Last weekend our team representing SDYC sailed in the third and final 2018 California Dreamin' match race event which was held in Long Beach. This 2018 season has offered unusual weather which cut the San Diego stop (#1) short only providing enough wind for 6 races and turning the San Francisco stop (#2) into a non event with only two races in two days, not enough to even score it. The Long Beach stop (#3) in contrast offered more consistent breeze and two complete round robins of racing, a first for the 2018 series, but was still sailed in lighter pressure overall than prior years events there.
Of the 8 teams competing we were in the small minority group without any professional sailors aboard. Since the next America's Cup is to be held in monohulls, there has been a wild resurgent interest in the Ficker and Congressional Cups to be sailed in the same Catalina 37 boats stop #3 was raced in, over the next two weekends. As such, our team of weekend warriors found ourselves on Saturday morning after making weight and without having had the luxury of a practice day prior together surrounded by competitors who stacked their teams with America's Cup sailors and World Match Racing Tour members and who had taken the additional time and expense to get consistent practice on the same boats over the preceding weekends, going into the event.
The event Organizing Authority moved the skippers meeting back an hour on Saturday while the breeze built which essentially cut our already limited practice time in half, practice we desperately needed given half of our group had never sailed together before on the boats. While we did our best to get sorted quickly, we made some basic mistakes on Saturday and ended up with a 4 and 3 record which put us on the back foot going into Sunday.
On Sunday morning we came out of the gate swinging and won our first two matches only to have a case of the slows in races 3 and 4 when the breeze finally built to seal our fate. While we dominated the final three races in the second round robin including an electric first weather mark black flag sequence in our final race, the equivalent to an early round TKO in boxing, it was not enough to overcome the points hole we dug on Saturday and we had to settle for third place.
In May we will travel to San Francisco to race J22's for the first (#1) of three 2018 United States Match Racing Qualifier regattas being held on the west coast. This will be followed by an event in San Diego (#2), also in J22's, in June and lastly another event back up in Long Beach (#3) on the Catalina 37's, in August. Hopefully we can quality at one of these three events to attend the USMRC Finals to be held in Chicago in mid October being raced in Sonars.
Our team would like to express our gratitude to the SDYC Competition Fund for it's continued support of our 2018 racing as we continue to build momentum through regatta experience and determination this season.