‘The race is just a great experience’

By on May 25, 2024

Launching the sailboats from Kill Devil Hills on the last day of competition. (Photos by Kip Tabb/OBV)
Catching the wind off the Kill Devil Hills Beach at the start of the last leg of the Worrell 1000. (Photos by Kip Tabb/OBV)
Team Rudy Inlet. Dalton Tebo, in race gear, and Randy Smyth, who has been competing in the Worrell 1000 since 1985. (Photos by Kip Tabb/OBV)
Team Outer Banks. (LtoR) Matthew Byrne, Michael O’Brien, Robert “Peanut” Johnson, (Sailors) James Eaton, Hardy Peters. (Photos by Kip Tabb/OBV)
Father and son team of Roo in the Hat from Australia. Father Brett White with Lachie White holding an indicator showing fastest sailing speed coming from Ocracoke. 20.9 knots is equal to 24 mph. (Photos by Kip Tabb/OBV)
Neil Wilson, Worrell 1000 Beach Master displaying a flag in memory of the founder of the race, Michael Worrell. Worrell passed away in 2010. (Photos by Kip Tabb/OBV)
2024 Worrell 1000 final results
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Launching the sailboats from Kill Devil Hills on the last day of competition. (Photos by Kip Tabb/OBV)
Catching the wind off the Kill Devil Hills Beach at the start of the last leg of the Worrell 1000. (Photos by Kip Tabb/OBV)
Team Rudy Inlet. Dalton Tebo, in race gear, and Randy Smyth, who has been competing in the Worrell 1000 since 1985. (Photos by Kip Tabb/OBV)
Team Outer Banks. (LtoR) Matthew Byrne, Michael O’Brien, Robert “Peanut” Johnson, (Sailors) James Eaton, Hardy Peters. (Photos by Kip Tabb/OBV)
Father and son team of Roo in the Hat from Australia. Father Brett White with Lachie White holding an indicator showing fastest sailing speed coming from Ocracoke. 20.9 knots is equal to 24 mph. (Photos by Kip Tabb/OBV)
Neil Wilson, Worrell 1000 Beach Master displaying a flag in memory of the founder of the race, Michael Worrell. Worrell passed away in 2010. (Photos by Kip Tabb/OBV)
2024 Worrell 1000 final results
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Worrell 1000 competitors on the thrills and challenges of the race

By Kip Tabb | Outer Banks Voice

Eleven impressive 18-foot catamarans came ashore on May 23 at Kill Devil Hills on the next to last leg of the Worrell 1000 race. That was one less then when the competitors left Hollywood, Florida 12 days earlier on their 1000 mile journey north to Virginia Beach, but one of the boats “turned turtle” (capsized) and after being rescued by the Coast Guard, the crew called it a race.

There is nothing like the Worrell 1000 in the world of sailboat racing. A grueling 1000 mile test of physical and mental fitness, the competition has attracted teams from Germany, Australia, the Netherlands and France as well as the Outer Banks Team with Hardy Peters, owner of East Coast Sailboats, who was sailing with James Eaton.

“The race is just a great experience. It’s awesome,” Eaton declared.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the concept of the race, but not the 50th race. The concept, according to the Worrell website, began as a “liquid-courage-fueled bar bet between the Worrell brothers,” Michael and Chris.

That first race in 1974 was really more of a mad scramble from Virginia Beach to Florida in September and as Neil Wilson, Beach Master for the event, said, “Two months and three hurricanes later, they landed in [Florida].”

That first race and for a few races after that, competitors were using Hobie Cat 16’ catamarans. The first official race wasn’t until 1976 and it did go on hiatus for a few periods of time, but since 2009 it’s been a regular every-other-year event, although COVID through a monkey wrench into the schedule. The last race was 2022.

At the boat Roo in the Hat, the Australian father and son team of Brett White and his son Lachie are talking to their team about some needed repairs.

They’re experienced sailors. Brett has worked the Worrell 1000 in past years as part of the support crew for competitors. Lachie has been sailing for Team Australia on the European circuit. The race, Lachie said, is “the only race in the world that goes 1000 miles. That’s something unique on its own.”

At the German boat, Stevie Rumpf compared this year’s conditions to what he experienced in 2022. “It’s a hard race,” he said. “Two years ago we had winds from the north. But this year we had thunderstorms with winds 40 or 50 knots.”

