( Again, I prefer the unedited copy. Please leave your comments THANKS BRONNY FOR THE PHOTOS!)
While the East Coast was battening the hatches and boarding the windows for Hurricane “Irene” I was busy gathering my storm supplies for the 2011 Balboa & Newport Harbor Yacht Clubs Long Point Invitational. As always, I brought along my Excedrin Migraine, Tums extra 1000, drinking water and 7Up’s for the forecasted rum squalls.
This not being my first rodeo, I seem to be preparing for this event better each year. Over the last two years I have attended both breakfast at Moonstone and Whites. Navigated past the “Tree ring “ toss at Moonstone, stayed dry during the beach landing at Whites and be physically able to attend the party on Saturday Night. I do not get it, three years ago we won this event overall and now with the ability to stay away from the rum squalls we have finished in the lower part of the fleet.
The constant of the event is the people and the scenery. This is what truly makes this event the mother of all sailing events in Southern California. This year we had everything from Dr. Laura Schlessinger newly built “KANTANA” to the return of the Rolex Rangers aboard the 1939 built “CHUBASCO” skippered by Craig Cadwalader. Now blend in Payson Infelise “MILE HIGH CLUB” with John Garrison “CHECMATE” and you have the ingredients of the perfect weekend. Making sure everything stays together throughout the weekend year after year are the two yacht clubs sailing administrators BYC Becky Lenhart & NHYC Jennifer Lancaster. Yea, we all notice the General Managers sticking their noses into the event and telling us “that coffee is for the staff”. But we all know that the Becky & Jennifer are the one that dissever all the credit for making this the best event of the year. Therefore, I would like to propose that the Monday following The Long Point race we have a Sailing Administrators Day and do everything in your power not to call them on this day?
Back to the racecourse, this years event was challenging in many ways with Fridays forecast of no wind turning out to be incorrect and piping up over 20knots by the finish. The fastest way to the finish line was to “Go fast and go straight” and not beat up the Beach. I have to eat a lot of crow on this one because I was using every hand signal I know to convince the boat on our weather hip to tack and head up the beach. “Sorry about that bird signal I used Commodore!”
Saturday started with the breeze up and a couple of boats throwing reefs in their mains. When 10 minutes from the starting gun the wind disappeared and we franticly started shaking the reefs out and changing back to our larger headsails. The racecourse is from Long Point around Bird Rock, at the Isthmus, and return. This race is my favorite races of the year and I have done very well in this race over the years with a big headache. Not this year, the only headache I had this year was that the wind stopped and shifted 180 degrees and I was on the wrong side of the racecourse.
Sundays race was perfect, hot sunny skis with large thunderhead clouds and 15 knots of breeze. We hit the starting line at full speed and right on time. We set our 3A spinnaker and were looking good all the way to the finish line. For most of the race I could read the homeport from Amanate transom until we were about a quarter of a mile from the finish at the Newport Pier when the wind decided to stop. OH well, it was time for a cold beverage and a recap from the weekend.
First lesson learned by a crewmember aboard “ALCHEMY”, never take a close up photo of a Buffalo. They don’t like it and will send you home in a helicopter. My understanding is the crewmember is OK and just took a big hit in the credit card for the taxi service home. Quote of the weekend “ I am just glad we ran out of beer on the way home”, “Hey Len, do you have anymore Excedrin I keep hearing thunder”
Its been another fantastic summer in Newport Harbor and I am already looking forward to next year. Remember to read my blog site at lenboseyachts.blogspot.com to keep updated on the weekly dredging and my unedited stories.