Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Jr. Sabot National Championships light up our waters

2019 Jr. Sabot Nationals Photo by Tom Walker
Not going to lie, I truly enjoy writing this harbor column, and as I headed out to the harbor aboard one of Newport Harbor Yacht Club’s coaching boats, which was so kindly lent to me without hesitation by NHYC race director Laurel Dinwiddie to observe this year’s Jr. Sabot National Championships, I was overwhelmed by all the Newport lovin’. After nine years of reporting this event, I went straight into my routine by heading to the coach boats and asking people like Mark Gaudio, Cameron MacLaren and Adrienne Patterson who I should be focusing on in the race. Gaudio has always directed me toward the new and upcoming sailors with the greatest passion. MacLaren seems to find the participants that are demonstrating the most sportsmanship on the water. And, while observing Patterson, you quickly notice the love she exudes for our sport and how infectious she is; the kids just soak it all in and leave her with a smile and the drive to compete...priceless. There is outstanding work by these coaches, and I hope you give them a “well done” the next time you see them at the club or on the water. 
Chase Decker

I also did a little homework before heading out onto the harbor and had noticed that Chase Decker, sailing for BCYC, had good results in the qualification round on the first day of sailing. What I missed was that his brother, Read Decker, who was doing even better. My mistake that I did not interview both of them during the break after the first day of the championships. My sincere apologies go out to Read. I learned that Chase sails a Corsair sabot and has been sailing now for six years. When I asked him how he was doing after the first two races he replied, “It’s going okay, wish I was doing better though.” I then asked about the starting line, which side of the course he wanted and how he felt about his boat speed. “I wanted middle boat then right side, of course, top right. I was not on the line enough and I need to push the line more aggressively. My boat speed is pretty good, I need to improve my starts,” he said. I asked how he determines which part of the starting line he wants to be on? “I see my angle from the committee boat, then see my angle from the pin to decide where I want to start on the line.” Interesting to note that the two brothers tied for 5th in the Gold fleet and only 10 points out of first. It will be fun watching these two growing up...reminds me of the Pickney and Mayol brothers.
Sophia Devling

The next person I noticed was Sophia Devling, and by watching her sail, it brought back lessons I learned about the race course. After rounding the weather mark in the second race in 5th place, Devling rounded a little wide and with good speed to dive down below her competitors, who were sailing a little higher to keep their air clean. Devling had clean air and showed great patience staying on starboard jibe, the whole run, then sailing into the lead. I asked her what she was thinking about during this run. “I just wanted to stay on starboard because I knew the current was pushing me to the mark,” she shared. On this race course there are two marks to choose from, referred to as a leeward gate, whereby the racers decide which one they would like to round. While sailing downwind, I asked Devling why she picked the left mark as we look at them. “I felt that there were more righties and more pressure on the right side of the race course.” Working her way back toward the finish, a competitor who selected the opposite gate, hooked into a left wind shift and appeared to be crossing her to take the lead. When asked why she did not try to cross him, she felt that it was best to tack in the left shift. Keeping in mind that she still had a chance to win if the wind went back to the right, Devling knew she still had second place. As it worked out, the wind did shift back to the right and she won handily. For the second year, I noticed some amazing patience from this sailor who was focusing on consistent finishes. When I asked Devling what she concentrates on to stay consistent, she replied: “Not taking any big risks, just trying to sail my boat well...finding the pressure.” Last year, Devling finished 20th; this year her 10th goal was accomplished.
Aidan Malm

It always amazes me to see the same family names stay on top of the leader boards generation after generation. This is how I noticed Aidan Malm, whose father Jamie has been one of our harbor’s best sailors for many years. When I asked Aidan how his first day was going, he replied: “Alright, it could be better.” Malm sails a Phoenix sabot that had been passed down to him from his brother and was originally sailed by his mother. I asked Malm about his observations from the race course. “Whether you won the boat or you won the pin you had to win aside. There were two shifts coming down both sides of the course and if you missed one as I did, you would get passed. I had a really good start at the boat and I missed the shift to go out right, thought I would find a small lefty closer to the mark. The kids to the right got a puff and got to lay-line before I did.”
Malm felt his boat speed was pretty good, yet he planned on concentrating more on finding that first wind shift. When asked what his thoughts would be returning to the race course that day he said, “Keep my head in the game stay level headed, hopefully, I will get to the top.”
Kingston Keyoung

I found two blue diamonds out on the harbor this last weekend, just like the one the old lady threw back into the ocean. First is Kingston Keyoung, who is 10 years old and has been sailing out of BCYC for the last two years. When I asked him what type of sabot he sailed, his reply was, “I’m not sure.” His goal for the championship was not to get last and when I asked about the starting line he said, “I start on starboard and then tack onto port.” It gets better. How did you decide which leeward gate to round? “I liked the right gate because everyone else was going to the left.” Without a doubt, Keyoung is a diamond and plans on returning next season. “I like the competition, it’s just a fun sport,” he said. It does not get any better than that and he will be a competitor to keep an eye on in the future.
There is one award I am always interested in which is the Jessica Uniack Memorial Trophy awarded to the Outstanding Junior Sportsman. Previous recipients include Becky Lenhart, Charlie Buckingham, Megan Kenny and Madeline Bubb, just to name a few. I heard the story as soon as I got on the water that a participant noticed that a competitor was left distraught and broke down crying, because she was unable to reattach her rudder before the start of the third qualification race. “People were just going past me and just looking, then a girl stopped and asked if I needed any help and I said, yes. She came and put my rudder in for me. Her name is Maddie Nichols,” said Olivia Corzine, who was sailing in her first National Championships. “This helped Corzine get through the first day and she ended up having a great first Nationals experience,” said Coach Cameron MacLaren.

