Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Can you say HORIZON job?

From a strategy standpoint this years Ensenada race was difficult to say the least. The unstably weather threw most all the forecasting reports out the window from the privies week.

We had two weather routing forecasts and the man himself Jon Shampain trying to make sense of it all. For the first four hours of the race Jon was heard “ Why do we do this to ourselves, this is a stupid sport.”

With the wind dissipating at the start we struggled with passing Dana Point by 18:00 and the thought of dropping out of the race was on all the crews minds at this point. By 16:00, not a second too soon, the breeze filled in from the southwest and the race was on.

 As we approached the Coronado’s Shampain was leaning hard to the outside of the islands until a northeast breeze filled in across the course and we had our light #1 headsail up and going to weather. Now we are considering going inside the islands.This only lasted maybe an hour before the wind shifted back to the southwest and the Shampain’s called in a favor from the wind gods. I recall hearing Erik say “Everyone loves Shampain.”

As we rounded the outside of the islands, about a mile off, we picked up 10-15 knots of breeze that lasted through most of the last half of the course. Just as we started to clear the Coronado’s Erik called for the 2A spinnaker and as it filled you could feel the mojo role across the boat as you watched the boats speedo click into the tens.

This part of the night made for some great sailing and the talk quickly went to where was those pesky J 125’s? We had a J 145 close by along with Perry 59 we could also make out the Andrews 49.11 It’s OK.

In the early part of the morning we hooked into some breeze that allowed us to place some distance on the above mentioned boats. I kept thinking to myself how we could be sailing faster than It’s OK? In hindsight it had to have been the distance we round from the island, that Jon Shampain was asking for, and how Erik kept the moving through the night.

As the sun lifted over the horizon and we started to make out the boats around us Erik said, while lowering the binoculars from his eyes and looking towards the shore, “There is only one flat top main and that color blue hull and that’s Medicine Man.” In an Ensenada race this is the best type of morning news to hear and crew jumped into hyper drive to close the deal.

I was fried from the night and went down for my two hours off watch and when I had awaken we where entering the bay, my first thoughts where how are we keeping up with these boats? Erik had to have hit’n two more wind shifts. “The 'luckiest' puff/wind line in history let us sail into the middle of the big boats just before the finish.” Erik is quoted from his Facebook post.
We were still ahead of Medicine Man, Pyewacket was abeam of us, further in the middle of the bay, along with two Trans Pac 52’s and Bad Pac. How can this be?

We kept working hard trying to stay in the breeze and avoid the kelp in the bay and worked our way into winning the President of the United States Trophy for Best Corrected time overall in the PHRF class, Tommy Bahama Trophy for Best Corrected time for all boats, the Governor of California Trophy for Best Corrected Time in PHRF-A Class and Best Corrected Member of a Newport Beach Yacht Club Trophy.

You have to give it up to the owner John Shulze for keeping the band together and as always Jon Shampains race preparation. We had a very touching moment after receiving our awards when the previous owner Jack Taylor gave us a heart felt “Well Done” and I could see a tear in his eye with appreciation. Good times! This was a first for me.

"Even though Friday afternoon totally SUCKED; this was the BEST Ensenada race I've competed in all the races I've done sine 1974.  Thank You!" Tom O'Keefe  Horizon crew member

Buy the way I just listed a another Santa Cruz 50 if anyone wants to come out and play?

sea ya

The Harbor Report: Angling for fun in the harbor

Sarah Taite set a new "pending" world record in the Female Small Fry Category with her corbina,

By Len Bose
April 24, 2015 | 2:42 p.m.

