April 16, 2012

Dana Point Series #5 Re-loaded

Windy and wavy day in DP!
By Bruce Cooper / Ullman Sails

The Dana Point Series has had 2 of the 5 races so far re-scheduled due to lack of wind and too much wind. Race #5 was rescheduled from March 17th to April 14th and was facing some top wind and wave conditions as another storm blew through SoCal at the end of the week.

Graham Forsyth, David Bolton and Cindy Wynne monitored the forecast and actual conditions carefully to determine the fate of the rescheduled race #5. Racers arrived to the Dana Point Yacht Club watching the wind driven waves pound the outer breakwater and the 25 plus knots of wind rip white caps across the water to the horizon. The breeze was on! Was the race on? Bahia Corinthian YC in Newport had cancelled their Angelman Series race earlier in the morning. In year’s past, mast have broken, sails have blown apart, what would the race committee decide to do?
With confidence after hearing the wind and wave report from the J105 Legacy, who had just came down from Newport that morning and placed an inflatable buoy at the location of the missing “L” mark, the DPYC race committee decided the 20-22 knots of wind with higher puffs and 5-7 foot waves did not scare them and the race was on!

The 17 racers were all out before the 11:55 warning deciding whether a reef in the main was the best trim while checking various sail combinations to give the best performance and balance in the big wind and waves. Every one looked a little scattered and wild as all the boats figured out their best trim in the high winds.
Viggo Torbenson’s J125 Timeshaver loaded the boat with thirteen crew members to counter balance the healing of the wind and led the Class “A” boats from the start and stretched an incredible lead on the slightly slower boats in her class. The bigger Sydney 41 Twister stayed in front of the J105 Legacy and IMX 38 Showdown to cross the line ahead, but could not save the handicap time owed to the smaller boats.
In Class “B” the Olson 30 Grey Goose and the Santana 3030 Schockwave battled tight upwind to the new “L” mark, but the speedy downwind flyer Grey Goose opened up with the spinnaker pulling and led the rest of the race to take the bullet in first place.
The class “C” boats were a little off the pace of the bigger boats when sailing upwind against the big waves and wind, but had a great race with their class. Doug Hosford sailed his J24 Super Strings to a first place ahead of Mark Downey’s Capo 26 Orski and Carol Maxwell and Glen Everroad’s orange Lindberg 26 Beaver.

The non spinnaker boats and the Catalina 30’s kept their racing closer to the harbor and did not go up to “L” mark and stayed in the consistent strong Westerly wind under the Dana Point all day. Leading the way in the Catalina 30 class was Rick Caselli on Bon Vivant. He and his family have been racing this same boat for almost two decades, way to go!
The non spinnaker fleet (who needed spinnakers on a day when it was blowing 20+!?!) was led by the Catalina 320 Trofina 2 owned by Anna & Ueli Scharer. In second place was the biggest boat of the fleet. Dave Stege and crew sailed the mighty Tarten 3700 Vinciamo with the rail down and spray flying to stay ahead of the third place finisher Dave Griffin sailing his Newport 28 Fair Havens. Dave wisely switched to his smaller Dacron Roller Furling genoa before leaving the dock, he said this definitely was a game changer for Fair Havens. Way to go Dave!
Thanks to the Dana Point Yacht Club for holding the race and letting the sailors relish in the big winds and seas. The competitors all sailed their boats to the speed and comfort level they felt best for the conditions and safety of their crew. No blown sails, no broken mast, lots of seasick chowder over the side with the only true causality being one sunk / lost inflatable buoy with anchor, rode and one extra cast iron Christmas tree stand for extra ballast. It was a great day with stories for years to come of the Dana Point Series Race #5 re-loaded.
-J105 w/ spinnaker Video