Thursday, February 15, 2018

On the Harbor: Keeping you updated on the winter series races and more…

The mighty AMANTE dominates winter series
To say that things around the harbor are “heating up” is a bit of pun with the weather we have been having.
I was in Basin Shipyard this last week and they are working hard with the yard at full capacity. While walking by the outside of the shipyard it reminded me of a busy Sunday morning at the Galley restaurant with all the customers wrapped out around the corner waiting for their table.

Over at Newport Harbor Shipyard, things seem to be just as busy with a number of large racing sailboats getting ready for the upcoming season. Two new race boats, to our harbor, have been recently added with Newport Harbor Yacht Club members Jim Bailey having purchased the Trans Pac 52 “Destroyer” and David Team recently purchased  the Trans Pac 52 “Vesper”. Destroyer will be making her Southern California sailing debut in the Islands Race on February 16. Vesper has been seen heading out of the harbor looking for wind to start practicing for the upcoming season. They are headed to San Diego February 10 - 11 to compete in the TP 52 Mid-Winters event that promises to have nine TP 52 boats attending. ( Update: Vesper dominated the first day of races during the Mid-Winters and broke a spreader during a spinnaker set and had to withdraw from remained of the regatta.)

If you are wondering about the outcome of our winter series races across the harbor…here are the results. In the BYC Sunkist Series, in PHRF class A with no throwout – James Dealings’ “Carbon Footprint” took first and held off team “It’s OK. In B class, The Richley family aboard “Amante” kept rolling for the win and in class C “Doubletime” swept the series with straight bullets. The real race in class C was for second with Bill McKeever’s “Reliance” holding off Brian Dougherty’s “Legacy.” Class D came down to a tiebreaker for first with Ray Booth sailing “Altheris” just nipping out John Szalay’s “Pussycat.”
Over at the BCYC Hot Rum Series, in PHRF C, Bob Wine sailing “Carioca” won the class. “Pussycat” took class B and “Amante” won class A. In the Harbor 20 NHYC Winter series, Ann and Kurt Wiese won class A, Doug Rastello brought home the class B trophy and Kathryn Reed held on to her lead to win class C.

Nate Dunham 17.97 Halibut
The Balboa Angling Club is off to a fast start this year. Harbor 20 sailor and past Balboa Angling Club President Chris Allen took off on New Year’s Eve with crewmember Nate Dunham aboard his boat “Taravana.” Dunham caught a 16.71 lb. BFT (I hope that means bluefin tuna) and a 5.42 lb. yellowtail, which allows Allen to bring home the first two flags of the year. Allen described the weather as perfect with flat seas and a whole lot of fish. He still had a rather large smile when telling me about his trip a month later. Another big day at the Angling center is receiving the 1,700 juvenile sea bass on January 19, 2018. I assume most of you are familiar with the sea bass cages in the mooring fields just in front on the Balboa Angling Club. The sea bass are released later in the year, with the volunteers from the center talking care of them in the meantime.
Upper Bay

Upper Newport Bay channel markers
News around the harbor: A number of topics have been brought up during the Harbor Commission meetings, and I have heard some rumors around the harbor. It has been indicated that three old channel markers 6, 10 & 12 will be removed and replaced with new floating markers. This is long overdue, and we can only hope this task is completed this year. Another topic broke the surface at the last meeting, and that is marine recycling so that all you boaters will now have a place to dispose of your hazardous waste without driving miles inland to do so properly. I’ve heard these centers will be around the harbor sooner rather than later. My little harbor birds also informed me that the upper bay channel markers have a very good chance of being lit up at night, so you can make your way through the upper bay much easier when it’s dark. The word around the harbor, during the recent Blue Moon high tides, is that the amount of flotsam that was collected was overwhelming. One boatsman from the NHYC reported that he scooped up a whole drowned chicken. The good news is that with the large water flush, people are telling they have never seen the water so clear. This is very good news for the harbor, because when you add the amount of sunlight we have been having, the chance of a good crop of eelgrass might follow for this year’s surveys. Remember eelgrass is our friend!
Wish us wind and luck as we will be competing in the Islands race on “Horizon” in preparation for this year’s Puerto Vallarta race.
Sea ya!
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for StuNewsNewport.

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