By Len Bose
I wanted to recap some of the racing that went on last weekend, and talk a little about what is coming up this week and the following week.
My understanding that local yachtsman Jim Madden, owner of “Stark Raving Mad V” came up with the concept (or retro idea depending how long you've been around), of retuning to a local overnight race a couple of years ago. The idea was then picked up again by Paul Stemler who then went down to the San Diego Yacht Club and looked up Staff Commodore Fred Delaney, and the two of them chaired the inaugural “Islands Race” this past weekend. The race started on Friday in Los Angles Harbor and proceeded by taking Catalina and San Clemente Islands to port and finishing in San Diego. Then Paul and Fred came up with some outstanding foresight by starting this race in the month of March, to invert the starting order, and make it a part of the Ullman Offshore Series.
Blend all these ingredients and BAM you have 50 boats entered into the inaugural race. The weather was perfect with sunny skies and 15 to 20 knots of breeze with most of the fleet finishing before 7 a.m. on Saturday morning. I talked to chairman Paul Stemmler over the phone on Monday and thanked him for coming up with one of the better ideas I have seen in a long time on our racing scene. His response was, "Thanks Len, the whole idea was to attract everybody,“ and they did that with 41 boats making it to the starting line. I then asked Paul what were some of the stories from the race?
“Well we had one boat run into a whale, someone fell overboard and was quickly retrieved, a tremendous amount of sea life around us, with the inverted starts everyone was racing side by side the down backside of Catalina and we had more than 300 people stay for the awards ceremony on Saturday Night. "Wow! I said. How lucky are you? I have to think you will be doing the same event next year?" “Oh yes, you can count on it," Paul replied.
I then asked, since next year is the Newport to Cabo race, if there was any chance if the participants who are doing the Islands Race and the Cabo Race can have IBoat transmitters placed on their boats early so everyone can watch both races?“ "That’s a great idea Len, I will have to check into that.” If you would like to find the results, video and photos of the fantastic event go to www.islandsrace.com.
Wednesday started the spring twilights with absolutely perfect conditions – sunny and warm with an eight to 10 knot westerly coming down the bay. The fleet gathers off M Mark around 5:30 p.m. every Wednesday, and our Pro Jeff Keenan goes straight to work setting up the race course and passing out cold beverages. Last night we got in five windward leewards and some of the most fun I had in my Lido in a long time. This year’s mascot is “Buddha in a Boat,” and should you make a large blunder on the racecourse or take things a little too seriously, the “Buddha in the Boat” is awarded to you and pulled behind your boat. It also becomes part of your boat during the next race. After each race “The Buddha” is passed over to the next offender. Some of the better comments last night were “Love the Buddha” and “That Buddha has duck lips.” This event is open to everyone, just come on down, grab a cold beverage and “Love the Buddha.”
A week from this Friday starts the 2010 CdM to Cabo race, although it's too early to tell, the weather just might cooperate again this year! The entries should start showing up at BYC this weekend. It reads as if the R/P 63 “Limit” has arrived and is measuring the boat now. Here are my bets on the Race for today: Class A, The P/P 45 Criminal Mischief; Class B, Grand Illusion (and I will be pulling for Mirage); Class C, I still have to go with Morpheus although FLACA won “The Island Race.” I will be aboard FLACA this year, and of course, I had to miss last weekend's race because of work. Being a superstitious sailor, it's never good to win the race before the big event. The only way I know how to counter my superstition is to ask the question, “Do you know why FLACA won last weekend's race? Because we can!”
Now that that’s out of the way, it's time to party ... a send-off party, that is. Balboa Yacht Club's send off party starts Thursday night at 5 p.m. with $2 Cabo Wabo Margs and $2 Coronas. The “Ricky Lewis Band” will be performing, and of course, the club will have the Mexican Buffet out. Parking will be a pain so come by boat if you can. Do you ever wonder why the clubs serve Mexican food before you go to Mexico? So if you are listening Newport Harbor, next year serve hamburgers, hot dogs and Sam Adams?
Len Bose is a contributing writer to the Daily Voice and owner of Len Bose Yacht Sales.