Maddie Nichols
I will call the parents of kids to introduce myself and ask them if I can interview their child. When I reached Maddie’s mother, Melanie Nichols, I could feel the pride of her daughter’s sportsmanship in the inflection of her voice. Melanie was also quick to say her other daughter, Siena Nichols, had won the Iron fleet and she was on her way to the awards presentation. I talked to Maddie the following day, and she explained the situation to me over the phone. “I noticed a girl whose rudder had come out and she had just entered the starting sequence and I thought she would have enough time to put it back in place. When I came back around, I noticed that she was drifting backward, struggling with the rudder and crying. I asked her if she was okay, and she said, no. I then asked If I could help her and she said, yes, so I grabbed her boat and popped the rudder back in. I told her good luck, because I felt really bad for her, and didn’t want her to be sad during Nationals. Nationals is supposed to be fun. So, I thought I would go to help her.” You have to love this story, it puts a smile on your face, right?
I asked Maddie why she likes sailing. “I like sailing because of the different techniques you have to learn, and I like to learn. Two weeks ago, I moved up to C1 fleet which encouraged me to do better in Nationals.” She went on to tell me that she qualified for Bronze fleet this year and was only one spot out of making Silver fleet. “I did better than I did last year; last year I was last in Iron fleet,”  Maddie said. This year, Maddie finished 10th in Bronze fleet, but the way I see it, she is the true champion of our harbor. I hope each one of you shows her that harbor lovin’ she has so convincingly earned.
Sea ya!
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.

Friday, August 09, 2019

FOR SALE: 2000 35' Duffy "DownEast Style" ASKING $ 230,000

When you first approach this Custom Down-East style Lobster Yacht you will think to yourself “ I FOUND IT”. PLEASE take a look at the time and attention to detail this yachtsman has completed. With new head, raised salon settee, double berth in owners stateroom, custom cockpit settee and fresh bottom paint.

THE YACHT YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR.” Yes, you have found it, now all you have to do is make an appointment to view this fine yacht. For the West Coast buyer, the good news is you do not have to fly back East and truck the boat back. For the East Coast buyer I will pick you up at the airport. Either way the first person to see this fine yacht will make an offer.
These vessels are famous for their sea-keeping and maneuvering ability in strong winds and currents. Boat builders from Maine really know how to build some of the best yachts in the world.  https://www.yachtworld.com/core/listing/pl_boat_full_detail.jsp?slim=broker&boat_id=3538136&ybw=&hosturl=lenboseyachts&&units=Feet&access=Public&listing_id=37624&url=&hosturl=lenboseyachts&

Friday, August 02, 2019

A different perspective from the 2019 Trans Pac.

Horizon Trans Pac 2019 Photos Courtesy of Ultimatesailing.com
I have just returned from this year’s Trans Pac race from San Pedro California to Honolulu Hawaii 2,100 miles across the never-ending dark blue Pacific Ocean. We completed the race, aboard the Santa Cruz 50 Horizon, in 9 days 6 hours and 39 minutes which is very close to a new record for this type of boat. We placed 2nd in class and 7th overall out of 95 entries, only 12 minutes out of first place. I’ve lost a Harbor 20 race, in our harbor, by more than 12 minutes before.
I won’t bother you with the races finer details or “gremlins” as we called them on the boat. For example, a wave coming threw the galley hatch and landing on the laptop and frying it, which lead to a very unhappy navigator who mentioned the possibility of that happening before the start of the race.  On the second night, we had a shiv, at the top of the mast, blow apart which chafed through one of our new halyards. Next was a type of “Who done it” when a crew member decided to open the holding tank on the boat which quickly overflowed. Our gremlin then decided to drop a winch handle in the wheel well, during a maneuver, and lock up the wheel which spun the boat out of control and we blew up our new 2A spinnaker. The propane regulator decided to freeze up which lead to missing a dinner one night, this was fixed the following morning. Then to top it off, the wind Instruments decide to crash the last five hours of the race. Most of these gremlins were caused by bad preparation on my part and have been noted. Just when I thought I was getting pretty good at this, there is always more to lean.

Gremlins where jumping from boat to boat and our problems were minuscule to many other competitors. The Santa Cruz 70 OEX had catastrophic rudder failure that caused the vessel to take on water and finally sink. Fortunately for OEX Mighty Mouse, Roy Disney on Pyewacket, was a couple of miles behind them and retrieved the crew on OEX from their emergency life-raft and saved the day! Nothing to joke about, Roy Disney saved nine sailors from the cold blue 200 miles off the California Coast and withdrew from the race and returned to Marina del Rey. Unbelievable seamanship by both crews with no loss of life. On the vessel Lucky Duck, a crew member was changing the propane tank on the stovetop and caught himself on fire 100 miles from the finish. He spent five days in the Hawaiian hospital and is doing fine, in fact, he is bringing the boat home as I write. Many boats retired from the race because of rudder problems and if that was not enough two days after the finish the skipper of Chubasco Jim Lincoln passed away in his sleep at the age of 61. The crew of Chubasco was left speechless and deeply disturbed by the loss of their friend. I met Lincoln earlier this year and was then always greeted by him with a big smile and a welcoming hello as if he was reaching out over the water to shake your hand. It goes without saying, Lincoln will be missed by many.

