September 7, 2010

Tales from the Darkside

The past weekend was the annual Labor day Long Beach to Dana Point Race. Over 70 boats entered the regatta and were treated to a fantastic day of sailing off the Southern California coastline. Team Ullman was well represented on the course with Kenny Cooper on the Open 40 "Yippee Kai Yay", Bruce Cooper on the Santa Cruz 50 "Horizon" and Keith Magnussen on the Catamaran "Freestyle".

On Freestyle we spent the morning talking about the difference between monohull and cat racing. I had some comments directed to me at the yacht club about going over
to the darkside and racing a cruising style catamaran. I guess if you have never had the pleasure of hitching a ride on a cat or a trimaran then it is hard to make a comparison of the two. I am a huge fan of multihull sailing and every time I race on one I come away with a big smile and a new respect for the sailors that pursue them.

We started the race last and immediately became immersed in thick fog. we had the radar going and crept up to the breakwater at a comfortable 9kts. As we pushed towards Angels Gate we started passing boats pretty quickly. On our last port tack the jib block blew out and got back to starboard and made the exit.

As soon as we cleared the breakwater and put up our reaching genoa the boat took off. We kept on course for the oil platforms to round and then decided to put up the spinnaker and point below the islands and wait for the lift that usually happens when you get close

After rounding the oil platforms we decided to stay outside and hope for stronger breeze. Boats were now splitting the course with about half deciding to jibe in towards Huntington Beach. As the wind lightened we were forced to sail hotter angles to keep out speed up. At this point we were just behind Yippee Kai Yay and Martela the IMX-38. Martela was able to pole back and head almost directly towards Dana Point and Yippie was able to sail a little deeper than us.

As we closed in on Dana Point the wind really started to pick up. As we passed the whistle buoy the wind increased into the 20's andFreestyle lit up. We eventually maxed out at 19 kts of boat-speed, quiet a thrill when you are standing up sipping on a cold Pacifico knowing you are the fastest boat on the course.

We finished the race, had a fantastic time and enjoyed the after party at Dana Point Yacht Club. I recommend everyone break free and get out on a multi-hull and see for yourself what all the hype is about.

Ullman Customers Shine:
Yippee Kai Yay 1st
Pendragon 2nd

Maiden 1st
Carrera 2nd

Horizon 1st
Marisol 2nd *partial Ullman Inventory

Martela 1st *partial Ullman Inventory
Commotion 2nd

Wind Dancer 1st