Dana Point Yacht Club played host to the Audi Cup for the second year running. Audi, in conjunction with the Richard Henry Dana Charity Regatta and the Tall Ship Festival, sponsored the regatta in order to bring a world class sailing event to Southern California. This year the Farr 40 class and the J-24 class were invited to participate and compete for not only bragging rights but also a new F40/J24 Spinnaker made by Ullman Sails Newport Beach and donated by Audi Mission Viejo.
Twelve J-24’s and six Farr 40’s arrived in Dana Point Harbor and were treated to some of the best sailing of the summer. The normal conditions for Dana Point (light and choppy) never arrived and we were instead greeted with a nice 15kt breeze. The Farr 40 fleet was out early and practicing long before the other fleets started to materialize. I was fortunate enough to race on Ray Godwin’s “Temptress” and we took the practice time to get familiar with each other as most of us had never sailed together before.
Race one started in near perfect conditions and after a good start we played the right side of the course, got the right shift and were first around the weather mark. The racing was extremely close and Oscar Krinski’s “Chayah” was within 2 boat-length’s of us. We had a good downwind leg, error free crew-work and from there out covered well and won race 1. Chayah was a close second and David Voss on “Piranha” was third.
The wind was shifting further right as the day went on and we were seeing puffs in the upper teens. Race two was a little more eventful for us and we were quickly reminded of how tough the fleet is and that one or two mistakes is all that is needed to send you to the back of the fleet. After a mediocre start we came to a crossing situation with Piranha. It was close but we fouled Piranha (port/starboard) and were forced to take our penalty turn. This put us in the back of the fleet and unfortunately never really recovered. Chayah won the race and it was apparent that they were finding their groove and were going to be hard to beat. Piranha was second and displaying their consistency that would be a deciding factor for the weekend.
We managed two more races for Saturday and the consensus was that this was one of the best regattas of the season and that Dana Point might just be the new Hurricane Gulch. Chayah raced well grabbing another first but Piranha’s bullet on the fourth race was a sign of what was to come.
Sunday started out as the typical 5-8kt day in Dana Point but was quickly transformed into another windy affair. With three races scheduled for the day it was still anyone’s regatta. Piranha and Chayah were tied on points and Temptress was 4 points back. Race five saw Piranha and Chayah jump out to early leads and then turned the race into two-boat affair. Piranha edged out Chayah to take a slim one point lead into the sixth race. Race six was eventful and Chayah had to settle for a sixth after some problems on the boat. Unfortunately Oscar Krinski had some health issues and Chayah had to withdraw from the final race.
Piranha won the sixth and seventh race and with four bullets they took top honors at the 2010 Audi Cup. Ray Godwin’s Temptress was second and Oscar Krinski’s Chayah still got third after withdrawing on Sunday.
The atmosphere surrounding the event was spectacular and the racing venue was near perfect. Dana Point Yacht Club hosted a fantastic event and with a corporate giant like Audi’s backing this should be a must on everyone’s regatta schedule next year. Be sure you are ready for your next regatta and all major events by purchasing Ullman Sails. We are currently in the middle of our fall discount program.