It’s been a full weekend of intense competition in colder than usual San Diego temperatures as the Pac52s, TP52s and Beneteau 36.7’s kicked off their seasons with the 2019 SCYA Midwinters hosted by San Diego Yacht Club. Starting Friday, the two 52’ classes lined the SDYC docks and readied their boats for a flux of breezes in Coronado Roads, while the Beneteau fleet joined in for Saturday and Sunday.
Nine Beneteau 36.7s, three Pac52s and five TP52s raced in fluctuating winds, sandwiched between winter SoCal storms. However, the scoresheet revealed consistent performances throughout most of the races. In the Pac52 class, Austin and Gwen Fragomen’s Interlodge VI took first with mostly bullets and one second in race six. The TP52s led a similar trend with David Team’s Vesper taking first, winning six out of seven races. Chick Pyle's Kea in the Beneteau class took first after Neil Senturia's Legend retired from the race four, giving Kea the top position. These dominating boats didn’t leave much room for competition this weekend.
Jeff McCooey, Grinder on Interlodge VI, talks about their success. “We had some variable conditions and it was a little cold for Southern California, even for us New England boys. We were able to play with a lot of consistency and keep the crew moving, helping us get above the other teams. With the light winds, you really need to keep your head in the game and stay vigilant on your overall crew work.”
On day one, Rio and Vesper in the TP52 class battled it out finishing only seconds from each other in three races. Interlodge VI in the Pac52 class showed strong skills, leading the regatta from the start. The breeze was between 8-10 knots with mid-teen puffs throughout the day. The skies were sunny and the air was cool.
Day two’s extremely light breeze challenged the race committee, who barely squeezed in two races. Day three picked up with the best breeze of the weekend building to about 15 knots from the west. Each of the top boats were able to keep their positions in first place.
PRO Danielle Richards explains the challenges they had over the weekend. "We were a little delayed today [day three] due to a cargo ship on the course. It boxed us in on how long our course could be, which was not ideal. Instead of the 2.5 mile weather leg, we were only able to do a 1.5 mile weather leg. Yesterday's [day two] light breeze was another challenge. When it's light like that, I try to put my racer hat on and see if I would want to race in those conditions. You have to look at the big picture of the whole race course and consider the fleet."
An awards ceremony concluded the weekend on Sunday evening. SCYA Commodore Rick Dinon commented, “2019 marks the 90th year of the SCYA Midwinter Regatta. I couldn’t be more proud that San Diego Yacht Club continues to celebrate this yachting tradition by bringing together some of the most highly-competitive and cutting-edge boats, with their skilled skippers and crew. Congratulations to the racers and to the SDYC staff who put this on!”