The last two weeks of April are always packed with activity around the harbor, and this year is no different.
This time of year I always check in with Amy Elliott at the Balboa Angling Club.
She said the 52nd annual Lily Call hosted by the Balboa Angling Club will be held May 16 and 17. "This is a tournament that's great for families and friends to get together at the start of the fishing season," Elliott said. "And it's a bargain for only $40."
The Lily Call is a tournament for fishing croaker, bass, corbina and halibut using a 4 pound line class within Newport Harbor. It is limited to the first 150 anglers. Lines in will begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday with lines out at 2 p.m. Sunday and a cutoff for weighing fish at 3:30 p.m.
Last year's winner, Greg Taite, spent weeks getting ready for this tournament. In my May 2, 2014, column, "In search of the perfect fishing spot," Taite explained his choice of bait and how he found his spots on the bay.
This year's Lily Call awards presentation will be held at the Chicken Coop starting at 4 p.m. May 17. During the awards, a huge raffle will be held for all registered anglers. The value of these prizes in the past has been overwhelming. Sponsors have donated tons of gear, gift certificates and more. This raffle alone is worth the cost of entry.
Because the Balboa Anglers's clubhouse is under repair, it cannot hold the number of guests who normally attend. The club is actively looking for donations to be able to complete the project. Please visit the fundraising website http://www.crowdrise.com/ClubhouseFund/fundraiser/balboaanglingclub.
"The Balboa Angling Club hosts six tournaments this year, the Lily Call being the first, followed by the Yellowtail, Seabass and Halibut; the summer-long Junior Tournament; The Helen Smith Offshore Tournament; Newport Harbor Bay Bass Open; and finally the Master Angler Billfish Tournament," Elliott said.
The Balboa Angling Club remains one of the best values on the harbor, with yearly memberships at $175, $225 for the family and $25 for kids younger than 21.
"Once you've joined the Balboa Angling Club, you'll be hooked for life," Elliott said.
On March 28, 6-year-old member Sarah Taite set a new "pending" world record in the Female Small Fry Category with her corbina, weighing 4 pounds, 1 ounce and caught on an 8-pound line test. She said she used her favorite cousin's Tackle Raze RMB 734FPT rod and Shimano Trinidad 12 reel.
My understanding is that the current record, 3 pounds, 8 ounces, was previously held by another member of the angling club, Hailey Meinhardt, set in June 2012 when Hailey was only 8 years old.
"This is a first for Sarah but certainly not the last. She's been fishing since she was 3," Elliott said, adding that "her father, Greg Taite, was the Outstanding Angler at the Balboa Angling Club in 2013, and he's also placed in all of the tournaments he participated in during the 2014 season."

On to Ensenada
I will give you one guess where I am going this weekend. If you guessed waiting for wind to fill in to finish this year's Ensenada race, then you guessed right. I am writing my column on Wednesday, and the weather forecast is not very promising.
On Friday, more than 200 entries are set to be on the starting line looking to find enough wind to complete this 125 mile race. All racers must complete the course before the time expires at 11 a.m. Sunday. A lot will change before then, and I am hoping for the best. My guess is that we will be finishing the race around 5 p.m. Saturday aboard the Santa Cruz 50 Horizon.
The key thing to remember is that the real way to win this race is to have the most fun with the people you are sailing with and enjoy. Wish us luck. We will need it this year.

Thanks for the Luck it worked!

Sea ya.

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Ensenada Race Weather: Race Day

Ensenada Race 2015 Recap:

1st Forecast

If you are doing the Newport Beach to Ensenada race this Friday and Saturday and wondering about the weather these are my thoughts for Monday going into Fridays race. I will be sailing on the SC 50 Horizon and will have no input on which route we will be taking and will be learning from our boats navigator. Odds are good you own a boat that rates PHRF 60 and higher, so I will give you my “seat of the pants” idea what we might be doing and what I would be thinking if I was on our J 109 that rates 69.

My seat of the pants weather routing is all done with two sources of weather information, Sail Flow and NOAA. We might get drizzled on Friday at some point and if I was navigating both boats I would be headed straight to the Coronado Islands. I will also be looking really close at the wind as we approach Coronado’s and could easily decide the shortest distance with the inside route. Not much of a help am I! Seven out of ten races I come off the starting line with my first waypoint the Coronado's and make my mind up, inside our outside when I get there.

Like most Ensenada races this race will be won in the early hours of Saturday morning. If I have decided to go outside, once I was out of the lee of the Coronado’s, I would be heading for the beach. The wind is predicted to increase and shift to the south/west by 12:00 pm on Saturday. With this thought in mind, if I was on the J 109, I would be leaning very hard to the inside at this point. As soon as the morning breeze has filled in sail your VMG’s. Good luck in the Ensenada bay just hope you finish before 6:00PM Saturday night.

