Only a year ago the West Coast Fleet kicked off the start of one-design racing with four boats active. This year there are 10 active boats (nine in SoCal) and seven made it out for Midwinters hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club. One boat, Woolly Bully changed hands to a new owner only a few days before the regatta and will rejoin the fleet at Ahmanson Cup in April.

Despite forecasts over land of light breezes, the weather models proved accurately that a nice sea breeze and sunny skies would greet us on the race course. 8-13 knot conditions that came from the left side of Catalina proved challenging for tacticians as winds oscillated and especially on Sunday when Platform Esther and its’ associated shuttle boat were right on the line out of the leeward mark!

Newcomer Far Niente was the surprise boat of the regatta, showing that all those practice days on the water really count! Even though the final score shows them in fourth, going into the last race, Skian Dhu, Temptress and Far Niente were only separated by a point. What also doesn’t show in the final score is how close everyone was at the first weather mark of each race with all the boats generally within a single minute.

Piranha won with a scoring line of four bullets and a third, but it really was a matter of just a few feet making the difference in key situations. In the second race for example, Piranha won the favored pin end, but was pinned on that side by Temptress, who was in turn unable to tack because Radical Departure was matching speed and point to weather of them. Finally when at layline, Piranha went for the tack and was able to cross them both by less than a boat length. Later, in race three, the roles were reversed when Piranha held starboard advantage and Skian Dhu couldn’t quite get across on port layline and was forced to tack twice, then approaching the mark above port layline Far Niente came within just a few feet of braking the overlap with Piranha, but didn’t get it done until Piranha was able to tack and round the mark inside them. The photo at left is from that rounding. Piranha is only a boatlength ahead of the boat taking the pictures and you can see how close we were all the other boats only a few boat lengths behind. The point is we are having some really great close and exciting racing that makes handicap racing look positively boring by comparison!

We are looking forward to the nine boat fleet that is committed for Ahmanson Cup and hoping to have a new owner to make it ten very soon!

Sail Boat Skipper Club Total Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5
1 51483 Piranha Voss,David CYC 7 1 1 1 1 3
2 51044 Skian Dhu Freeland,Dirk SBYC 13 5 3 2 2 1
3 40050 Temptress Godwin,Ray LBYC 16 3 4 4 3 2
4 USA37 Far Niente Scheer,Frederic CYC 17 4 2 3 4 4
5 888 White Knight Katinszky,Zoltan CBYC 22 2 5 5 5 5
6 40031 ‘Ohana Nebinsky,Tosh DPYC 32 6 7 6 6 7
7 50060 Radical Departure Dennis Rosene/Paul Wager BYC 33 7 6 7 7 6