The breeze was on for the second day of the 2017 Yachting Cup! It was a busy and challenging day of racing, with almost 100 boats competing on three courses in the ocean. Following today, the Yachting Cup will conclude Sunday with racing on the same three ocean course venues.
With the breeze hovering around 15-20 knots, it was certainly a windy day on the San Diego ocean. Coupled with 3-5 foot swells that were frequent and close together, it was a lumpy and bumpy ride out there. And if that's not enough, there was a sprinkling of rain showers every so often just to keep the sailors on their toes. Several competitors claimed the conditions reminded them of a typical day of sailing in San Francisco Bay.
2010 Yachting Cup winner Chuck Nichols raced his J/120 CC Rider on the Middle Roads course and had two wins today, but noted that it was not easy out there.
“It was a challenging day. Not only did we have the breeze that kept building from about 14-20 + knots, but the sea state was tough. There were a lot of square waves and we were knocked around a lot. Our crew was really exhausted and we were using our biggest head sails. Tacks were difficult for people because we had a long grind."
Despite the challenges, Nichols attributed his wins to to his love of competition. "We were ahead in every race and had reasonable boat speed, plus S/C Kyle Clark was making good tactical calls. We only race for fun and it’s not fun to lose!”
Chick Pyle on Kea had a successful day winning all three of the Beneteau 36.7 Class races on the Near Roads course. “Our key to success today was being conservative. We tried not to take risks and to do everything slow and well in advance to give everyone enough time."
Pyle was sailing with a crew comprised of veterans and newbies- some who had never even raced a big boat before. "We had a total pick-up crew today, but we had a core of really solid sailors. We borrowed a freshman and a sophomore from the Point Loma High School Sailing Team and today was their first time sailing a big boat. It was a real eye-opener for them.”
Skipper Mark Hinrichs also raced on the Near Roads course today, winning two out of three races in the Schock 35 Fleet on his boat Strategem. "We have always been a little better in heavy air and we kept it simple with early take downs. We started in the three and stayed in the three. A lot of other boats had trouble in the first race and we managed to stay out of trouble. Going into tomorrow, we are going to try to repeat today."
Finally, Roy Disney on Pyewacket (Andrews 70) is leading the AA division after three races on the Far Roads course. Disney was yet another seasoned professional who confirmed that the day's conditions were tough."“It was hard today… the waves were very difficult to steer in. There were situations where either we tacked underneath someone and then hit a wave and went down to 0 knots, or they did. We ended up hitting the weather mark one time because of the waves. It was chaos out there."
Disney recently returned from winning his class and the overall corrected time in the Newport to Ensenada Race. About 2/3 of his crew today sailed to Ensenada with him, so they are pretty in sync at this point. "We had some issues, but everyone remained calm and figured it out."
The awards ceremony will be held at San Diego Yacht Club after the completion of races on Sunday, May 7 where prizes will be awarded by class.
The Yachting Cup would like to thank its sponsors: Helly Hansen, Pantaenius, Lars Remodeling, Bay City Brewing Company, North Sails, Rigworks, Mount Gay Rum, Lemon & Line, Bare Republic, and Pirates Lair.
For more information or media inquiries, please contact Emily Willhoft.