Saturday, April 13, 2019

On the Harbor: April – from the Baldwin Cup to N2E

Have you started feeling the warmth in the air and the blend of the cool sea breeze? It’s still light out at 7:30 p.m. and summer sailing will be just around the corner. Make sure you keep one hand on your tiller extension, because there has been a lot going on in the harbor this month with much more to come.
April brings in two of our harbor’s biggest events of the season with the Baldwin Cup and the Ensenada Race. Two different animals – so let’s start off with what happened at this year’s Baldwin Cup hosted by the Newport Harbor Yacht Club.
For those of you, like me, that don’t understand what team racing is after spending a dollar on cold beverages and losing your concentration on the race in front of you, I defer to the NHYC website for its definition: “Team racing, like most traditional team sports, involves strategy, advanced skill, and teamwork. However, unlike other fleet racing, team racing pits a team of four against another team of four boats. This added dimension forces players to have tremendous boat-handling ability and quick reactions.
The key to watching these races and understanding if your team is winning the race is counting the place of each of your team’s boats and if that number is less than 18, your team is winning the race. This is why you will see leading boats turn around and try to slow down the opposing team’s boats making an effort to have their teammate pass an opponent.”

I have written this before...the excitement level is increased tremendously while attending this event with your friends and informing the umpires of their bad calls. Yes, team racing has umpires on the water similar to an umpire on the baseball field. With 25-cent cold beverages, quite often you will hear from the gallery, “Come on, ump! Make a call!” This year reported spectator attendance was more than 300 sailing fanatics and the new clubhouse intensified the atmosphere...1,000 percent.
What I enjoy the most is just hanging out with friends trying to keep my attention on the races, while saying hello to the competitors and showing how cool you are to all your friends, who you have been drinking 25-cent beverages with all day, because you know some of the best sailors in the world. I think Newport Harbor Yacht Club won again, and yes, I Uber’d from the event on Saturday and stayed away from the NHYC’s famous Mai-Tais.

The Ensenada Race starts April 26 and the entry list is quickly approaching 200 boats. Now, we just have to hope that all this wind this week returns to the race course for the start of the race. Boats that I will be keeping my eye on are the Reynolds family’s “Team Bolt” NM 68 that just arrived in town. The real giant killer will be Ray Booth’s C&C 35 “Altheris”; he has been working on her over the last couple of years and his efforts might just get him the overall. John Raymount’s Andrews 40 “Fast Exit” found another gear in this year’s Cabo Race and I have to assume his Trans Pac crew will want more of those pickle dishes. Dave Clark’s Santa Cruz 70 “Grand Illusion” will be sailing with some of the NHYC best, and will be a team that will be looking for a podium finish. Roy Disney’s Andrews 70 “Pyewacket” is always the boat to beat if you want the overall. Rumor has it, there will be a new “Pyewacket” on the race course by Trans Pac. Then there’s Clark Team’s TP 52 “Vesper,” that will be able to handle the wishes for a big breeze. “Horizon” will not be sailing in this year’s race, so I have signed on with Jim Devling’s Rogers 46 “Carbon Footprint,” that can pull a rabbit out of the hat at any time. Should you wish us luck, it will not surprise me to carry some of that heavy hardware home from Ensenada.
Don’t forget that on May 4 and 5,  the Balboa Angling Club will be hosting the 56th annual Lily Call Bay Tournament. This event is limited to the first 75 anglers to sign up, and I have already seen some of our harbor’s best testing out their favorite spots. This is grueling stuff, with most of the anglers putting in 36 straight hours, rain or shine, on the harbor going after the Grand Slam, and we are not talking Denny’s here. We are talking the largest total weight of all four species Croaker, Corbina, Halibut and Bass caught on 4# test line max. Tight lines everyone!
Sea ya!
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for 
Stu News Newport.

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