It always fun to tell your competitors and friends how good a sailor you are and how you won the Ensenada race overall in 2015. So when I was asked to write this story I jumped at it. This had to have been the thirty-second time I have sailed the race and the first time I was aboard the winning boat overall.
So how did I do it? Simple I found someone looking to buy a boat and we went out and bought the best offshore boat and program we could find. Horizon a Santa Cruz 50+, if I am not mistaken, had won PHRF class A in 2013 and overall 2014. The new owner and I just stepped aboard and let the boat and crew show us how it’s done. Next thing I know we are entering All Saints Bay with the sun coming up next to Medicine Man, Pyewacket, Bolt, It’s OK and Bad Pak. These are some of the biggest and best boats in the monohull fleet. I recall they beat us across the finish line by nineteen minutes, that gave us the overall win.
What, you say it is not that easy? Well you are right, the boat and the crew where preparing for the up coming Trans Pac race and we had just completed the Island Race and the Cabo race in the same year finishing 2nd and 3rd in class respectively. It goes without saying that Horizon is one of the best prepared boats in the fleet and we showed up to the starting line ready to race.
The only thing slowing us down last year was the weather and the forecast was dismal at best. By the time dinner was served we were all looking at each other wondering if it was time to pull the plug and head back home. I recall the quote on the boat that late afternoon and early evening was “ Why do we do this to ourselves.” We had been sailing a little above rum line throughout the day and then the breeze filled in from the south-west that allowed to close reach straight at the Coronado Islands. As we got closer to the islands we stayed with our reaching spinnaker up and with one foot on the beach we took the outside track. The breeze picked up a little more and we had our 2A up running straight at our waypoint just outside All Saints Bay.
Nothing sparks the adrenaline button more than noticing that you are around some of the biggest boats in the fleet when the sun is coming up and a crew member, looking through the binoculars, first announces “ Hey, I think that big flat head main and blue hull is Medicine Man” with only about twenty miles to go to the finish line. The whole off watch was on deck to take a look, that gives me an idea. The next time we do a spinnaker change and it’s time to pack the previous spinnaker I am going to say “Hey, I think that is Pyewacket” and see how many off watch crew members will help me pack the chute.
This year Horizon has a new crew and we just won the San Diego to PV race overall. We have added two new sails, a very sexy bottom job and again the boat has never been better prepared for the race. We will be on the starting line ready to race this April 23 and hope to see you on the water.
GM Sailing Team Horizon