Monday, August 29, 2016

The Harbor Report: The season ends in paradise: Whites Cove

Horizon at Long Point race week. (Daily Pilot / Courtesy
Len Bose

Summer is starting its final leg, so that means it must be time to return to my happy place: Whites Cove, Catalina.
Aug. 23 marked the start of Long Point Race Week to Catalina, and this year's event is filled with Southern California's top racing sailboats.
The first of this three-race regatta is from Newport Beach to Long Point, Catalina. Saturday's leg is from Long Point up to and around Bird Rock, at the Isthmus, then back to Long Point. We return to Newport Sunday.
The weather is looking rather sporty with Friday's race the most difficult, as the wind is forecast to start in the south with a late-afternoon westerly finally filling in at about 4 p.m.

With winds forecast between 8 to 14 knots, if we are lucky, it could turn out to be a good weekend for us on the Santa Cruz 50 Horizon. With 40 of Southern California's best boats entered most anyone, if they are on our game, can win the regatta.
There is a new boat owned by Victor Wild out of San Diego. Fox, a Pacific 52, is easy to look at. Roy Disney plans to bring his Andrews 70 Pyewacket and Hasso Plattner. His Swan 60 Claude will also be on the starting line. Plattner has a crew that can compete on one of today's Americas Cup boats. Another two favorites to win the event is Viggo Torbensen's J 125 Timeshaver and Molly and Alan Andrews' Doubletime.
An unofficial way of scoring this event is not just sailing well on the course but by the type of escort boat is waiting for you upon arrival. The boys on It's Ok are always a favorite when it comes to style points and should be mentioned as a race favorite.
I have to bring up the fact to the It's OK crew that I have recently seen Invictus, a 217-foot mega yacht in our local waters. Don't worry, guys, by the time everyone is reading this the marine layer still will not have lifted from Friday night party, and I doubt anyone had thought of chartering Invictus.

After our arrival on Friday, the crew of Horizon will head to the beach and set up Camp Ada, named for Horizon crew member Ada Thornton. The end night cap, looking up at the stars and following their reflection onto the water, is a favorite of mine. You can hear crews returning to their boats and the ensuing laughter. While camping, just up from the beach, you also have to keep in mind that when you wake up in the middle of the night, to water the closest tree, that there might be a buffalo, deer or other wild life near by.
Saturday's is one of my favorite races of the regatta. I am always looking for those secluded little coves to return to. . The down-wind run is a challenge on whether to sail close to the island. It always makes it easier if you have one or two larger boats just in front of you so you do not sail into the unexpected "hole," where there's a lack of wind.
Saturday's party is as difficult to survive as Friday's, and it is normally rather subdued around the Sunday breakfast tables. With a big, good sigh, I get up from the breakfast table, break down the camp and bring everything back to our escort boat.

Sunday's race is normally a run home, with the wind behind our back, and the larger boats in the fleet eventually passing you after later starts. A third of the way home Catalina starts to disappear, and one gets the feeling that summer is doing the same.

Boat name of the week: "Wild Thing"

Sea ya

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist for the Daily Pilot.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

The Harbor Report: Taco Tuesday at Bahia Corinthian YC is the place to be

Ronda, left, and Natalie Tolar at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club

By: Len Bose

Each summer I look forward to sailing in the weekday night races around the harbor.
One night seems to stand out above the rest during this summer, and it is not on the race course. It is after the race.
Rhonda Tolar has put a team together that is setting the bar to new heights for after-the-race social gatherings. "We wanted to capture the crews of each boat and keep them coming back." Solar said.
Harbor 20 Fleet
 Tolar had noticed that most nights on the harbor the owner of the boat that wins the race receives their pickle dish and the crew seems to be forgotten. But not on Taco Tuesday nights at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club with Tolar's group.
The post-race activities normally start with racers looking for their favorite beverage and then joining their sailing teams or fleets at a table that has their name cards on them.
As the different teams arrive the energy fills the room. Before sitting down participants are looking for the Taco Tuesday girls to get their raffle tickets. The swag from the raffle always appears to be never ending with shirts, hats, photos, hot tamales, rum, tequila and just plain good, old-fashioned fun.
This recipe is catching on with close to 225 people showing up each week to see who will be this week's Taco Tuesday girl or Tequila guy, not to be outdone by the Hot Tamale guy and gal.
Tolar was born and raised in Orange County and started boating from Day One.
"My parents enjoyed fresh-water boating where I leaned to fish and water ski," Tolar said. "I also wanted to take up sailing someday, so I started asking boat owners if I could crew for them on the weeknight races."

She then got the racing bug and purchased a Mumm 30 and joined one of the most competitive fleets in the world. She put together a strong team from BCYC and competed in the San Francisco Big Boat Series and the Mumm 30 Worlds.
She also sailed in the bay, where her sailing team finished fifth overall and first in the Corinthian, amateur non-pros class. Not an easy goal to achieve.
During this time her friends would tell her she was crazy and wild spirited to try to compete at this high skill level. So she started naming her boats Wild Thing. If you look around the harbor you will notice two very good looking boats with that name.

Tolar felt there needed to be a change to improve the participation at BCYC summer weeknight races. She has been no stranger to volunteering at the club chairing events like Showboat, The Anglers and an upcoming BCYC Sailing Foundation event.
So, when she asked BCYC management to tune up weeknight racing, the club said: "Here, it's all yours."
Tolar and her daughter Natalie have put together a group that spends more than eight hours getting ready for 16 Tuesday nights every summer. They are going on their sixth year.
Tolar's group has planned a blowout party for BCYC's last Taco Tuesday of the summer on Aug. 30. With a grand finale raffle planned, a DJ with dancing, everyone is welcome to come see how it's done.
The party starts at about 7 p.m. There is a $13 buffet.
I am going for the hot tamales myself.

I will be speaking at Newport Harbor Yacht Club's Yachtsman luncheon on Wednesday on my observations around the harbor.
This week's boat name: "Baby got back."

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist for the Daily Pilot.