|Horizon at Long Point race week. (Daily Pilot / Courtesy Joysailing.com.)|
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"
LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist for the Daily Pilot.