Clear skies, gentle breezes and flat seas greeted the racers for the start of Race 3 in the Berger/Stein series, where courses were set between Marina del Rey and Pt. Dume Saturday, May 14th.
Seventy-eight boats participated, setting a new record for this premier distance sailboat series.
These participants ranged from a 24-foot Martin 242 to Jacob Wood’s 83-foot Mull, Sorcery.
Although engine problems plagued the race committee boat, a substitute boat arrived mid-channel for the exchange and the start was delayed by only 15 minutes.
With the expert talents of principal race officer Sterling Tallman and race committee members, a quick recovery took place and a flawless start for all classes was effected.
The challenge for the racers was to track the wind lanes.
The wind at the start was eight knots and at times dropped below that.
The wise went outside and were successful. Some, however, stayed closer to the land and found themselves in a hole.
Racer Lee Lewis said, “Going out first was the way to go.”
Bill Worthington’s Beneteau 36.7 even caught some of the faster class boats ahead of him.
Boats that jibed early at Pt. Dume benefited from the current coming around the point.
The Cruising Class course was shorter on a reach to South Malibu and back.
“High” and “low” lanes were the wind story, and those that pointed higher benefited from a nice breeze.
Those choosing the low lanes found hole after hole, all the way to the turn.
With the cruising fleet one mile from the finish line, the winds dropped to three knots and the bulk of the fleet just inched there the last mile or so.
Lots of close finishes were taken and this fleet was done by 4 p.m.
The PHRF (Performance Handicap Racing Fleet) and ORCA (Ocean Racing Catamaran Association) fleets, returning from Pt. Dume, were plagued by light winds, with the fastest boats arriving at 4 p.m.
Just about that time, the winds filled in with breezes picking up to nine to 11 knots, which then allowed the balance of these classes to finish by 5:30 p.m.
Racers were delighted with this, as many remember finishes that lasted well into the evening until near midnight.
first place, Sorcery, Jacob Wood, California Yacht Club (CYC).
first place Arana, John Carroll, CYC;
second place, Wildcat, John Staff, South Bay Yacht Racing Club (SBYRC); and
third place, Black Knight, Phil Friedman, Del Rey Yacht Club (DRYC).
first place, Pequot, Bill Worthington, SBYRC;
second place, Blue Star, Charlie Haugk, SBYRC; and
third place, Perfect Circle, Fred Young, Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club (SMWYC).
first place, Chardonnay, Roy and Donna Wilson, DRYC;
second place, Comet, Don Currie, Pacific Mariners Yacht Club (PMYC); and
third place, Ghost, Payne/Doeh, Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club (CBYC).
first place, 9 Lives, Mike George, SMWYC.
first place Tyger Tyger, Geoff Deutchmann, SBYRC;
second place, Alien, Dan Frenette, CBYC; and
third place, Hiper, David Collins, CYC.
first place Mahal, the Van Heel Family, PYC.
CRUISER 30 AND OVER:
first place, Farr Gone, Rick Ruskin, SBYRC;
second place, Yassoo, Jim Vasilion, SMWYC; and
third place, Krazy Kat, Albert Algaze, DRYC.
CRUISER UNDER 30:
first place, Windsong, Joe Cowan, SBYRC;
second place, Dana Point, Chris Compton; and
third place, Maine Squeeze, Vic Smith, SMWYC.
Full results may be found on the Del Rey Yacht Club Web site, www.dryc.org