Thursday, March 09, 2017

On the Harbor: the race to Cabo



1985 Cabo Race aboard Amante 

This Saturday, March 11, is the start of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club’s race to Cabo San Lucas. I will be aboard the Santa Cruz 50 Horizon, like always, the week before the start is much more intense than the race itself.

The owner of Horizon lives in Singapore and arrived in town on Wednesday. Picture the organizational chart, for Horizon, as a sports team with owner, general manager, coach and players.
Over the last three years I have been the general manager and have selected the captain or coach. The captain’s responsibilities are preparing the boat for the racing season, crew selection, provisioning and delivering the boat home after the race.
This year, I have also taken the role of captain and to say that I am a little bunched up right now is an understatement. I was very fortunate to have found Doug Cary, who has just moved into the area from the East Coast, and was crew member from a prominent sailing team. I am grooming Cary to become the skipper after a couple of seasons on our coast. Along with organizing and completing our boat’s maintenance schedule he is our bowman for this season.
Our navigator and delivery skipper is Richard “Chewy” Parlette, whom I have sailed with in five Trans Pacs and six long-distance Mexico races. The rest of our team is some of the best sailors Newport Beach has to offer: Buddy Richley, Justin Law, Greg Helias, Alex Steele and Carson Reynolds.
This is the youngest team I have put together thus far, with five members in their early 30s. What I am nervous about is how the team will come together, out on the ocean, and can we obtain the same results we did last year. We had a winning season last year with a 1st Overall in the Puerto Vallarta Race, California Ocean Racing Week and Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race.
This season started with the SDYC/NHYC Islands Race around Catalina and San Clemente Islands and finished in San Diego. We sailed well and the boat was up to speed with only a couple of bugs to work out with the boat’s electronics.
The Cabo Race is the second race of the season with the World Series being the Trans Pac race to Hawaii. With nine boats entered, that are Santa Cruz 50 and 52’s, the competition will be very strong this year.


I am headed out the door now to start provisioning the boat along with dealing with the immigration papers for Mexico. All eyes are on the weather and all the different weather models. Wish us luck!
But, who needs luck when you have Greg Helias on your team. Helias won this last weekend’s Harbor 20 A’s Spring regatta and he has also won the Mid-Winters a couple of weekends ago.
A fleet is extremely competitive with 13 boats entered this last weekend. Perry & Brian Bissell finished in second followed by Walter Johnson in third. I pulled out all the stops and brought in a ringer Justin Law and finished fifth. In B fleet, Alex Steele won five of the seven races and won the regatta. He still had his hands full with Alex Curtiss finishing in second place just eight points behind him. Ted Reed sailed very consistently and finished in third. In C fleet, Tad Springer sailed away from the fleet with five firsts and will be moving up to B in the next event. At this pace, the Springers will be in A fleet in no time.


Out on the PHRF course this weekend, BCYC ran the Doug Mills Series with Seth Hall aboard his beautiful blue J-124 Marisol and won PHRF A, while Caleb Everett sailing Tortuga won PHRF B. This is a three-race random leg series with the last race scheduled for April 8. BCYC will also be hosting the next Harbor 20 event – the Loren Weiss Series on March 12 and the PHRF Bogart Series Race to Avalon on March 25.
Boat name of the week: Bar Killer
Sea ya!
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Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for StuNewsNewport.