One hundred and 18 sailboats filled the Santa Monica Bay last weekend for Cal Race Week ñ one of Southern California’s premier regional sailing events hosted by the California Yacht Club.
The two-day series brought some very notable boats from as far north as San Francisco and as far south as San Diego to battle in this highly competitive contest.
Taxi Dancer, Peligroso, Staghound, Grand Illusion and Pendragon are some of the most distinguished high performance large racing boats in the state and were all present giving an air of excitement to the series.
“I think that when those big boats participate in a regatta it really kind of elevates the energy level of an event,” said race chair Marylyn Hoenemeyer. “And then we had some very strong one-design classes.”
For some of the classes, the series served as a championship event within the parameters of Cal Race Week.
The Martin 242 class was racing for their Pacific Coast championships and the J-80 class held their West Coast championship.
For the latter, the event marked something of a milestone as just a few seasons ago the J-80s were about five boats strong and this year they were the third largest fleet in the race with 11 boats.
In addition, the Holder 20s were holding their Fleet One championships within the context of the series.
Besides these championships, some of the other groups, particularly the Fast 50s, Fast 40s and the sportboat classes use the Cal Race Week as part of a larger series called the Ullman Sails Inshore Championship.
The regatta saw some new one-design fleets with the Olson 30s and the inclusion of the Reynolds 33s marked the first time a catamaran class has ever participated in Cal Race Week.
R33 designer/sailor, Randy Reynolds, who won in every single race, spoke highly of his experience with the Cal Yacht Club race committee and commented on the very foggy conditions of the series’ second day:
“The race committee did a flawless job,” Reynolds said.
“They did an excellent job shortening the course, etc. And on Sunday it was some of the most spectacular racing I’ve ever done. You could barely see the other end of the starting line.
“On the first race after the start ñ you couldn’t see anybody. You couldn’t see more than six boat lengths ahead. That was the first time I had ever raced around the buoys when I couldn’t see where I was going for the whole race.”
Hoenemeyer acknowledged the participation of the volunteers from the surrounding yacht clubs such as the Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club, South Coast Corinthian Yacht Club and Del Rey Yacht Club for their efforts and equipment, saying that without their help the event couldn’t have been so successful.
For race results log onto the Web site at www.calyacht club.com