Friday, August 22, 2008

2008 Pacific Coast Champs - 10 Races in 2 Days!

They don't call it Hurricane Gulch for nothin'.

The summer wind machine was operating predicably perfect for the nine LISOT sailors that made the trek west to Cabrillo Beach YC in San Pedro, California - site of the 2009 USODA Nationals.

If you thought 11 races in 4 days at this years Nationals was nice, the Cabrillo Beach YC Race Committee ran an amazing ten races over just two days!

Six race were sailed on Saturday (and the kids were ashore by 1800!). Sunday's four races, which finished by the 1500 deadline, seemed like a mere half-day at the beach. Although sailors were feeling plenty of burn in their well used hiking muscles!

50+ boats, including about 30 members of the USNT/USNDT, provided stiff competition, tight starts and crowded mark roundings in the 30-35 minute races run on a standard Opti trapezoid.

LISOT had solid results with four of the top ten:

4 Lily (and 1st girl)
5 Reinier
9 Matthew
10 Megan
21 Katie
27 Harry
34 Adele
35 Roger
37 Drew

The regatta was won by former LISOT sailor Antoione Screve, now living in San Francisco.

Starting right on schedule each morning, both the wind and Race Committee delivered flawlessly. Just like the seabreeze on Lake Garda, Italy, the Pacific Ocean sea breeze turns on at 1130 like clockwork from 215 degrees at 6-8 knots, shifts to 225 and builds to 10-12 knots by 1230, and then goes right again to 240 to 15-18 knots by 1330 where it then stays put for the afternoon.

Arguable as nice as the wind velocity, for both parents and kids, was the late morning starting time. Everyone slept in each day, had a leisurely breakfast (there's a great cafe a 1 block walk from the hotel and YC) and were down at the club in plenty of time for the 1030 launching.

After spending the week sailing outside the breakwater in a surfing ocean swells for the USNT/USNDT practice, the regatta was run inside the harbor breakwater where sailors had beautifully flat water with a slight chop and very little powerboat traffic to contend with.

The only "motor boat" traffic were 1000-foot container ships entering the harbor, which is the main Port of Los Angeles. CBYC Race Committee knew exactly where to position the course to stay out of traffic, and provide for great photos of opti's against backdrop of some giant vessels.

Cabrillo Beach YC hosted an absolutely terrific event, including a buffet dinner Saturday night and a hot dogs BBQ for parents and kids in the dry sail area after racing on Sunday.

With the recently renovated Doubletree hotel a very short walk from the yacht club, logistics were a breeze, including the quick 1/2 hour drive back to LAX or Long Beach airport.

If you're thinking about next years' nationals, this is a regatta you don't want to miss! Real wind that's very predictable, excellent race management, a cloudless sky of warm sun, wonderful logistics and accommodations and terrific hospitality.

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