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Discussion Starter #1
I mentioned I would start a thread on this event when the time came.

For those not familiar, the Everglades Challenge is a small boat race, 300 miles or so down the Florida Coast from Tampa Bay to Key Largo, non stop, unassisted.

Boats must be beach launchable with no engines on board. Generally, roughly, 500 pounds or less. Mostly dinghies, beach cats, canoes and kayaks.

There are 3 checkpoints each with its own challenges, and each pretty much requiring human powered propulsion (oars, paddles, pedal power etc). First check point Cape Haze Marina,second Everglades City and 3rd is Flamingo in Everglades National park. Aside from the check points, participants chose their own routes.

Time limit is 8 days. Fast boats can be done in 2-3.

There are no handicapps. Each boat must be self supporting and carry an expedition load (food, water, camping gear, safety gear, navigation)

There are 5 main boat classes (each class has further subdivisions);
1 Expedition Canoes and Kayaks
2 Racing canoes, kayaks and surf skis
3 sailing canoes and kayaks
4 monohull sailboats
5 multihull sailboats
And there is a class 6 for electric boats. As well as a class for Stand Up Paddle Boards.

Event starts this Saturday March 7 about sunrise in Tampa Bay. Boat inspection is Friday March 6.

I thought I would share now, because it can be entertaining to watch teams traveling to Tampa from all over North America (beleive this year there are teams from Europe and Australia as well).

I am not there yet, I am currently being a tourist in Savannah Georgia, but I am heading that way.

Here is the race tracker.

WaterTribe :: Challenge Mapper Using Google Maps
 

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When are you starting a Saint Laurent Challenge 500 (km)? You could set up stops requiring changing sides each day, or stopping on one side going and the other returning...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The forecast for Saturday. Pretty sporty for the 7 am start. North Eastish 21-28 Mph against an incoming tide I guess. The fast beach cats could be going very fast. I believe, amongst others there is a Nacra Carbon 20 and a couple of Tornadoes.

Looks like wind on Sunday stays pretty strong on but coming out of the East, which is offshore. That should make for good sailing too.

After Sunday, looks like the wind is likely to stay strong but out of the south. So for those of us not fast enough to finish in two days, it will be right in our faces and may stay that way.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I will get some pics during inspection tomorrow.

I am in Class 1 with sail (expedition Kayak with a sail but without a lee board or out riggers).
 

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Expedition kayak!? So you do 100 pushups three times a day to get ready?
I have a kayak, but am not there on the pushups yet. Good luck!!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I am having trouble uploading pics. Think it might be the wifi.

Here are 3.

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First is on the small end of the spectrum. SCAMP mono hull only 12 ft. Water ballast.

2nd are 2 kayaks and a canoe.

Third is an Arc 22 Beach Cat. Very fast and stable catamaran

Will try and get some more bigger racing sailboat pics to upload later.
 

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Mine is the smaller orange kayak with the red and yellow sail in the first set of pics.

To track me my race name is Buoyohbuoy on the tracker. Class 1.
 

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Weather holdfor the start. Offshore wind is blowing spray off the whitecaps. Its pretty lumpy. Start might be around 0900.
 

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Looks like Arcb has put in at Bird Key, near St. Armands, for the night. Nice going! Hope the bugs aren’t too hungry.

Correction: tracker at 22h00 puts him on Nokomis Beach for the night, near Venice. 43 miles along the route.
 

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Wind from the NE at about 10 knots according to Windy this morning. 55 degrees. Great paddling weather, and good for a reach if you can keep from sliding to leeward. Don’t forget daylight savings -- it’s later than you think!
 

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60 miles in, but Arcb is moving at less than 3 knots. Sail must not be helping much. Temp is up to 70’s, wind is up to teens, but from the East.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The sail was useless getting in to cp1. Locally its not an east its a head wind and blowing like stink. But I made it to CP1. I have an uphill battle to make cp2 before the cutoff.
 
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