying weather conditions AdventureOnline.com finished the 60 mile course less than ten minutes in front of Dingo Racing on corrected time. Rounding out the top three was Performance Sail 13 minutes behind Dingo Racing. There were only two boats that did not finish. The Endurance Series attracts a wide array of talented and experienced sailor-athletes from serious recreational sailors, continental championship contenders, to potential Olympic hopefuls all wrapped around beautiful scenery, a healthy sport, and a fun social atmosphere. Hiram’s Haul was great example of that.
The point’s battle tightened with only one race in the championship remaining. Wiki Wiki, Team McDonald, Carbon Cruising, & BMW On A Cat all showed to grind it out. The Endurance Series got tougher for Bret Moss with Carbon Cruising receiving a rare DNF due to the broken mast leaving them 4th just ahead of Space Coast. Then there’s the dynamic family duo father and son team of Matt & Peyton McDonald finishing well enough to hold on to 2nd overall followed by Bob Walke and his son on the all wooden Tornado. There was tough racing with youth and family. Two of the top three teams raced as father and son teams at Hiram's Haul, five of the top ten boats are 18’ boats and the top four teams are within 5 points. The championship is far from over and all will be decided in the 120 mile Steeplechase race in the Florida Keys December 13-14, 2008.
About the Series
The Endurance Series is a Florida based series for sailors with experience and feel comfortable sailing in all types of wind and sea conditions. The series provides a challenge for all experience levels. Some of events are in lakes/rivers and others are out in the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. The distances range from 30 miles to 120 miles.
Series Website: www.SailSeries.com.
Photography provided by: www.TonyKellerPhotography.com
Sponsor and Organizer: www.PerfSail.com
24th Annual Steeplechase
December 13-14, 2008
Key Largo, Florida
Event Website & Registration: www.catsailor.com