The 2009 San Diego Bay Summer Beer Can series started off strong on Wednesday, May 27, 2009, with 34 boats – more than 1/3 of the total entrants – sailing with Ullman Sails out of 94 boats participating. Hosted by the Cortez Racing Association, Beer Can races are a weekly 10-race series on Wednesday evenings from May 27 to August 5th (except July 1st) with spinnaker and non-spinnaker fleets. All in all, it was a great time for all boats participating, and Ullman Sails would like to congratulate the winners of the first Beer Can race and all of the boats sailing fast with Ullman Sails. Whether you are racing or cruising, Ullman can make the best sails for your boat.
The sky was overcast for the first Beer Can race, with winds from the SW, shifting back and forth between WSW and SW during the race. The wind gust speed was 9.03 knots at the start, then declined to 7.04 knots during the race, and dwindled to 3.04 knots at the finish. Jackets came in handy as the temperature was a chilly 64 degrees at the start and dropped to 62.1 for the finish.
“We want to mix it up and give provide a variety of courses for the 10-week series,” said Bob Randall, Race Committee Chair for the Cortez Racing Association. “With good winds at the start and a limited time frame of two hours for boats to finish, we chose longer courses ranging in length from 3.14 to 8.9 nautical miles in order to accommodate all of the fleets. Typically, as the winds die we will send boats on shorter courses. ”
The majority of boats were pleased with the long courses. However, one fleet was not so pleased. Class B (Spin B) had a total of 15 entrants and 6 boats did not cross the finish line by the 8:00pm cut off time. However, with 6 DNFs in that class, it should be positively noted that 9 boats in the class (more than half) did finish. During the race, the race committee did acknowledge that the Spin B course should possibly be shorted and took actions to do so. However, when the race committee boat tried to shorten the course and pull the last mark, two boats had already passed the Navy Mooring buoy (FM19) so they were unable to shorten the course.
The start of the first Beer Can also created some discussions. Many boats were OCS and one boat decided to take the 3 minute penalty instead of restarting. The rest of the boats restarted by either altering their course to be behind the starting line and crossing again (because they were parallel to the starting line), or rounding the mark and starting again. Beer Can race rules were changed from previous years to include a 3 minute penalty option instead of restarting. The reason for this change was so that multiple boats didn’t restart and interfere with the next class start.
NOTE: This is a partial list of all the boats entered in the first Beer Can race. If you would like to view all of the finish times, visit www.cortezracing.com and click on Race Results at the top of the page. Click on Beer Can 1.