Running Tide is back.
Tide is the big, fast aluminum yacht that Alexandria real estate magnate A.G. Van Metre has campaigned on the high-stakes Southern Ocean Racing Circuit for the last decade or so.
Last year, she looked bad. She had a new, tall mast that didn't work properly. She had dents in her hull that slowed her down. At the end of the winter series, Van Metre's son Beaumade this assessment: "a terrible year."
When the Van Metres brought Tide back up here for the summer, "We just parked her," Beau Van Metre said. They didn't race once in the big Annapolis summer series.
Running Tide was dispatched to Minneford's Yard in New York, where she got a new mast, a new sail inventory, the dents were banged out and her gear was updated.
She was in the yard for the first two races of this year's Southern circuit. Both were won by the Van Metres' arch rival, America's Cup winner Ted Turner, with his fast glass yacht, Tenacious.
Last weekend, Beau Van Metre had the refurbished Running Tide in Miami for SORC race No. 3 -- a triangular course from Miami to Bimini to Palm Beach and back to Miami.
Running Tide took the prize, finishing first in class A, with Turner right behind.
It was, in Beau's words, "a gearbuster" of a race -- they had 25-knot breezes on the downwind leg to Bimini, and 40-to 50-knot storm winds on the way back east.
They left Friday at 9 a.m. and returned Saturday at 7:45 a.m.
Beau will skipper Running Tide full time in the SORC races for the first time this year. In the past, he split the duties with his father.
He was ecstatic about the win. "We just love to get Turner beat," he said. "We can't stand to see him get all the ink."