Channel Islands and Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Clubs co-hosted the 19th annual Channel Islands to Marina del Rey Race Saturday and Sunday, June 25th and 26th.

This race is designed to serve as the first part of a two-race event that includes the Marina del Rey to San Diego race held each year over the July 4th weekend.

On Friday evening, racers in the Channel Islands to Marina event assembled at Channel Islands Yacht Club to enjoy the famous Beefeaters steak dinner and swap sailing stories of past years.

This race carries many tales of very long, drifting hours in the dark, as winds usually die after sunset.

This year, the winds were fairly steady, with several periods of two to four knots, but offset by several bursts of breeze that saw 20-knot gusts, and fairly consistent breezes in the afternoon of 15 to 18 knots.

This allowed early finishes for all five classes.

Two PHRF (Performance Handicap Racing Fleet) Classes and one ORCA (Ocean Racing Catamaran Association) Class sailed a handicapped distance of 62 nautical miles. This course was sailed from the Channel Islands start line around Anacapa Island and south to the finish line in Marina del Rey.

Often, the stories that come from the Anacapa sail have filled the trophy presentation with humor.

This year the sailing was smooth and the nine boats completed the course in an average of just over ten hours.

Cruising Classes, Spinnaker and Non-spinnaker sailed a 42-nautical mile course. Their shortened course allowed them to leave the start line and sail directly to the Marina del Rey finish line.

The only mark on their course is the oil tower “Gina,” which must be taken to port. This mark is approximately three miles south of the start line.

With all boats finished by midnight, the race committee aboard Segundo Amor, was able to return to a slip, get a night’s sleep and have results available for trophy presentation at Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club (SMWYC) following breakfast at 10 a.m. on Sunday.

With small entries in each of the five classes, only first places were awarded.

PHRF A: Phil Friedman, Del Rey Yacht Club, sailing his Farr 39, Black Knight.

PHRF B: Al Lehman/Steve Quant, Arizona Yacht Club, sailing their J-80, Zonie.

ORCA: William Gibbs, Pierpont Bay Yacht Club, aboard Afterburner.

Cruising Spinnaker Class: Rick Ruskin and Kathy St. Amant, South Bay Yacht Racing Club, sailing Farr Gone, a Beneteau 42 S 7.

Cruising Non-spinnaker: Vic Smith, SMWYC, sailing his Catalina 27, Maine Squeeze.

Perpetual trophies were awarded as follows:

“CIYC (Channel Islands Yacht Club) to MdR Perpetual Trophy” (PHRF first to finish) to Cincos, Christian Morris, SBYRC.

“The Bud Verplank Perpetual Trophy” (PHRF best corrected time) to Zonie, Al Lehman/Steve Quant, AzYC and

The “Ray Russell Perpetual Trophy” to SMWYC for the club with the greatest number of entries.

Many of the entrants in this race will head for the start line Saturday, July 2nd, to begin Leg 2, of this event.

They will sail to Southwestern Yacht Club in San Diego, competing in the 38th Annual Marina del Rey to San Diego Race co-sponsored by Southwestern and SMWYC.

Completing both legs of the race, both Cruising and PHRF, qualifies the participants for the Yacht Racing Union of Southern California “Down the Coast” trophy for PHRF classes and the “Down the Coast” trophy for cruisers.

These two trophies are based on the best combined overall performance by a boat, based on corrected time for the Channel Islands to Marina del Rey and Marina del Rey to San Diego events.