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Inaugural Islands Race:

New race is huge success in So Cal

Tue, 16th Mar 2010
By Charlie Jenkins

Inaugural Islands Race: New race is huge success in So Cal
Image Credit: charlie jenkins
West End of Catalina Island

A great beginning for a great race. Good weather with sunny a day and a starry night. 48 boats signed up and 41 boats made it to the starting line for the inaugural Islands Race hosted by, Newport Harbor and San Diego Yacht Clubs. The Course started in Long Beach then to the west end of Catalina,  around  San Clemente Island, and finishing at Buoy ‘1’ in San Diego Bay. SDYC Staff Commodore Fred Delaney offered up some of his old family silver in the form of an 18th century tea urn to be dedicated as the perpetual trophy for the race.

 The buzz on the dock after the race was all positive with people saying things like “why haven’t we been doing this for years?” The factors contributing most to the success was the weather, the venue, and the turnout. Starting in Newport Beach, an easy delivery out from San Diego, and finishing in San Diego, an easy drive or delivery back home for those who came from Newport Beach. One person pointed out to me that it was much easier to get his wife to come and get him from San Diego, than from Mexico.

The weather which I have mentioned twice already, was great. Blowing 12 kts at the starting area inside Angel’s Gate in LA Harbor. A quick beat out the gate, then a couple of tacks up to the Point Fermin buoy and then over on the long starboard tack to Catalina. The wind stayed between 10 and 12 kts for the tack to Catalina, then the wind increased to 15+ kts as the boats tacked up the north side of Catalina to West End. The wind dropped rapidly as the boats rounded West End to 8 to 10 kts. At the turn a few boats tried hoisting kites but the angle was very tight, and most stayed with their Genoas some going to Code 0’s. Eventually as the fleet got some distance from Catalina, the wind began to swing around to the right and slowly all boats began to hoist spinnakers. Down the back side of San Clemente the wind began to really build with gusts to 20 kts as boats prepared for the night gybe on to port for the long reach into San Diego. It was at this point in the race that one of the boats had a man overboard. Not many details to report, but he was recovered after about 3 minutes in the water.

Good breeze held all night until boats came to 5 or 10 miles from the coast, when the offshore breeze filled in from the east, and the wind angle went from a reach to a beat Eventhough the wind went forward there was still some velocity, about 7 kts, so boats kept moving toward buoy 1. All boats, with only a few exceptions, finished the race by 9 am. All in all a great event, just about everyone that went on this race has put it on the calendar for next year.


This article was posted on Tue, 16th Mar 2010