|Long Point 2014 Photo Courtesy of Joysailing.com|
By Len Bose
August 29, 2014 | 6:26 p.m.
This time each year, I reflect back to previous Long Point Race Weeks, and this year's event — which took place last weekend — was another extraordinary regatta.
The race starts on a Friday in Newport Beach, headed toward Long Point in Catalina. Saturday we race up and down the island, and on Sunday we return home to Newport Beach.
As always, the Balboa and Newport Harbor Yacht clubs host the regatta at their Catalina Island way stations at White's Cove and Moonstone. The two coves are almost side by side, and the festivities rotate between the two. With picturesque views as a backdrop, the event offers a perfect way to wrap up the summer sailing session.
This year we were greeted with perfect warm summer days, plenty of wind in all three races and flat seas. As we headed out of the harbor for Race 1, I noticed a large swell running down the inside of the break water. This normally indicates a south swell.
South swells do not make for a pleasant night's stay in most of Catalina's coves, and I was picturing myself having to swim in with my camping gear to stay on the island. Fortunately, upon our arrival, swells from Hurricane Marie had not arrived yet and our weekend could not have turned out any better.
As always, I spent a couple of hours in my happy place — the red chairs at the entrance to the Balboa Yacht Club station — looking over the cove and listening to all the sounds under a dark, star-filled sky.
With more than 40 boats entered in this year's race, the competition was as strong as it has ever been. Team Bolt, sailing its new-to-them Trans Pac 52, was the overall winner this year. Roy P. Disney, sailing his Andrews 70 Pyewacket, came in second, while Chad and Kerrie Downey took third aboard Elixir.
It's difficult for me to explain just how picturesque this regatta is. Therefore, I strongly recommend going to joysailing.com and clicking on the 2014 pictures link, which will take you to Long Point Race Week photos. As always, photographer Bronny Daniels hit it out of the park, perfectly capturing every moment of this race.
For us on the Santa Cruz 50 Horizon, it was a dream come true. I have to tell you, earlier this year we traveled to the island of St. Maarten, in the Caribbean, for the Heineken Regatta. Personally I prefer the Long Point Race and sailing against all our good friends.
Now don't get me wrong. I am very fortunate to have experienced the Heineken Regatta, and it's very well known around the world as one of the best, but to me Long Point is what it's all about. It beats it on the fun meter by a large margin.
One of my favorite moments of the regatta occurred last Sunday as the fleet was waiting for the breeze to blow in. Over the VHF radio, a voice very familiar to the community broke the radio silence. It was Steve Steiner aboard the light blue Medicine Man. "I just want to take the time and tell you how grateful I am to get to participate with all of you in this wonderful event," he said. "This place is so beautiful, thank you."
A roar of applause followed and echoed across the water.
I have to assume you have all been down to the beach to see the large swells from Hurricane Marie, now a tropical storm. If you head over to lenboseyachts.blogspot.com, you will see the damage done at White's on Catalina.
I asked Newport Harbor Yacht Club Rear Commodore Gary Hill how Catalina's Moonstone has held up, and he had heard that it was in good shape with only a couple of large boulders being swept into the station by the large swell.
If you are headed over to the island this weekend, better keep your game face on. Part of my routine before heading over is to visit the different web cams on the island. My favorite is on the Balboa Yacht Club's web page. Look to the White's Cove web cam. If the water has a lot of turned up sand in it, and you notice the large white wash on the beach along with the pier float missing, best to reconsider your plans for the weekend.
One last interesting observation I noticed this week was that, with the swell, all the large sea lions have come into the harbor because they cannot sun on the bell buoys. These new guests are not resting in the normal places, so make sure you check on your boat this weekend.
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.
|Wednesday at Long Point|
|Last Sunday before the swell rolled in. You will not see this in The Pilot.|