On Saturday, July 23, 2005, the FCRCC ran their second annual Howe Sound Downwind Challenge. If the winds cooperate, this race has little to do with how hard you paddle, and everything to do with how well you can surf the waves.
There were two runs starting at Porteau Cove, and finishing at Nexen beach in Squamish. Despite ugly looking weather, at 1100h, 4 boats (2 solos, and 2 tandems) started the womens' heat. Around 1300h, the cloads broke, and the open heat started. There was about a 3km long start line of about 25 boats (surfiskis, solo outriggers, and a few tandem outriggers) stretching across the sound.
My participation in this race was as the FCRCC representative in the trailing escort boat. I lucked out in getting the swank boat, and got to spend the entire day relaxing, enjoying the company of the boat owners Tony and Maire. Finding people willing to donate a Saturday afternoon to putting around the Howe Sound is surprisingly difficult, and we couldn't have run the race without people like Tony and Marie. Thanks!
Both races went without significant problems. I even got to watch the kite surfers out at the spit.
Talking to club members who paddled the race makes me want to do it next year.