With all that being said let’s talk about the highlights of the race. During the race, I compared the race to a type of video game with the start of the game being relatively difficult then somewhat easier before the grand finale when everything is thrown at you at once. The race starts off easy with the light westerly breezes escorting you past Catalina and out to the outer waters where you are then greeted to 20+ knot winds and step waves. In full foul weather gear, the boat moving similar to a bucking bronco and water going over your head one hangs on for two days of hell, living sideways. In fact it is almost more dangerous inside the boat than outside in the darkness of the night. Trying to antiquate yourself to the watch system, the first time you hit the rack it is difficult to get any sleep. Then while preparing yourself to come on deck and being onetime to start your watch one needs to keep one hand on the boat and the other to put on all your gear. A couple of nasty falls occurred down below during this time of the race fortunately, no one was hurt just a little bruised and embarrassed. Then at the end of two days into the race, one is quickly remembered why we do this to ourselves. The breeze moves more behind us and the boat gets much flatter and more stable. The next 7 days are filled with warm downwind sailing with the large spinnakers up and surfing down the faces of the large Pacific waves. Life does not get better than that.

With the full moon rising in the east while the sun is setting in the west for the first part of the race we always had good light which makes sailing that much easier. For the first time, I saw a moonbow, not a rainbow or a Len Bose a moonbow. With the full moon up and a passing rain squall, one would see a moonbow I’ve never seen one before. Or course the stars are so close and clear it feels like you can reach touch them or you are in a virtual game flying between the stars. Just as one starts to relax and taking this all in the video game starts again by throwing a few obstacles in front of you like large floating trees or other types of large flotsam that if you struck might ruin your whole day. As we pushed on into the warm tropical trade winds the  moon would raise a little later each night and the breeze would build into the mid-twenties and it would get so dark that you could not see the person next to you. Just about then the navigator would inform us it was time to gybe the boat which is a rather complex maneuver intensified by the increased wind, sea state and of course the darkness. While driving the boat through these maneuvers thoughts of waiting for the moon to rise or why did we not do this before the sun went down crossed my mind. I took a deep breath looked up into the stars and brought my head back down and told myself I got this. All those dark gybes we nailed and I mumbled to the navigator “ You sure know how to test my skill level.” Knowing that I still got it or maybe even better than the past does place a rather large smile on my face. Now, if it was only easier to put my left shoe on I would feel like I was in my early thirties again. 

We are closing in to the finish with a narrow lead and about 300 miles to the finish. When the game kicks it up a notch or four and starts throwing everything it has at us. In the darkness of night, these low altitude clouds called squalls start attacking you making the wind jump from the low teens into the thirty’s within a few seconds then dumping buckets of rain on you just to make it that much easier to see and raise the intensity level on the boat. These squalls appear to be dark bowling balls rumbling down the lane behind you to knock you over like a pin. Believe it or not, this is fun to us, to be that last pin standing and extend or gain back the lead in the race.

Two good nights of fighting the squalls and noticing that your competition is gaining on you make you dig deeper. Now there is one small bit of water before you that will challenge you, that bit of ocean is referred to the Molokai Channel. The wind increases to the low 30’s the sea state is most challenging with the waves suddenly increasing in size as they bounce off the different islands around you. If you have ever seen the Wedge break it’s like that. You are setting up for a nice wave then all of a sudden it is three times the size. If that’s not enough add in the commercial boat traffic and having to contact them on the VHF radio to make sure they see you and cross safely in front or behind you. OK, I got this, then 5 miles out, if you are fortunate, you are finishing during the daylight and the photography helicopters show up. One can get a little distracted yet needs to be alert not to get hit by a big blast of wind between CoCo Head and Diamond Head called a Williwaw. Yes, the Hawaiians have a name for this sudden burst of wind. Now you just have to bring the boat past the red channel buoy, red right returning, at the Diamond Head Light House and it’s all Mai Tai’s from there.

Already looking forward to the next version of this game.

