The Worrell 1000 is an endurance marathon that starts in Miami Beach and hurtles 1000 miles up the coast to finish in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The race is sailed in Inter 20s, high-performance, double-trapeze, catamarans capable of speeds in excess of 25 knots. Each day the racers push their boats out through the surf, sail 60 to 120 miles in the open ocean, and then surf their fragile steeds onto the beach where the finish line is typically positioned 20 feet up the sand from the water. Two of the legs are contested at night, putting a premium a good navigation and GPS work.
Later in the event the wind shut off and the race became a mental game of attrition. The sailors suffered through three straight 12-plus-hour days, the longest of which spanned 17 hours for some of the teams. The fleet left Atlantic Beach, NC at 10:00 a.m. and the last boat didn't cross the finish line at Hatteras until 3:30 the next morning. With a 10:00 a.m. start that morning the racers were wearing down. The frustrating conditions and long hours of exposure caused Kirk Newkirk and Glenn Holmes of Key Sailing and Brad Cavanaugh and Suzette Cruz to drop out just one leg from the finish.
To finish the Worrell 1000 a sailor must possess luck certainly, but also a unique blend of skills. The ideal competitor is a fast catamaran sailor who's extremely fit. He or she should be organized on logistics and have a steady hand with a tool. They must also have excellent heavy weather survival skills. And finally, to compete for this trophy a racer must have the patience of Job.
This year’s fleet came to the Worrell 1000 for a variety of reasons. Some were here to race, some just to try to finish, and some to witness the beauty of a sail up the barrier beaches of the South Atlantic coast. Others came for the chance to challenge themselves and learn more about how they react to extremely trying conditions.
Mike Worrell is already working on next year's race. This year he added a helicopter for media and photographers, next year he plans to do a TV program and to introduce a cash prize. Since the event was brought out of mothballs in 1997, the fleets have grown larger and the attention of the sailing world has begun to focus more closely on this unique event. "I couldn't feel better about the future for this race; we are truly on the launching pad," said a beaming Worrell at the finish. And if this year's event serves as an indicator, he could be right.
Here Comes the Worrell 1000 by Dan Dickison
Slow Going in the Worrell 1000 by SailNet
Raucous Start to the Worrell 1000 by SailNet
Buying Guide: Cordage Basics
|Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)|