It was a race slow to start and wild to finish. The early days of the race tested skill and patience as tacticians, weather-guessers, and sail handlers worked to eke every bit of speed out of the light and variable winds. Daily runs in the 30s vexed the ordinarily swift boats.
Several days after the starts, the band of light air holding us all in relented, allowing a few, then all of us through to more reliable breezes and a race "the way it is supposed to be." Unlike 2012, the fleets split widely with some betting on a far north course, and others on the south. (Spoiler alert: the North wins).
But easy sailing was not to last. Surprisingly boisterous weather greeted the early finishers, with heavy winds and lumpy seas. Winds as high as 40 knots were reported by some, while others, more to the left of the course, got the same seas but lighter winds in the 20s. All boats were pleased to enter the welcoming embrace of Kaneohe Yacht Club.