Sea ya

Friday, July 05, 2019

On the Harbor: Summer racing update...all week long

It appears the marine layer has dissipated and you can finally feel the heat of summer soaking in. I began feeling it eight weeks ago with the start of the summer twilight series in our harbor. One of the beauties of our harbor is that you can race, at almost every skill level, each day of the week.
On Mondays, the American Legion hosts the “Sundowners” which has 33 boats entered. The fleet that caught my attention this year is UCI/City of Newport J/22s. With five J/22s on the starting line most Mondays, by the way, this has to be the best deal in town to race in a summer season. If you are interested, head down to Marina Park and inquire about the requirements for checking out these boats at the Sailing Center. This June, Paul Zubaton edged out Chris Hill to win the month. In the Harbor 20 fleet, Tucker Cheadle aboard Summer Dream has been the boat to beat, even though Herb Fisher and Kevin Hampton have been keeping Cheadle on his toes and not making it easy on him. In PHRF A, Haydon’s Havoc devastated the fleet for the month of June, followed closely by Whisper. In PHRF B, Jim O’Conner aboard Celiatook the top spot over Gary Miltimore’s Hobo Flats.
BCYC Taco Tuesdays have become the popular spot for summer sailing with 52 boats entered this summer. Commodore Tolar knows how to promote a sailing event and again, for more than 10 years now, is crushing it with more than 230 sailors showing up for the awards presentation and opportunity drawing after each week’s race. At BCYC, the real prize is at the end of the season with who wins the overall series. Now halfway through the summer, don’t cringe when you read that in PHRF A fleet, Tim Harmon aboard the J/124 Cirrus is tied with Tim Richley sailing Amante, the Choate 48. In B fleet, Joe Degenhardt’s Lickity Split holds a slim lead over John Szalay’s Pussycat, and over in C fleet, Stuart Leigh on Rylacade is competing with Jim O’Conner sailing Celia. The Harbor 20 fleet is also very involved with Taco Tuesdays, with more than half of the summer series entries. In A Fleet, Len Bose sailing Only Child has a three-point lead over Mark Conzelman sailing Shana’s Secret. In B fleet, PJ Kohl aboard A-tack-Dragon has a two-point lead over Max Moosman at the helm of Boomerang. In C fleet, Debra Haynes sailing Spirt has a comfortable lead over Dick Somers skippering Stop Making Sense.
South Shore Yacht Club has the harbor on Wednesday nights with Scott Karlin sailing Valhalla III leading PHRF A with Valentine looking to gain that overlap as we start July sailing. In PHRF B’s, it’s Rylacade and Stuart Leigh facing off again with Jim O’Conner aboard Celia. The battle continues throughout August.
On Thursday nights, it’s all about NHYC’s Twilight Series with 46 boats entered. Most of the fleet consists of the Harbor 20 fleets, comprised of the most competitive sailors, with Bill Menninger consistently sailing to the top of A fleet. In June, he was challenged by Chris Allen sailing with Greg Helias aboard Zephyr and Shana’s Secret sailed by Mark Conzelman and Phil Thompson. Karen and Gary Thorne sailing Blue Skies took heart in the marine layer lifting and placed the dart for a bull’s eye on the last night of the series taking a 3-1-1 and moving into fourth place for the month. Give you one guess who was left with his tiller in his hand for fifth by the Thrones sailing so well. In B Fleet, Randel Hause sailing Second Wind had placed his siren on the bow of his boat and asked everyone to pull over and let him play through to win the month. Tom Corkett took second place aboard Sail Dates while Tyler Macdonald sailed into third place.
In C Fleet, Bob McDonald sailed consistently to take the top spot and was chased by Dick Somers in second and Roxanne Chan in third. For most of the month, the breeze was out of the south, so one had to navigate through the mooring to get to and from the weather mark which was placed just in front of the NHYC. Lead changes were drastic with many competitors going from first to last on one leg of the race. A big shout out to NHYC race committee for keeping the course balanced and the racing moving along.
Stuart Leigh aboard Rylacade
Looking over the results of most active skippers are Karen & Gary Throne sailing on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays on their Harbor 20 Blue Skies. Jim O’Conner is sailing his Catalina 32 Celia on Monday, Tuesdays and Wednesday nights, along with Stuart Leigh sailing his Hunter 46 Rylacade those same nights. I also noticed that Tucker Cheadle aboard his Harbor 20 Summer Dream is participating on most Monday, Tuesday and Thursday nights. Now if I was to award the golden pickle dish to the most active sailor this summer so far, it would have to go to Stuart Leigh aboard Rylacade. This team consists of at least 12 crew members each night, in their team shirts who are just having too much fun.
As you know, I am off to Hawaii in this year’s Transpac and will be taking the rest of July off from writing a column. I will be back in August with my Transpac recap along with any updates on harbor issues. Wish me luck!
Sea ya!
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.

Friday, June 21, 2019

On the Harbor: Meet some of the local skippers getting ready to set sail in the Transpac

Horizon Finishing the 2019 Trans Pac     Photo courtesy of  Ultimatesailing.com
Like I had mentioned a month ago, the 50th anniversary of the Transpac race takes place on July 10, 12 and 13 with the smaller boats starting first. Over the last two weeks, I have been forced to prepare the Santa Cruz 50 Horizon for the race. The Transpac is 2,100 miles from San Pedro to Honolulu, Hawaii. This year, our harbor has five entries competing in four different divisions. I thought it might be interesting to interview some of our harbor’s skippers before the start of the race.
My first call was into the Staff Commodore from the Newport Harbor Yacht Club, Dave Clark, who will be sailing his recently purchased Santa Cruz 70 Grand Illusion historically known as G.I.
G.I. has a long history in the Transpac and has won the King Kalakaua Trophy, for first overall on corrected time three times in 1999, 2011 and in 2015. Clark and I sailed in the 1983 Transpac together aboard Amante, and it’s interesting how a type of brotherhood occurs with your crewmates over the years.
This year, Clark has recruited Buddy Richley as one of his watch captains. He is the owner of Amante and also sailed with us on the boat in 1983. Clark has skippered in a Transpac before aboard his Santa Cruz 50 Adrenaline. This time, it’s rather special because his son, Brooks, will be joining him. The Clark family has a long history competing in the race with Dave’s father, William Clark, who competed in 1949 aboard Gallant and in 1957 aboard Kialoa. It’s kind of interesting to note that in 1949 aboard Gallant, Henry Buckingham was a crew member. Today, I assume Buckingham’s son, Jim, will be crewing aboard G.I., which is kind of cool. There have been rumors that Clark has been going the extra mile in provisioning G.I. for this year’s race. When I asked Clark about the menu, he kind of chuckled and was quick to respond that his wife, Shelly, was doing all the hard work. G.I. doesn’t have an oven, so most of their meals are vacuum baked and pressure cooked, which I have found out is a skill within itself. The race’s first meal is always the most difficult to swallow, because as we leave the California coast, the boats are close – reaching and tipping over quite a bit. “We will be serving something simple and easy to eat, like burritos, the first night out. We are concentrating on meals that you can eat with a spoon or a fork, rather than needing a knife to cut the meals,” Clark said. He also told me about the Aloha party, which is a greeting party at the finish of the race. “We have the previous owners, the McDowell family, greeting us,” Clark said...which just adds to the story even more.

