October 20, 2015

Dana Point Harbor Championships

2015 Dana Point Harbor Champion "Timeshaver"
Dana Point Harbor California is one of those beautiful places that has been hidden away from the spotlight for many years.  The rich history of the city dates back to the 1800's when Richard Henry Dana first laid his eyes on what he thought was the most beautiful area on California.  Dana Point Yacht club dates back to 1952 and has been a thriving force in racing for many of the years it has been in existence.

The Howard Trueba memorial trophy is presented each year to the skipper who wins the Dana Point Harbor Championships that consists of inward leeward and random leg style racing.  2015 saw thirteen boats enter (each skipper is invited based on winning at least one race in Dana Point Harbor) from all of the various classes that race week in week out.  Handicaps ranged from -6 to 120 and all boats start on the same line.  This can be challenging for the race committee as they must take into consideration the amount of speed a boat that rates -6 can build up in a short time.
Light Air Day In Dana Point California

Weather conditions are always a factor for sailing and Southern California has been blessed(?) with warm beautiful weather for what seems like forever now.  Saturday the wind got the message and showed up  The one random leg race took place in this breeze and the race committee threw out a fun and interesting course.  Two starboard mark rounding, lengthy upwind, VMG running and a bit of reaching were all included in the 12.1 mile (or close to that) course.  We had a nice tour of the Dana Point area and even ventured as far south as San Clemente.

The start was civilized and the leader who popped out at the first mark was James Wert and his team on "Twister."  They had a good start and kept Viggo Torbensen's "Timeshaver" pinned out below them.  In hot pursuit were the FT-10's, Henderson 30's, Olson 30's and a variety of other cool boats.

Twister and Timeshaver has a few moments of action until Timeshaver decided to gybe away and sail their own race.  The FT-10's are super tough in the 10-12kts of VMG running and were rapidly gaining ground.  The early gybe seemed to pay off as Timeshaver looked to be in more pressure closer to the beach.  San Clemente was the destination and D mark is a few miles off the pier.   The wind built as the race progressed and the long upwind leg to Whistle buoy saw Timeshaver extend the lead while Twister did their best to pull time on Ruckus.

Twister was doing their best to hold off the FT-10's but in the end Ruckus corrected out to place second behind Timeshaver.  Twister was third and the Olson 30 Grey Goose corrected into fourth. 

Sunday saw a light breeze from the south that never really developed into anything substantial.  Race one was somewhat of a parade and the RC eventually canceled it and reset the course.  The next start was somewhat dramatic as 40 foot boats try to jockey with 24 foot boats on a short line.  Most boats were happy to get away unscathed with Chuck Bayless' Henderson 30 "Espirit" getting around the top mark first.  They had a great set and held off the larger Timeshaver for 3/4 of the final leg home.  As the boats gybed Timeshaver managed to overtake Espirit but was beaten on corrected time.  Great result for Espirit and proved their hard work and preparation is turning them into a real contender in Dana Point. 
J-125 Timeshaver with 100% Ullman Sails Inventory

Coming into the final two races it was a two horse race for the gold.  Timeshaver and Ruckus were sitting atop the leader-board and the next race proved pivotal.  Timeshaver won by a mere 5 seconds and essentially sealed the 2015 Harbor Championships with this race.

2015 was a fantastic year for sailing in Southern California and ending it with a series like this is the only way to go.  Thank you to the Race Committee, sailors and all the Ullman Sails supporters that fly the Ullman flag on the race course.

Full Results