First Coast Racing Series Report
(Ormond Beach)

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Report By:  gbailey    Date: 4/12/2009 
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1st Race in the First Coast Offshore Racing Series

My Report:

Race Results
(reported by Chris Borgert)

Race #1 of the Florida First Coast Offshore Race Series was held Saturday, March 28 in Ormond Beach, FL, hosted by Ormond Beach Kayak Center. Click here to see OBKC's website

The race course was 9.7 miles from the Silver Beach Accessto beachside at OBKC, 1750 Ocean Shore Blvd. Seas were 4-6 feet, SW winds 15-20 kts with higher gusts. Set waves approached the line of travel from 4 o'clock with wind waves coming from 6 - 7 o'clock.
The conditions rewarded both skill and conditioning, as linking runs required maintaining a high boatspeed and using the wind waves to catch the faster moving set waves. The beach start was challenging, with only two paddlers - Reid Hyle (US National Sprint Marathon Team, K1 & K2) and Andy Morris - making it through the surf zone cleanly. Reid wasted little time putting the field behind him and wasn't seen again until greeting everyone on the beach. Andy Morris, Chris Borgert, and Aaron Hamerling were no more than a few boat lengths apart for most of the race, with Borgert opening a slight lead a few minutes before the finish, only to lose it quickly - swimming - as the more skilled Morris negotiated the finish as cleanly as he had the start. Hamerling was close behind, with only a minute separating the three. Ed Joy came in 5th after bending his rudder crossing the sand bar at the start and paddling the entire distance without a working rudder, and Dave Toppi negotiated the rough conditions without incurring damage to his ultra-light racing hull, both noteworthy feats under the challenging conditions.

As Reid Hyle said afterwards, “There were plenty of runs out there, but no freebies... you had to work for every one of them.” My own strategy - which seemed similar to Reid's description of his own - was to hammer to get into the trough behind a swell and catch a ride on the wind waves that piled up behind it, and then if I were lucky, I'd have enough boat speed to catch the face of the next swell (or set waves, as Reid calls them). I would surf that wave face at an angle heading N – not NW straight down it because I didn't want to get caught in the trough between that and the wave ahead of it – and if I were on top of things, I could catch the wind waves that piled up behind the swell I just came off of and set it all up again. I didn't do that successfully too many times, but when I did, I put some distance on Andy and Aaron... catching up, and then toward the end, getting a little ahead of them. Of course, the moment I relaxed I would wallow a bit and Andy would be ahead of me again, or back up with me, so there was not much rest... until I fell out of the boat 50 yards off the beach... floating in your pfd is restful... but discouraging watching Andy pass me onto the beach like it was a walk in the park! [Andy is from NewLondon, SA... he thought it was a flatwater race!].

We had some difficulty starting the race due to congested beach accesses, but on the other hand, that provided a couple hundred curious spectators by time we got underway! All in all, it was a good start to the series and wonderful conditions for surf skis. The racers couldn't have asked for much more, except maybe a wind sock attached to Hyle's rudder. We look forward to seeing even more of you on April 25 and hope for conditions as good as we had Saturday.


1. Reid Hyle - 1:06:04
2. Andy Morris - 1:15:45
3. Chris Borgert- 1:16:15
4. Aaron Hamerling - 1:16:46
5. Ed Joy - 1:23:12
6. Dave Toppi - 1:40:00

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Location Data:

Distance (miles): 9.7
Fees/Costs $: $10 / $15

Special Interests and Comments:

Special InterestsOrmond Beach Kayak Center

Post Date: 4/12/2009

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Notice: Reported conditions may change and there may be errors in this text. Apalachee Canoe and Kayak Club and author(s) of individual reports shall not be held liable for any omissions and inaccuracies contained herein. Readers are cautioned to supplement reports with other sources of information when planning a trip.