Next up is Carson Reynolds aboard the Nelson Marek 68 Bolt. This will be Carson’s and his father Craig Reynolds’ fifth time sailing together. The companionship between the two is unique and priceless. I had a chance to sail with the two of them in 2003, and have always envied their relationship and the experience sailing the race together. The Reynolds family also has a long Transpac history, and if I recall, Craig’s grandfather also competed in the race as a skipper. Carson, who is a new father himself, feels strongly about his father and son relationship, and hopes to inspire his children in the same manner. The race team Bolt will be in a very competitive division with the strongest competitor being Roy Disney aboard PyewacketBolt has taken to the strategy of being the lowest-rated boat, the boat with the smallest sails comparatively, and is betting on the big breeze to take the corrected time finish. I have always felt this a very strong strategy and hope we all have the breeze this year. “Because of our larger beam, we are hoping to perform well in the close reaching and that’s what we are concentrating on,” Reynolds said.

I was also able to contact Dan Gribble, the owner of the Trip 56 Brigadoon. When I inquired about his task list in preparation for the race, Gribble replied: “It feels like the list is still growing, but we are going to make it. I have my safety inspection later today.” Provision wise, it sounds like Brigadoon is the boat to be on with all of its meals being catered, packaged and well thought out. “No freeze dry food for us...remember the boat weighs 40,000,” Gribble said. When asked which point of sail the boat performs well at Gribble replied: “We will like the blast reaching with a big breeze and try to hold our own on the run. We have one of the bigger boats in our division.” Brigadoon will be returning to California after the race, and next year will be heading out to cruise the South Pacific.
J 46 Patriot

The last Newport Beach skipper I talked to was Paul Stemler, sailing his J-46 Patriot. Stemler competed in the 2015 race and finished at the top of its division, and at the close of the race felt that he could now check that off his bucket list. Well, his son, Pierce, has a different idea this year, and convinced his father to enter. The interesting part of the story is that most of the siblings of the previous crew have signed up this year. Stemler is hoping for a daylight finish, as his greeter is the Commodore of the Transpac Yacht Club, Tom Hogan, whose son, John, is sailing on the boat. This team has gone the extra mile preparing for the race and should do quite well.
Sea ya!
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.

Friday, June 07, 2019

On the Harbor: What is the future of Newport Beach?

Courtesy of Don Logan

Did I get your attention? If I did, then you should consider attending the presentation by Speak up Newport with speakers City Councilman Marshall “Duffy” Duffield and Harbormaster Kurt Borsting. The program takes place on Wednesday, June 12 from 6-7 p.m. with doors opening at 5:15 p.m. at the Civic Center Community Room, 100 Civic Center Drive.
Items on the agenda will include: Why the Harbor Commission and the City’s Harbor Department should be included within the city’s charter and placed on the 2020 ballot. What is the status of dredging in the harbor? What changes are proposed in the Harbor Code? What is being done to deal with increased use and crowding in the harbor? What harbor improvements are contemplated? The Harbor Patrol Sheriff is also called the Harbormaster. How is a harbor managed with two Harbormasters?
Unfortunately, my mind does not work quick enough to ask intelligent questions during presentations, and normally they don’t occur to me until about 3 o’clock in the morning, when I have completely digested the speakers’ talking points. If you are wondering if I keep a bottle of Tums next to me on my nightstand, yes, I do...the Costco size bottle.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a big believer in Duffy’s vision of our harbor. Although the route is difficult – filled with unlighted, fixed telephone pole channel markers along with many shallows. This presentation might not be the time for questions, but rather a time to listen and take in the concept, then review, research and discuss the issues with other harbor users before presenting your or other organizations’ concerns.
I’ve made a list of questions for the different topics that will be discussed during this presentation and will be looking for the answers. For example: What is the status of dredging in the harbor? My first thought is not just the cost, yet it is a major component of the cost, and that is, where can you place the bad stuff? Another question is how will harbor dredging in the Upper Bay, around Balboa Island and in front of the Balboa Yacht Club affect the City’s eelgrass plan and RGP 54? If you are a waterfront homeowner and you are considering dredging your slip sometime soon, will this affect you? I know, and I hope you also know that “eelgrass is every harbor user’s friend,” and the harbor has had an extraordinarily good crop return over the last few years. This year, because of the amount of rain and runoff, how is our grass growing?
Changes proposed in the Harbor Codes or Title 17. If you would like to do a little research before the meeting, go to the City’s website and look over some of the proposed changes. Just Google “Newport Beach Title 17 Review” note “Working Draft Revisions” and take a look. Also, note that there is a Harbor Commission “Ad-Hoc” outreach meeting on June 24 concerning Dredging Permits. I only gave the preliminary revision’s second draft a quick review, but a couple of items jumped out at me. The Harbormaster can at any time board a boat and inspect the holding tank without warning. So, if I am one of the Harbormaster’s minions and you are racing in a twilight summer race, I can inform you that I want to inspect your holding tank right now. But what happens if the boat owner tells the minion to “Go pound sand?” What happens then? I understand the intent of the code, that it should be reviewed again. Another item I noticed in Title 17 is you can’t throw dead animals in the bay. Again, I understand the intent, yet I still recall I had a dead cormorant stuck in my rigging one time, and found pigeon and seagull nests on boats before, and quickly threw them into the bay. Now, I guess I will have to get a Hefty bag out and drive the refuse all the way up to the Huntington Beach disposal yard? I will also be taking one observation much more seriously and lobby to change the multiple moored boats permit or system to be just in front of the NHYC or BYC and open up the whole harbor.
Next topic is, “How to deal with increased use and crowding in the harbor.” I’ll be very interested in the approach and how it will be enforced.
Next up, “What harbor improvements are contemplated?” This is always interesting, yet my first thought is, let’s complete the tasks in front of us now before we spend too much time on any new ideas.
Lastly, there is a topic I questioned over a year ago and that is, “How is a harbor managed with two Harbormasters?” I snicker to myself when thinking of this question, but will be looking for a clear explanation.
Please come to this meeting, then contact me with your questions at boseyachts@mac.com, and together let’s go find the answers.
Sea ya!
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.

