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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Independance Day Watermelon Racing -HideAway WINS BIG

Boca Ciega Yacht Club of Gulfport Fl occasionally sponsors an under-appreciated Independence Day Watermelon Race that starts from a small beach unknown to the public.

The race, sanctioned by the Sailing Watermelon Racing Authority, headquartered until recently under an Australian Pine tree in the back yard of the club, has few rules other than all vessels must be powered by natural wind only. Gas cartridges, helium balloons, electric fans and race-trained pulling fish are specifically excluded as propulsion sources.

Due to the nature of watermelons and the summer heat of Florida vessels cannot be constructed more than 24 hours before the race to maintain efficient hull shape. Watermelons are selected with great care to assure the best hull shape.

One competitor this year travelled hundreds of miles in this quest, however most haunted local purveyors for days searching for a melon with the perfect hull shape. Rumors that watermelon racing enthusiasts construct molds to grow their own melons have not been proven true.

The twin masted HideAway started slow in the down wind race then deftly spun on her beam ends to avoid a collision with a gaggle of other craft to quickly gain the lead which she did not relinquish until crossing the finish line floundering immediately thereafter.

"I used a semi-dihedral sail plan with twin masts set on a flying arch and hull mounted booms” Explained the Race Design Manager for the HideAways to the Local Press Reporter on the scene. “The absence of a keel gave the vessel its ability to maneuver away from the fleet and the spinning dance down wind gave spectators a sight”

"It looked like a spinning top" The Local Press Reporter reported

"But we won" R.D.M.

"Your sails are not a true dihedral" Stated a local famous yacht designer

"But we won" R.D.M.

"You had no keel" the Porch Committe declared "and it didn't sail straight"

"It's a sailing watermelon what does is matter?" explained the Race Design Manager
"Besides we won"
Editors' Note: The last win the HideAways posted was 2nd overall in the Hutchins Compac Regatta of 1998.
Follow The Adventures of the HideAways on video at SVHideAway