2nd Forecast:

My thoughts for Tuesday going into Fridays race. Same general concept. Off the start head for the Coronado Islands. Todays forecast shows more pressure after the start and will make it easier for you to stay on rhumb line. Today, sailing the J 109 with a 69 PHRF rating, I would be leaning with one foot on the Coronado’s and forget about pushing towards the beach in the early morning. VMG once you are around the islands. With our -3 SC 50 I would be hoping we will be past the Coronado’s before the wind slows down for the evening. The bay will play a big part on this race for you, wish I could give you some advice. About all I have, is watch the boats in front of you and if you stayed on your VMG keep an eye on the boats that are coming in from Todos Santos "Outside".

3rd Forecast
Wednesday going into Fridays race. Now we know why we love this game so much it reminds us with dealing with our girlfriends/wifes just before their cycle starts. You never know what you are going to get or how much trouble you are in. TODAY it appears staying north of the rhumb line, at the start, will keep you in more pressure until the late afternoon breeze fills in. Staying in that 10 to 12 knots of breeze will be difficult and you will need to head offshore and away from the coast as fast as you can and still try to make some VMG. I will guess you will start heading back towards Coronados at this point between 18:00-24:00. Now the world as ended and we wait. In the J 109 I would look to slog it out on the inside track and not sail the extra miles and hope for the best. If I was not past the Coronado’s by 13:00 Saturday I would use the iron jenny and call it a race. Lets hope for the best.

4th Forecast
Thursday going into Fridays race observations: Off the starting line I would sail straight VMG to the finish line. The battle, with the light wind, will be starting at 23:00 Friday night and will not fill in until early afternoon on Saturday. At 23:00 Friday the wind will die, shift to the south and we will be close reaching or going up wind. I am now committed to the inside track. The westerly should start filling in late morning and by 14:00 Saturday you will be "cooking with gas" and making good time. Hope you can finish before sunset.

This is not going to be easy this year. It appears the race is a day early with the breeze filling in on Saturday. TODAY: Off the starting line I would stay north of rhumb line and as 17:00 approaches VMG towards the finish line. The big boats will probably be heading out to sea and I mean WAY out to sea. By 24:00 you will be close reach heading straight at the make with about 6knots of breeze. 3:00 Saturday if you are near the Coronados you will be doing good. It will be a struggle until mid afternoon when the westerly fills 2-3:00. From there it should be easy VMG sailing. I will be on the Santa Cruz 50 Horizon. I have a feeling we could be one of those boats that went WAY outside. How we get back to land will be interesting because it looks like we will be dead upwind of the mark with 6 knots of breeze until the westerly fills. Always know what your heading is to your navigator's next waypoint and keep looking up at the wind. THAT IS ALL!

My ETA for the 50 is 15:00 and the J 109 20:00 Saturday.

I will keep updating this post everyday. The key thing to remember is that the real way to win this race is to have the most fun with the people you are sailing with and enjoy.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

For Sale: 2003 Harbor 20 for $ 15,850.

New Bottom Paint
New Mast
New Standing Rigging
New Sunbrella Jib Sock
New Sunbrella Cuddy Cover
Replaced jib boom
Ensign & Staff
Main & Jib Good shape
Freash Running Rigging
Clean motor
C-Foam Cockpit Cushions
Tiller extension

3rd Owner

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Newport Harbor Yacht Clubs Baldwin Cup 2015

Day 1:
I don’t think I will ever understand Team Racing, but I know an event that is good for sailing when I see one. This week marks the eighth annual Baldwin Cup Team Race put on by the Newport Harbor Yacht club and sponsored by JP Morgan Chase.
This event attracts most all of the top sailors from the United States to compete in this 4 V 4 team race format. As a Harbor 20 owner and fleet one member it feels good to watch this level of competition experiencing our boats. I had to smile when Harrison Turner of the St. Francis Yacht Club said “ I do love the Harbor 20’s, its such civilized racing. You hardly get wet and are able to sail in T shirt and shorts. I love Newport and I love the harbor 20.”