Thursday, June 06, 2019

Friday, May 24, 2019

On the Harbor: The Transpac is coming in July

2017 Trans Pac Day Time Finish Aboard Horizon
This July 10,12 and 13 will be the bi-annual Transpac race from San Pedro, Calif. to Honolulu, Hawaii. I understand the start is just under 50 days away, yet it keeps me awake at night, and as you can tell, it’s on the top of my list...hence the topic of my column this week.
The Transpac race is run on odd-numbered years with this year marking the 50th anniversary of the race, coincidentally the race has 100 entries this year. Of those entries, 13 will be sailing from Newport Beach...that’s not a good number. Anyway, I would like to introduce our local competitors and reveal some insight into the local programs.

Hailing from the Balboa Yacht Club is Dan Gribble aboard his Tripp 56 Brigadoon, starting on July 10 in Division 6. The team has been working hard in preparation for the race by participating in this year’s Islands, Cabo Race and upcoming California 300. The crew roster has not been listed yet, but I will assume most of the crew has been on the boat in the previous races. The team is strong with some youth and experienced local sailors. The largest hurdle for this team is the boat’s rating: Brigadoon is not optimized for racing and leans heavily toward cruising.

Speaking of youth, from too many yacht clubs to list, is the Red Star Sailing Team sailing aboard the Columbia 32 Weegie. Skipper Charlie Welsh is competing with six crew members, including himself, all under the age of 25. There are some well-known family names on the roster and they are still within one of the unsaid rules of ocean racing, “Never go out to sea on a boat that is less than your age.” The crew has been practicing regularly, but the largest hurdle is experience and boat preparation. The crew roster includes Chandler Hill, Julia Lines, Michael Sabourin, Kate Shaner and Sam Wright.

J 44 Patriot is owned by Paul Stemler and sailing out of NHYC. No crew is listed yet, although I have seen the team out practicing, and they have already completed their safety inspection. These are indications of a well-organized team on a boat that sails to her rating very easily. Patriot will be sailing in Division 7 and starting on July 10. Her biggest hurdle will be Chubasco or better known around town as “Chubby” the S&S 67. I feel Patriot can take the top spot, but they will have to bring their “A” game.

North Wind 47 Traveler skipper Michael Lawler is sailing in Division 9 and starting on July 10. The crew roster includes Barbara Lawler, Mark Dorius, Fraser McLellan and navigator Jim Palmer. Traveler will be sailing for the Corsair Yacht Club.

Cal 40 Nalu V skippered by Mark Ashmore, is sailing out of the South Shore Yacht Club. I have noticed the boat appearance improving over the last year on her mooring in front of Balboa Island. It appears to be a family endeavor in a very tough class of 7 Cal 40s.

Cal 40 Callisto will be sailed by the Eddy family with a long history of Transpac races. Callisto is berthed in front of the LAYC and jumps at you from over 100 yards away as one of the cleanest boats in the fleet. She is well prepared and has a solid crew. The biggest hurdle will be the Cal 40 Viva. This will be one of many fun divisions to watch on the race tracker.

John Raymont’s Andrews 40 Fast Exit sailing for the Balboa Yacht Club in Division 3 has shown some exceptional speed and consistent finishes this season. They will be competing in the upcoming California 300 and are expected to finish on the podium again. In the Transpac, their biggest hurdle will be the planning boats such as the four J 125’s, a foiling Beneteau 3, Rodgers 46 along with a very well-sailed Andrews 56. Odds are very strong that the overall winner could come from this division. The crew roster is comprised of Alan Andrews, Richard Johnstone, Stephen Mader, Zack Maxam, Taylor Mullin and Shane Vowels.

The Santa Cruz 50 Horizon skippered by John Shulze is sailing out of the Balboa Yacht Club in Division 4 with 10 other Santa Cruz 52/50’s. The team is a little off the pace by not staying active, only competing in this season’s Islands and Cabo race. The laundry list is long and still growing as I stay awake between 2-5 a.m. each night wondering how we are going to pull out another division win. We will be ready and not even close to letting anyone else on our spot on the podium. Horizon’s biggest hurdle is a strong one-design class along with the Santa Cruz 52’s Lucky Duck and Triumph. The crew roster is Len Bose, Ben Amen, Craig Chamberlain, Kat & Andy Dippel, Roland Fournier, Kelsey Tostenson and navigator, Evelyn Hull.

