I hope all of you Fleet 1 Harbor 20 sailors enjoyed your off season? The way I read our racing calendar New Years has passed us already and we are into 2014.
The first race of the 2014 High Point Series was Balboa Yacht Clubs Sunkist sailed on November 2nd . Racers where greeted by the sunny warm 70 degree, Indian Summer still lingering into the late fall. In fact, it was so warm that Gary Thorne decided just to step right into the bay about half hour before the first start.
Thirty boats showed up on the starting line with three boats in C’s, nineteen boats in B’s and eight in A’s. The normal reaching starts off the BYC racing tower turned into weather starting line with the wind coming in from the south. This always makes for good excitement with the clubs and harbor masters dock an immediate obstruction.
Fortunately the winds where light and it was easy to sail away from the dock. Although the deputy on duty, in the harbor department, felt the fleet was sailing to close to the emergency dock and demanded, over the public address system, that the fleet stay one boat length from their dock.
In B fleet Steve Kent took the first place points. B fleet is always extremely strong in the Sunkist with nineteen boats entered. Most of the fleet are sailors looking for that first place finish to return back to A fleet.
In A fleet, looking at the final results five of the eight racers tied for first in points and a tie breaker procedure was used . In the first race of the day, five boats crossed the finish line within a boat length of each other. In the second race the breeze filled into about ten knots. Ed Kimball came out of the first tack in the lead and sailed the whole race extremely smart and held it to the end. After his pre race dunk, Gary Thorne warmed up and placed second in the last race to take second for the day. Both Ed and Gary took home pickle dishes.
November 3rd Sunday was the start of the Newport Harbor Yacht Clubs Winter Series. With thirty two Harbor 20’s making it out to the starting line. The breeze was again on the light side and out of the south. C fleet had 2 participants with Diane Menninger taking the helm of D Art and Mark Conzelman aboard Shana’s Secret. The largest fleet was again B fleet with nineteen boats. Carter Ford was able to consistently find the breeze up at the weather mark, in front of NHYC, and sailing by himself he was able to stretch out, from the fleet, on the runs. A fleet had eleven boats looking for the breeze at the weather mark. Coming out the mooring field and finding that lane without adding two extra tacks seemed to be the ticket to rounding the weather mark in the top part of the fleet.
My son Andrew and I won the day and for what its worth this is what I noticed on the course. We had two weather marks one in front NHYC and one over more to the right, closer to the Lido channel. I noticed more breeze on the left side of the course and told myself if we where using the left mark I would lean that way after the start. With the starting line being fairly square I wanted the top third of the line and a clean lane. This seemed to work for me because in all three races we rounded the weather mark in the top three.
Good times on the water and looking forward to next months winter series. NHYC winter series is the next high point race on December 8th.