Most of the work and preparation so far has been on the part of the race organizers and the people behind the scenes, who have been here since Tuesday. One of the more popular and encouraging behind-the-scenes activities has been the dunk testing put on in the guest pool of the Galveston Yacht Club by the Stars Rescue Team. Every racer is required to go through this emergency rescue and exit drill, in which they are trained in exit and safety procedures, then strapped into a simulated boat cockpit constructed out of metal tubing resting on floats. The cockpit is then inverted so the racer ends up underwater. From this point on the stress level of the racer rises as he goes through the procedures to exit the "boat". A team of rescue divers is on hand in the pool to assist in case of need. They also practice their rescue procedures once the racer has been able to release his harness and begins to make his exit. As one of the rescue divers who went through the drill playing the part of the submersed racer noted, "this is as close as you can get to being there, unexpected things happen to you that you just don't think about." For all involved it is a good exercise in emergency planning and procedures, and it is a race requirement that the racers have been fully interested in completing.
There are 9 boats registered to compete in the Saturday Offshore A and Stock class races, which begin at noon:
In Open Class, which is scheduled to race on Sunday, Sudden Impact debuts their 40' Skater. Endangered Species unveils an updated paint scheme and their new Hummer support vehicle. Laith Pharon's 46' Skater Zerodefect is back again this year with hull repairs complete, and looking good as ever. Finally, the how Sweet it is team is back this year in their seasoned 40' Skater.
Other teams seen around the pits include Harry's Hoffbrau, Jawana (who is sporting a new graphics package), Carlos and Charlies (this Austin and Clear Lake team is "doing things right" by throwing a bar-b-que in the pits), Pasta Chips, Harmsco Hurriane, Kamikaze, Patriot, and Restore.
Results from the Saturday race will be posted as soon as they become available.
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