Another thing that grabs your attention is how hard fleet 1 members work at this event. Twenty six boat owners have allowed NHYC to us their boats along with twenty one members volunteer as pit crew. The pit crew has been at the club to close to a week now commissioning the boats, making repairs during the race and will still be around after the event is completed to de-commission the boats. I am noticing Peter Haynes, Mark Conzelman, Gregg Kelly, Jim Kerrigan, John Whitney, Terry Gloege, Rolly Pulaski and the rest of the crew busting their buts and taking pride in their work.
I am headed back down to NHYC now and see if I can’t pick up a few more tips on how to make my boat go faster.
Sea ya there!

Day 2

Standing room only on the dock and in the Pirates Den at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club yesterday for the eighth annual Baldwin Cup. The race was run in a light southerly breeze that lasted most of the day and kept the race course close to the main dock.
One of my favorite features, this event brings to the docks, is a type of class reunion feeling that allows one to sit at the yacht club and watch some close course sailing. Referred to as stadium sailing this is about as close as you can get to the action. While watching and learning you, as a spectator, one also gets the chance to listen to the competitors while they come off the boats after each race.

Yesterday I witnessed the different sailors talking to the umpires, after the race, about the foul that had been called on them. I find it interesting to listen in and learn which arguments and presentations have the most positive effects. I overheard how the wind was shifting off of Lido Isle and Bay Island and because this event is team racing I noticed some boat handling manurers that I did not know was possible in a Harbor 20.
I was also able to pick up on what was some of the favorite bars that our out of town guests went to and why they enjoyed them. But the thing that brings the biggest smile to my face is how so many people can come to one place and enjoy our harbor and our sport of sailing together. I really enjoyed how the different generations would commingle to discuss the days events after a couple of twenty-five cent beverages.
I am on my way down to the docks for day three and the finals.


NHYC Thunder 2015 Baldwin Cup Champions

"You're never as good a sailor as the day you graduate from college." Gary Jobson. The 2015 Newport Harbor Yacht Clubs Baldwin Cup, our what I like to call it the battle of the past Inter-Collegiate All-Americans sailors is completed. 

Twelve teams where invited from across the United States, for more information on the teams and the events history go to baldwincup.com/wp/. There was know surprises in the weather this year with sunny sky’s and the typical Newport Beach breeze of 6-9 knots. On the race course there was really no surprises either with NHYC team Thunder made up of Justin Law & Jeff Gordon, Michael Menninger& Bill Menninger, Jon Pinckney & Gale Pinckney, Brian Bissell & Perry Emsiek. If I am not mistaken all of Thunders skippers where two-time or more All-Americans. 
Team Thunder breezed through the first two rounds of qualifications with only two losses out of sixteen races. The quarter finales came down to NHYC Lighting, Yale Corinthian Yacht Club, Southern Yacht Club and Seattle Yacht Club. The semifinals teams consisted of Yale, Thunder, Parchment and Southern. All the races where extremely close throughout the quarter finales and semifinals.
During this time, as an observer, you are always wondering who is moving on and which team has come to their end. Because there is a rule that keeps the participants from drinking any alcoholic beverages, .25 cent beers, while competing I quickly noticed that teams with large trays of .25 cent beers had been eliminated from racing. At first you could read the agony of defeat on their faces but by the time the third tray had arrived life was good again.
The finals came down to NHYC Thunder and Larchmont. Thunder are the defending champions and Larchmont had won the event on 2013, they did not attend in 2014. The final rounds where the best of three and Thunder lost the first race. The dock got quite while the teams exchanged boats on the main dock. The words “The Curse” was whispered across the dock because NHYC had lost in the finals at least three of the eight years of the race. 

Thunders skippers and crews had blank stares on their faces and made no eye contact with their supporters on the dock or on the main deck. Just then Thunders team captain Justin Law lights up a huge smile and gives a fan two thumbs up from the helm of his boat. Chris Raab from NHYC team Lighting comes down to the main dock and calls out Gale Pinckney’s name and proceeds to do a type of Haka-war dance to lift the curse.--------->

Race two starts and Thunder appears to be struggling as they round the leeward mark and heading for the finish. This is when the team race dance, which can resemble a country western    dance, starts and you never who is on top until its over. Even then the spectators on the main dock did not know who had won race two until we noticed the competitors heading back out to the starting line for race three and finally the race committee signals Thunders win. By the look of the Larchmont sailors faces the mojo had shifted and the outcome looked bleak. Raab’s Haka dance was working and by ten boat lengths off the starting line, of race three, this race was over. With Thunder rounding each mark of the course with a 1,2,3 game set match.

