VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (WTKR)- It was a grueling 12 days on the water for the 13 boats taking part in the Worrell 1,000 sailing race and the lone team representing Virginia was right in the thick of things.
Team Rudee's Sailing was the first boat to the shore on Saturday, winning the final leg of the event that finished at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. The team grabbed third in the overall standings, with Team Australia taking the title. The race began on May 9 in Hollywood, Florida.
"It's so long that you start to forget how gruesome and body damaging the first three days were and we've had a couple of good days coming into Virginia Beach," said Team Rudee's skipper Randy Smyth. "You start to remember the good days."
"We really got broken in at the beginning and it was difficult," added Dalton Tebo, the Team Rudee's crew. "As it went on it got a little bit easier actually for me, so that was not what I expected."
Smyth and Tebo were hit with some bad luck on the second day of the event, seeing their boat break its mast. They were able to get their vessel to shore and were assessed a penalty of six hours behind the last place boat, putting them between nine and 10 hours out of the lead. Despite the adversity, Team Rudee's opted to press on.
"Our chances of bringing home first place were slim to none. No matter how good we do, we're going to catch minutes, not hours, every day on the winners," Smyth noted. "Rudee's said 'nope, full on, keep it going,' Dalton said 'full on, keep it rolling,' so the whole team said 'let's go.'"
"Of course it's worth it to go on, we want to make it to Virginia Beach. That's the goal and to finish the race is huge," added Tebo.
It was a tremendous effort, not just from Smyth and Tebo, but the entire support team as well. The next Worrell 1,000 will be run in 2024 and, at least for the two who drove the boat, they plan to give it another shot, at least for now.
"The last race I had before this was 22 years ago in the year 2000," Smyth recalled. "My daughter was two years old and now she's in the Air Force. I'm nearing the end of my path. Maybe I should put my son in next time, but I'll try for one more time."
"It's definitely unfinished business not getting first, knowing that we had the speed and we were capable of doing that" Tebo noted. "I can't wait to do it again."