Bella Charging to Duluth! Photo by Pete Kulenkamp (2019)
Make plans to join us for the 27th Trans Superior on Saturday, August 7, 2021. As of early may, double the number of boats have signed up to race as compared to this point in 2019! If this trend continues, 2021 will see a record number of competitors taking part in the greatest of the Great Lakes off shore races!
Trans Superior News
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Tweety Takes on Mayhem, Polar Bear and Raptor!
Looking to move to a podium position after finishing fourth in the single handed division in 2019, Robert Schroer returns with Tweety for his second single handed Trans Superior. Slated to join Tweety are three other Olson 30’s Mayhem, Polar Bear and Raptor! Here is Robert in his own words with tales of snacking during a knock down, tired birds taking refuge on Tweety and how his dad discovered he was taking the family boat out single handed racing without permission!
My interests in solo racing are largely accidental. When I was a kid I would secretly take my dad’s boat (a San Juan 24) out by myself from time to time. He eventually found out because I started racing it, without his permission, in a Thursday night series hosted by Barker’s Island. The results for this series were published in the local newspaper and somebody saw that his boat was doing well and congratulated him. The gig was up and my early career as a solo racer ended. Later, when I bought Tweety (an Olson 30) I did some single-handed racing in the Duluth Yacht Club weekend series when I didn’t have anyone to crew for me. I did the Trans Superior in 2017 double-handed with my friend Nick. That was a lot of fun, so I formed the intention to try it single-handed in 2019. Fortunately for me, there are some great resources for the aspiring single-handed racing sailor: there’s an excellent book by Andrews Evans, there is the GLSS website (https://www.solosailors.org/), there are offshore personal safety courses (https://www.seasurvival.ca/index.html), and there are knowledgeable local/GLSS solo-sailors who are always happy to answer your questions. An unexpected benefit of racing solo: I discovered that it’s a lot easier to convince my partner Jeanine to buy things for the boat. All I need to say is “I need a <insert expensive item here> for the Trans Superior. It’s a safety issue. I’ll be out there by myself.” (Hopefully she won’t read this newsletter.)
Some quick stories about doing the 2019 Trans Superior single-handed. During some rough weather a small bird flew inside the cabin of the boat and stayed in there until the weather cleared. (I think he read the name on the side of the hull and figured it was a safe place to hang out.) At one point, I thought all my instruments were off by 90 degrees until I realized that the light I saw building on the horizon was NOT the sun rising in the east but was instead the northern lights. Finally, there was a brief period of high wind, rain, and poor visibility where the boat basically laid over on her side and a bunch of water dumped into the cockpit. (Low freeboard on an Olson 30; it happens more often than you would think.) A week earlier on the delivery to the Soo my buddy Greg and I went through a nasty wind-storm where we ended up doing a steady 8-10 knots for several minutes with just the rig—no motor and no sails up. So during the Trans Superior storm I was happy to be slogged down in the water and not blindly surfing backwards through the fleet at God-only-knows how fast of a clip. Being heeled all the way over also shook loose some food that I had cached deep within a winch handle pocket, so I had something to eat while I was waiting for the wind to ease and for the cockpit to drain. It’s funny what you can end up being grateful for.