As a Harbor 20 owner or as a prospective owner you might ask yourself why does this matter to us? This event brings youth to our boats, it brings world wide awareness to the H20’s and it brings All- Americans out to our race course during our summer night series. If this all reads good to you and would like to start a similar event in your area, make sure you mark your calendars for next year, our contact any of the H20 class officers for information

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Cabo Sun and whats to come.

I hope you are all starting to smile a little more knowing that our summer weekday sailing nights will be starting the first of May. Let’s not forget about April which is always the most active month of the year for sailboat racing. Before I jump into this months main event I thought I would review NHYC Cabo San Lucas race.

Team Linstar offshore team sailed its Santa Cruz 50 Horizon to a third in class, forty-seven seconds out of second, and 8th overall. We sailed very well off the starting line and lead the fleet to San Diego. At this point we sailed into very light wind while most of our fleet sailed further out to sea and put eight miles on us the first night of the race. Rather than give you all the race details we had to play catch up for most of the race and hit the last three major wind shifts to place as well as we did. For my readers that have sailed this race before the outside finish strategy paid off big dividends.

One of the most exciting moments of the race for us was when we had about thirty-two knots of breeze as we approached Cedros Isla on a very dark and chilly night. I was off watch and was awakened by the water rushing past the hull, almost as if you could hear the rumble of an approaching thunder storm, as we surfed down the big waves. With only forty-five minutes left before I had to be on watch I got out of my bunk and put on my business suit, some people call it foul weather gear and life harness. Just as I came on deck the crew on watch came down below and asked for everyone on deck to go through a gybe maneuver and spinnaker change to reduce sail area.

When you first come on deck, after awaking from a deep sleep, it takes a little while to adjust to the pitch darkness and regain the feel of the boats movements in the confused sea state. As I walked into the cockpit and then turned around to the sea condition I thought “Oh shoot this is going to be Mr. Toads wild ride again.” and clipped myself onto the boats safety lines and sank deeper into the cockpit. As we went into the boats gybing maneuver, moving the boats main  and spinnaker sails from one side of the boat to the other, the waves seemed to become larger, while the night seemed to get even darker. Just then a large guest of wind hit us and we rounded the boat up into the wind. It gets rather load at this point with the helmsmen giving orders to regain control of the boat and the sails a gear are snapping above your head while the wind is howling past your ears. Lets not forget about the fear factor of keeping yourself on the boat along with the rest of the crew. I have gone through this fire drill many times and this time the Horizon crew took it all in stride and regained the control of the boat and our composure to complete the maneuver in record time. Now while under control again and surfing down the huge waves with the spray hitting my face I smiled because I knew we were doing very well and would be passing our competition in these dark and stormy conditions.

This year down the Baja coast I noticed the normal amount of dolphin lighting up the nights water photophores as they approached the boat like shooting stars along with a few sea turtles during the day. In fact we had a rather load bump one night and assumed we left a turtle with a rather gnarly headache. One afternoon, just past Cedros Isla, we noticed a large whale completely breach the water while the spay went high into the sky. We were over a mile away and three of us said at the same time “Did you see that, I’ve never seen that before.”


As we enter the month of April in Newport Harbor one event jumps right at us and that is NHYC Baldwin Cup.

The Baldwin Cup will start April 10th-12th and is sailed in Harbor 20’s with a ton of support from NHYC members and Harbor 20 fleet one. If you are on the bay this weekend you will start to notice all the moored boats disappear from the NHYC mooring field. All the racing takes place directly in front NHYC main dock along with being streamed live from the clubs web cam. This event promotes our harbor and sailing better than anything I have even witnessed. You can bet I will be on the main dock all three days.

sea ya