Worrell 1000 Lay-Day and Leg 7

Folly Beach, SC is the new “lay-day” checkpoint for the race this year. Traditionally done at Tybee Island, GA, the local tourism & development council as well as City Officials for Folly had worked closely with Race Organizers over the last year to really make this new resting spot a pleasant one for all. The brand new beach, fresh from a huge re-nourishment project, was expansive and beautiful. The teams enjoyed a wide swath of super soft sand to land, rest and do boat work on Saturday, and were treated to a fantastic, low-Country Boil – Paid for entirely by the fine folks at Visit Folly that evening at the Folly Beach Park Dunes Pavilion. Teams that were initially wary of not having the lay day directly following the longest leg of the event (Jacksonville Beach FL – Tybee Island GA; 120 miles), were quick to praise the event’s organizers for the move. 

Sunday morning, May 19th would bring everyone back to a hard reality as the 7th leg to Surfside Beach, SC was forecast to have painfully light winds from the North with scattered thunderstorms along the route. To sail this leg of 85 miles under just main and jib – the teams braced for another likely, unintended night leg. The fleet of 11 cast off the beach, all under spinnaker to try and make the most of the dismal 5-knot winds while moving slowly out to a rhumb line heading north. The spins would have to be brought down for the tack northward into what would turn out to be, dying breaths of wind. The scattered thunderstorms predicted did reach some of the teams, while others were spared. Swirling, converging and indecisive wind patterns plagued the fleet the entire day. By 11:15pm the first boat would arrive – team Australia 1 (Brett Burville & Max Putman) – a dismal 13 hour slog. 

The two teams that made out well in terms of event performance and standings for a leg were Team Rudee’s (Randy Smyth & Dalton Tebo) coming in 2nd – their best finish thus far while Team Meerkat (Mark Modderman & Mike Siau) sailed in for a respectful 6th – a finish that would move them up to 8th place (from 10th) overall.The final team to hit the beach at 2:29am Monday morning would be TCDYC – Chris Green and Jean Bolougne. But we were still missing one…..

Team Roo in the Hat, Brett White of Australia & Larry Ferber of the US would suffer a starboard hull that was completely filled with water, forcing them to come ashore in a very remote area over 20 miles from the finish. Their team manager and ground crew Chris Lim reported to the Race Committee around 3am that the team opted to stay ashore and get some sleep before trying to push back out in the morning to meet Chris at a suitable beach they could land on.

In a post this morning on Team Roo in the Hat’s Facebook page, the team reported that a meeting spot had been chosen and the team was attempting to sail to it, while Zack Panetti (previous crew on Team Cat in the Hat with Larry Ferber in 2019 & 2022) was flying in to render additional assistance to the team for the remainder of the event. Team manager Chris Lim stated; “The timing of extra hands today couldn’t be more perfect. Once our sailors meet with ground crew, we will assess the damage to determine our next steps for the race. In the meantime, a big Thank You to everyone for your help and positive thoughts last night including our fellow Worrell Teams.”

As of the writing of this article (2:30pm May 20th), the team had been retrieved and were on route to Wrightsville beach – they are hoping to be on the line for the leg from Wrightsville to Atlantic Beach on Tuesday, May 21st. Unfortunately, they will be scored a “DNS” for leg 8 – Surfside to Wrightsville – but we are ALL thankful to have them safe and willing to continue on this crazy journey called the Worrell 1000. Stay tuned for more reporting on legs 8 through the grand finish in VA Beach on May 24th.

Make sure you watch the live feeds of the starts and finishes daily, and track the racers in real time at https://worrell1000race.com/race-tracking/

Beverley J Simmons
Worrell 1000 Race
Communications Director

For more information regarding the race, please visit our official website at: worrell1000race.com

To view all the results yourself, go to https://worrell1000race.com/results/

Facebook: @Worrell1000
Instagram: @w1krr

Race Yachts
West Systems