Steve Sellinger’s Santa Cruz 52 Triumph is sailing out of NHYC. The boat has shown exceptional boat speed this season and is ready for the race. They will be competing in the upcoming California 300 and that result will be a good indicator for Transpac. The crew is yet to be listed, although I know who is on the boat and they will be tough.

The TP 52 Destroyer is owned and skippered by Jim Bailey sailing out of the NHYC. I truly envy Bailey sailing with his two sons and a very strong crew. The boat has sailed in every event this season and is ready. The biggest hurdle is just that, the world’s biggest, fastest boat is in this division, and if they place, that would be something to be very proud of. Destroyer will be going up against the likes of the 100’ Comanche, the R/P 66 Alive and a long list of boats I have never seen the likes of.

Team Bolt is sailing the N/M 70 Bolt out of the Balboa Yacht Club. This is not the first Transpac for the Reynolds family, although the boat is new to them and they have entered a very strong class, such as the likes of PyewacketGrand Illusion and Taxi Dancer. Team Bolt does have a chance at the podium, but the nine other well sailed 70’s are not just going to round down for them.

The SC 70 Grand Illusion is owned by Dave Clark and crewed by some of NHYC’s best. The boat roster is John Aschiers, Brian Bissell, Mike Blunt, Brooks Clark, John Fuller, Nick Madigan, Buddy Richley and navigator, Patrick O’Brien. This team can very easily pull the big pickle dish above their heads at the awards presentation.

Sea ya and Alohaaaaa!

Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for 
Stu News Newport.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

1981 Trans Pac : Hawaii race has a long and storied history (This story is four years old)

Horizon Finishing the 2013 Trans Pac

On July 16, I will be starting my 10th sailboat race to Hawaii.
Seven of those races have been aboard Santa Cruz 50s, and this year I will be a watch captain aboard the Santa Cruz 50 Horizon. Because of my passion for this race and these boats, I looked back into history and found the first Trans Pac these boats raced in was 1981, and it was a race to remember.
Seven Santa Cruz 50s made it to the starting line in 1981, and they were the talk of the waterfront that summer. All the boats at that time were very similar, and it quickly became a race within a race among Chasch Mer, Night Train, Hana Ho, Oaxaca, Octavia, Shandu and Secret Love.
Two of these boats were from Newport Beach. Hana Ho and owner Morrie Kirk were sailing for the Balboa Yacht Club, and Michael Braun sailed Shandu for the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club/ Newport Harbor Yacht Club.
These crews were among the best sailing talent our harbor has ever assembled — fierce competitors all. Now blend in the personalities.
The crew aboard Hano Ho was made up of Kirk, skipper; Peter Isler, navigator; Dave Ullman, watch captain; and Bill Herrschaft, Tom Willson, Kevin Kirk, Jim Laws and Dennis Riehl. Aboard Shandu was Michael Braun, owner; Peter Willson, watch captain; LJ Edgcomb, navigator and MacGyver; Dennis Durgan, watch captain; and Bob Burns, Marshall "Duffy" Duffield, Rex Banks and Gordo Johnson.
To get a better feel of what happened during this epic battle, I was able to contact Kirk, Isler, Ullman, Riehl, Durgan, Duffield and Johnson.
The race started July 3. The boats had a westerly breeze of 12 to 15 to take off on. By the time the boats reached Catalina, the breeze was at 15 to 18 knots and had lifted the fleet around the only make in the course without tacking. Of the SC 50 fleet, Chash Mer was first to round the west end of Catalina in 3 hours 12 minutes, followed by Shandu, Secret Love, Octavia, Oaxaca and Hano Ho at 3:19.
On July 4, the breeze had eased some. The night before, Shandu's cheek block on the steering quadrant broke and the crew had to use their emergency tiller. Navigator Edgcomb quickly put on his MacGgyver hat and went to working fixing the problem.
The whole time Edgcomb was down below in the very back of the boat, the boat moved along at 11 knots with a reefed main and No. 2 head sail up. His repairs to the steering system lasted for the remained of the race. This is not the only time Edgcomb would need to throw on his MacGyver hat for Shandu to make it across the finish line.
On July 7, as the sun was setting, the SC 50 fleet wanted to make this race a party and start a boat-for-boat race until the end some 1,217 miles away. Shandu and Secret Love had been in contact from the second night out, and at sunset, Hano Ho appeared from the north and the party started.
That pitch-black night, the fleet started noticing trade wind squalls forming from behind them. This is when the nights of terror started, Duffield and Johnson recalled. After the first night of squalls, Shandu and Hano Ho pulled out in front of Secret Love by some 35 miles.
Duffield said, "This is when the winds started a blowin'."
Ullman recalled, "There was carnage everywhere across the fleet that night." Oaxaca was 20 miles farther south than the two lead boats.
Dennis Riehl talking with Gordo Johnson
Dennis Durgan said, "That's one of the best Trans Pacs as competitive sailing goes. You needed good drives and trimmers."
The Santa Cruz 50s were new to the race course at this time. Later deeper and better-designed rudders were added, and these have made the boats much easier to control. In 1981, these babies were a handful, and both boats were pushing hard to gain an advantage.
Ullman said, " It was like being in a one-design race, on a short course. It was getting pretty tiring. No one would even get a lead over a mile. You would just push, push and push then get nothing."
At this point, the boats were 940 miles from the finish.
"The only way we are going to take the big spinnaker down is if God takes it down." Duffield remembered thinking.
Riehl the decision was made to let only the four best drivers take the helm that night..
Duffield said, "Night was so intense."
Durgan remembered, "Scary, scary sailing pushing the boats that much harder. It was nuts, crossing gybes on those nights of terror."
At morning's light, there was Shandu right next to the Hano Ho, Riehl recalled.
Keep in mind both crews are from Newport Beach and most of them where all good friends and had grown up together. From my understanding, this is when the crews picked up the VHF radio and started talking to each other. The conversion started something like this. Shandu: Hey, did you guys keep up your big chute last night? Hano Ho: Yeah we were hoping you would do the smart thing and change down to your smaller spinnaker. Shandu: Was it scary? Hano Ho: Ya think!
Dennis talking with Michael Brau
Over the next three days and nights the boats rarely lost sight of each other. If one boat jibed the other boat would follow. If the other boat would change spinnakers and set a staysail so would they.
Around 2 a.m., referred to as one of the "nights of terror," Shundu lost a spinnaker crane at the top of the mast that held the halyard blocks. The first thought by the Shundu crew, was to take the spinnaker down and make the repair when they had daylight.
Well Edgcomb did not agree and was not about to lose any ground to his good buddies on the other boat. He grabbed the boatswain chair — a device used to suspend a person from rope to perform work aloft — and headed up the mast.
Can you see Durgan's face as he sat at the helm and Edgcomb said he was going up the mast? Durgan had to have replied, you want to go where? Edgcomb "MacGyver" then went up the mast with a bunch of kevlar line to make the repair.
"It looked something like that osprey next on that power boat on the moorings in front of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club today," Gordo Johnson said.
MacGyver had done it again and as Peter Isler said, "It was all on" from there on in.
Going into the last day, Shandu was in the lead with only 205 miles to the finish, Hano Ho had 211 miles to go. As the boats sailed past the big island, the VHF radio banter continued with the Hana crew asking who was driving and why they did not have their big spinnaker up. Shandu had lost their big chute a couple of nights before and Hano Ho still had theirs.
The sun went down and the two boats split jibes in the dark as they grew closer to the finish line. When the two boats arrived at Kalaupapa point on the island of Molokai they both made their final jibe for the finish line under a full moon with dolphins jumping from their bows.
Riehl, aboard Hana Ho, remembers first surviving the jibe and then looking to his right and seeing Shandu just 200 yards away on their starboard side bow to bow.
Gordo Johnson explained the situation like this: "Have you ever wondered what your boat looked like while surfing down huge waves with the bow of the boat out of the water all the way back to the keel? Water flying everywhere as the boat dropped into its third consecutive wave. Well, he said with a laugh, Hana Ho was right next to us and I can't tell you how many times we exchanged the lead while the other boat caught the next wave."
Morrie Kirk the owner of Hana Ho said, "We were close to those guys that's for sure."
Peter Isler aboard Hano Ho said, "I was on the helm at the jibe at Kalaupapa point. It was very intense and exhausting. Both boats were pumping their mains on every wave and the lead changed a number of times."
This all went on for more than an hour as the boats crossed Molokai channel and approached Coco head when the wind started to lighten up and Hana Ho pulled away with their larger spinnaker. Hano Ho crossed the finish line 1 minute and 35 seconds before Shandu crossed the line. Shandu won on corrected time by more than an hour but as you can guess, they wanted to be that first Santa Cruz 50 to finish.
The two boats had matched-raced some 1,217 miles over the four plus days. What a race.
Let's hope we have wind this year.