Asked if the race has been physically demanding, he responds: “Physically and mentally.”

The crews are competitive but the risks and challenges they share on open water also create a very special bond among them.

“It stays competitive on the water, but on land, it’s like all the teams kind of come together,” Eaton said. “Especially once you get through the first big weather, it bonds you. We had a couple of really bad storms and you get through that experience together just being out on the water and…trying to keep track of them…knowing that your friends and competitors are safe is certainly a thing.”

Perhaps no one has competed in the Worrell 1000 as often as Randy Smyth, whose first race was in 1985. At 70 years of age, he mentioned this will be his last go-round.

“This race, it’s unknown what the excitement is going to be,” he noted. “There’s a lot of stories.”

 


BIDDER PRE-QUALIFICATION REQUEST:

Barnhill Building Group has been selected as the Construction Manager @ Risk by the College of the Albemarle and is seeking to pre-qualify construction trade contractors to submit bids for the furnishing labor, materials, equipment, and tools for the new College of The Albemarle – Allied Health Sciences Simulation Lab (COA Health Sciences) located in Elizabeth City, NC. Please note: Only subcontractors who have been prequalified by Barnhill will be able to submit a Bid.

The project consists of the new construction of a 38,000-sf, 2-story expansion to the existing Owens Health Sciences Center and will house classrooms, labs, and a simulation lab. The site is just over just over 4.5 acres and is located on an active campus. This new construction will be a steel structure with a brick and metal panel veneer, curtainwall, and storefront glazing with a PVC roof membrane.

Principal trade and specialty contractors are solicited for the following Bid Packages:

BP0100: General Trades

BP0105: Final Cleaning

BP0390: Turnkey Concrete

BP0400: Turnkey Masonry

BP0500: Structural Steel & Misc. Steel

BP0740: Roofing

BP0750: Metal Panels

BP0790: Caulking / Caulking

BP0800: Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware

BP0840: Glass & Glazing

BP0925: Drywall

BP0960: Resilient Flooring

BP0980: Acoustical Ceilings

BP0990: Painting & Wallcovering

BP1005: Toilet Specialties / Accessories / Division 10

BP1010: Signage

BP1098: Demountable Partitions

BP1230: Finish Carpentry and Casework

BP1250: Window Treatment

BP1400: Elevators

BP2100: Fire Protection

BP2200: Plumbing

BP2300: HVAC

BP2600: Turnkey Electrical

BP3100: Turnkey Sitework

BP3290: Landscaping

Packages may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager. Historically underutilized business firms are encouraged to complete participation submittals.

HUB/MWBE OUTREACH MEETING: Barnhill Building Group will be conducting a HUB/MWBE Informational Session. You are encouraged to attend the following session to learn more about project participation opportunities available to you. These seminars will help to: Learn about project and scope; Inform and train Minority/HUB contractors in preparation for bidding this project; Assist in registration on the State of North Carolina Vendor link; Stimulate opportunities for Networking with other firms. Location and time TBD. Please visit our planroom at https://app.buildingconnected.com/public/54da832ce3edb5050017438b for more information.

Interested contractors should submit their completed prequalification submittals, by July 22, 2024, to Meredith Terrell at mterrell@barnhillcontracting.com or hardcopies can be mailed to Barnhill Contracting Company PO Box 31765 Raleigh, NC 27622 (4325 Pleasant Valley Road, NC 27612).


 



Comments

  • Kathy

    KDH was lucky to have the Worrell racers very exciting, alas brief visit! They should initiate a fan page on Facebook for the uninitiated! The team with matching straw hats were so cool 🌊🌊🌊

    Saturday, May 25 @ 11:32 am
  • charlie

    Another—ya shooda been there yesterday comment—The second place finishers went for broke and carried their asymetrical spinnaker to almost the finish.. Almost is the operative word.. They carries too much speed and overran a wave, buried their bow and capsized a couple of dozen yards from the finish… Using every ounce of energy left in them the crew managed to right the catamarran and muscle it in the shallow water near the beach to cross the finish line.. The roar from the crowd encouraged them as they did the impossible…. and Congratulations to the hearty local hometown favorites, the Outer Banks boat…
    Now we have to wait another 2 years before this amazing race from Florida to Virginia Beach graces our shores..

    Saturday, May 25 @ 1:50 pm