The 29er Fleet in the United States hosts two Mid-Winter Regattas, East in Miami and West in Coronado. Scheduling was challenging as they occurred this year on back to back weekends in March. We participated in both events this year. Traveling to Miami meant an opportunity to connect with former SDYC Head Coach Maru Urban for some coaching in Biscayne Bay. With shallower bay conditions the traditional Miami Chop was certainly in effect along with light and shifty winds. As with many “trapping” boats like the 29er, shifty conditions put extra complexities on both the skipper and crew.
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.
On February 17-18, SDYC welcomed 17 teams from all around the country to race in the first annual Women’s Winter Invitational. Teams from Southern California, Northern California, Washington, Texas and New York gathered in La Playa on a sunny and breezy February weekend for excellent racing and fellowship. The regatta was not your usual regatta – and even though the competition was close, regatta organizers went out of their way to make sure that fun was had by all.
Puerto Vallarta, MX (March 9, 2018) - It has been five, six or seven days since the 2018 San Diego Yacht Club’s Puerto Vallarta race left San Diego Bay, depending on when you start counting. One thousand rhumbline miles later, the boats are piled into Marina Vallarta, Puerto Vallarta. Sails are being flaked, lines are being dried, along with foul weather gear being given a chance to exhale after some serious work. Every two years a new cast of characters hop on board to head south for fast sailing and warm weather...a Puerto Vallarta Race tradition since 1953.
“It’s going to be Champagne Sailing…” is a phrase that is meant to bring to mind ‘optimal’ sailing conditions. In the case of the San Diego Yacht Club's Puerto Vallarta race, it would bring to mind a full moon lighting the seas at night, fresh winds of 12-15 kts aft of the beam, and long ocean swells just large enough to lift the transom and give your boat a little invisible push, followed by a subtle roar of your bow wave peeling past the hull. That was the case for Thursday starters, but as roll call 0600 reports trickled in Saturday morning, it was apparent that the champagne was running low.
For the first roll call of the 2018 Vallarta Race, it was clear that Peter Isler’s weather briefing the morning before had been spot on. “You’re going to have a banner evening with full moon and full breeze…” he advised.
Thus this from Marjorie Friday morning: “…Just as Peter promised – bright worm moon, building breeze and great sailing…”, and “…sacrificed 1 spinnaker in 21 knot gybe…”. Cabernet Sky chimed in with “…spin halyard separated just after sunset, fished A3 from under boat…”. And this from Tropic Thunder “…30kt gust took out full symmetrical sail…”!
The Vallarta Race 2018 is officially underway with the first 3 boats getting their start on Thursday. The rest of the teams can be found enjoying beer and tacos along with Mariachis provided by partner Bay City Brewing and Mexico Tourism at the San Diego Yacht Club for the Kick Off Race Party tonight as they gear up for their starts on Friday and Saturday.
The Helly Hansen National Offshore One Design (NOOD) Regatta will return to San Diego on March 16-18, 2018. Organized by Sailing World and sponsored by Helly Hansen, the NOOD is the largest national sailboat racing circuit in the United States. Although this is only the 20th year of the NOOD in San Diego, 2018 marks the 30th year total of NOOD Regattas around the country.
The three-day event, hosted by San Diego Yacht Club (SDYC) and Coronado Yacht Club, will feature sailing on three venues (two ocean and one south San Diego Bay), and one cruising course located in San Diego Bay. Back this year will be the North Sails Rally on Saturday for boats that do not fit in a one design class.
For the ninth year, San Diego Yacht Club and Newport Harbor Yacht Club hosted the 130nm Islands Race on February 16 and 17. Kicking off the 2018 offshore racing season in Southern California, many boats used this year's Islands Race as a tune-up for SDYC's Vallarta Race which will have its first start on March 1.
Islands Race competitors have experienced a variety of conditions since the event started nine years ago, ranging from so windy the course had to be shortened to so light that many boats had no choice but to drop out and motor home. This year's race fell on the lighter side, with the wind speed never exceeding 10 knots. In addition, with just a sliver moon, sailors were missing one of their favorite features: moonlight!
Sailors and spectators at San Diego Yacht Club were greeted by a fleet of Pac52’s and TP52’s med tied at the front dock from early last week through the weekend, and a fleet of Beneteau 36.7 boats, for the 2018 SCYA Midwinter Regatta. Racing was held on Saturday and Sunday with five races completed.
Nine boats sailed in the ’52 Class in a range of conditions from bumpy and windy on Saturday to smoother water, sunny skies and more moderate breeze on Sunday. The racing was tight as many lead changes occurred and finishes came down to a matter of seconds. Winning the regatta for the 52s was Tony Langley’s team of Land Rover/BAR Gladiator, with Langley on the helm and Sir Ben Ainslie calling tactics. The team from Great Britain is challenging for the America’s Cup, and is using the Pac52 class and also the TP52 SuperSeries as training grounds for their team.