I have always wanted to put this story together and like the end of a movie I would like to tell some of the outtakes of the interview I did.

Marshall “Duffy” Duffield: “ The food Bob Burns prepared was extreme high end craziness, awesome beyond approach. Abalone lunches, large shrimp prawns for an appetizer before dinner, huge perfect steaks. The food was so good it was like being in front of the plane, you never wanted to go back of the plane again.”

“Hewlett Packard had provided the boat with its first GPS system and for the first time we received two fixes a day. The lights would start blinking on the machine and we could look up and see the satellites. Today we have all this on our watch.” he said with a deep laugh. “ Before we could step off the boats the guys with their white lab coats came down and took the machines off the boat and back to the lab.”

“Being on edge in the dark, Gordo and I were on the same watch and he would stand behind me and update me on the apparent wind angle. This was the only way we could keep from crashing on the nights of terror”

“I am glad I got the opportunity to be apart of this crew”

Morrie Kirk was able to sail the race with his 21 year old son Kevin Kirk and had that type of finish.  “I will remember that race and it was a lot of fun”

Dennis Durgan: “These boats were like riding in the car wash with all the water going over the boats.”  “It was pretty scary with the guy up on top of the rig at 3 in the morning.”
“Talking to the other boat on the VHF if their dinner compared to our Bob Burns special.”, “ The top of the mast was torn off.” 

Peter Isler: “This was my first Trans Pac, the first one is always the best one.”
“ We had the Allman Brothers Mountain Jam blazing on the cockpit speakers as we crossed the 
Molokai Channel.”, “ The third night out we had ice cream.”

Dave Ullman: “ At the Kalaupapa light house it was flat out, spectacular race, we spent lots and lots of time talking on the VHF.”, “ With this type of match racing we had lots of fun by far my favorite memories of Trans Pac racing.”

Dennis Riehl: “ We ate well, I can’t even explain how fortunate I was to be selected to go with this group.” 

Gordo Johnson: “Those Bob Burns sleeper steaks were killer, all those flavors and all that food would just make me want to sleep.” 

Lets hope we have wind this year.

Sea ya