The Annual D. J. Johnson Around Oahu race (110 Miles/ 176km) was sailed over Memorial Day Weekend. This year two Kaneohe Yacht Club (KYC) International 14s unofficially took part in the race. The weather forecast for the three-day event was moderate trades all weekend. The wind gods cooperated and indeed the weather and breeze were great for the I-14ers.
Both I-14s carried the Ecoflag on their sails and hull to promote the Non-profit organization, Global Sports Alliance (GSA) and raise awareness about the importance of clean air and clean water. At the prize-giving ceremony at Waikiki YC the organizers graciously gave us time to explain the purpose of our sail around Oahu to support the importance of clean air and water for the future of our sport.
This annual Around the Island race for large racing sailboats started at Waikiki on Saturday morning. The I-14 started 5 minutes after the multi-hull fleet and 35-mins after the big boat fleet. We sailed east past Diamond Head and Koko head. Then up and around the windward side to Kaneohe a distance of 35 miles--all against the wind and current. The fleet rested Saturday night in Kaneohe, and was off early in the morning down the windward side of Oahu and up the North shore past the Banzai Pipeline. The wind was at our backs and we flew down the waves at 18-knots. This time the I-14s started five minutes after the Big Boats and raced by them quickly. We stopped in Haleiwa four hours later. The second I-14 that was carrying the Ecoflag broke a wire holding the mast up and had to be towed in to the harbor. They were unable to continue the last leg--but sailed 70% of the way around the island. We trailered the boat to Ko Olina and were determined to finish the race. The last leg back to Waikiki started Monday morning. The wind was very strong at the start but moderated out once we made the turn up Barabers Point and sailed out in to the ocean. We finished the last leg at Waikiki at 3PM---and were allowed to present the Ecoflag at the prize-giving ceremony after the race. Two people came up after the presentation and asked if they could fly the flag on their boats. I gave them Ecoflag stickers and one of the boats is sailing to Australia next week. There was other interest in the I-14 boat because of the speed we had downwind and the courage we had sailing 55 miles upwind in a small boat!
Two people came up to me after the ceremony and asked for ECOFLAG stickers to put on their sails in support of clean air and water. One of the boats is leaving for Australia next month carrying the flag. This is how the word is spread. Any 14ers that would like to carry the ECOFLAG can contact Andy Bates at email@example.com. They are for the large ones and for the smaller ones plus postage. They will last a long time because they have sail number like stickem on the back.
Thanks to all the support team who enabled us the opportunity to do this event. Maureen, Jon, Shelly, Helena, and Simone. Thanks to the Waikiki YC Race Committee for keeping an eye out for us.
"Friends of the environment" and supporters of GSA--the International 14 class:
Report by Andy Bates, GSA Hawaii