Each year bring new challenges, and 2018 was no different. Hurricane Michael was due to arrive on the day of our start and we delayed until 11am the following day. The weather predicted NW winds of 30k, and there was a lot of talk about how accurate the forecast might be. The decision was made to start the race with whomever wanted to cross with the gun. Those who wanted to delay and let the winds abate, could cross the starting line any time they wished, and took their departure from a latitudinal line determined from Whitehall Bay #1 bouy.
The start was dynamic, with winds around 20-25k, blowing the fleet down-bay at a fine clip. If you can believe it, by the time they crossed the Potomac river, winds had decreased to almost nothing. The few boats who managed to cross the Potomac before the rest of the fleet found light, but steady winds all the way to Portsmouth, while the bulk of the fleet wallowed for about three hours before catching a westerly breeze to the finish line.