December 14, 2003
Only a minute separated the first and
second-place getters in Sunday’s inaugural Mieco Beach Yacht Club race, with
the yacht Roxanne, skippered by Tom Petty, taking line honors and first
place on corrected time.
Sailing under international handicapping
rules, four boats competed in the race, which started at 2pm off the
Outrigger Resort (now Marshall Islands Resort).
First across the line after the traditional
pre-start waltz was Seal, skippered by Cary Evarts. The relatively small
traditional sloop was, however, quickly overtaken by the super-speed yacht
The race course took boats in an
anti-clockwise direction from the Outrigger, with the first mark being
Charlie Domnick’s Miss Tamioko, the second mark a transshipment vessel near
Ejit Island, and the third mark being Central Shoals in the middle of the
lagoon off Enamanet Island.
The second boat around the course and
third-place getter on corrected time was the yacht Kaimana, skippered by Ron
Douglas. And last, but not least, was the graceful ketch Karmaladen, owned
by Rixzene Ayers and skippered on the day by Ash Shepley.
The wind on race day started light, but as
the start drew near, the white horses started galloping across the waves,
with skippers registering 15 to 20 knots.
To complicate matters, with just 10 minutes
to start time, two new yachts to Majuro motored into the anchorage off the
Weather Station, unaware that they were in the vicinity of a race.
The two yachts have boosted the already
record number of yachts in town.
Following the race, there was a noisy awards
ceremony in the Jakaro Bar of the Outrigger, which was superbly emceed by
the new commodore of the Mieco Beach Yacht club, attorney Dee Johnson.
Up for grabs before race day was a free
night’s accommodation at the Outrigger, some gift certificates from EZ
Price, prizes from the Marshall Islands Visitors Authority and a couple of
free classified ads from the Journal.
Making the prize pool even fatter, though,
were Marshalls Energy Company’s Billy Roberts and Aloha’s John Hawley, who
had both stopped by the Outrigger to catch the sailing action. “Attention
the fleet,” announced Grant James on the VHF radio. “MEC has kindly donated
a drum of diesel and John Hawley has put in some Budweiser chairs for race
The top place getters won bragging rights,
while the prizes were awarded by skippers drawing numbers from Johnson’s
In a fitting turn of events, last place
getter Karmaladen scored the cream of the prize crop by plucking out the
night at the hotel and the drum of diesel.
All at the awards ceremony agreed that
the first race was an enormous success. So much so, it’s been decided to
hold the next Mieco Beach Yacht Club race in early January.
Author: Karen Earnshaw