Regatta Report

Midwinters – 2022

Cabrillo’s “Hurricane Gulch” serves up another loving spoonful of Skiff Bliss.

Mike Pacholski and James Clarkson give us this colorful write up on how it all went down. If you didn’t make it this year, you missed a ton of fun. We are looking at hosting Nationals at this same venue later this year (TBD). In the meantime, here is Mike and Jame’s write-up. Thanks Guys!

Very little planning went into the lead up to Midwinters. A last second work trip allowed me to be in Seattle on Friday and a bit of shopping around and I found some flights to get me down to LA for the regatta and then back to Hawaii. James committed to driving the boat down and that was that.

Day 0: a few beers that night between friends at the hotel bar. The bartender left before we did.

Day 1: Skippers Meeting and Black Ribbons handed out. Note that we lost avid 14er and friend Ted Rogers about a week earlier. In honor of Ted, every boat in the fleet would fly his ribbon with his sail number on the clew of our mainsails for the length of this regatta. We got the boat rigged up and did a general systems check. A 12:30 start gave us plenty of time to get things in order. We had about 10-12 knots of breeze at go time. Things seemed to be running pretty smoothly and we weren’t expecting much. Our plan was to sail low-risk laps. Two tacks upwind and two gybes downwind. We really liked banging the sea wall corner on the way up and down the course. The breeze seemed more consistent and probably slightly more pressure as well.

Race 1: We found ourselves with a good start, being the boat furthest to the left of the course and significantly fast. We had to duck Brad and Terry at the windward lay line and then botched our tack. Oh well. I was too excited and fumbled the sheet or something. We figured there would be a few moments like this since we hadn’t practiced at all. We sailed the rest of the race consistently and finished 4th. Michael and Elizabeth got us near the finish I believe.

Race 2: We had a great start and sailed low and fast. We didn’t look back but video evidence shows we had a 37 second delta at the top mark. The left was definitely working. Unfortunately we weren’t sure what the course was but knew we should sail downwind through the finish after lap 2, 3, and 4 if we didn’t get a horn. We sailed a consistent race but Paul and Daniel were unstoppable. They slowly chipped away at our lead and eventually made the pass on lap 3. James and I flipped on lap 4 headed to the finish but managed to pop the boat back up and finish before Brad could pass us.

That Saturday evening, the fleet meeting went well and we are all working on adding to our fleet exposure to get current members out of the woodwork and interested sailors out for a ride. Many empty beer cans were produced.

Sunday forecast was supposed to be a little lighter than Saturday. Conditions looked like they were forming much like on Saturday. We prepped for big breeze and headed out just in time for the start.

Race 3: (2x around) we got a good start, probably a little too close above Brad and he gave us a good pinch off. We held our lane for a while then put the bow down and continued out to the break wall. Can’t recall positions at the top but I think we were in 3rd with Brad in the 1 and Galvez in the 2. Positions didn’t change over the course of the race but had a hairy mishap with Terry at the leeward mark where he rounded to starboard (missing a gate mark). The rest of the race was uneventful although I believe we were dodging Cal 20s to get to the finish. Michael and Elizabeth passed us right at the downwind finish.

Race 4: 3 laps. The breeze was picking up about a knot every minute between races. James and I shifted gears back to the settings we had on day 1. We were feeling fast and ready to go. We had a good start, Galvez rolled everyone off the line and was smashing upwind in the building breeze. James and I had better point and comparable speed. We rounded with Galvez and Brad at the top mark and sailed closely with them to the leeward mark. Galvez rounded ahead of us and Brad came in hot on starboard and forced us to put the breaks on. We had an early douse and Brad flipped. (Coming in too hot and not heeding our warning hand signals.) James and I continued trucking upwind following Paul and Daniel. They had great speed but they flipped in a tack and we ended up passing them on the right side of the course. After that we sailed a couple of consistent laps and took the win. Galvez was close behind.

Looking at the score sheet Paul Galvez and Daniel Roberts were unchallenged with 2 bullets and 2 seconds. James/Pacholski and Brad/JP had matching scores and James/Pacholski won the tie breaker on the count back. Michael/Elizabeth finished 4th with Terry/Aidan in 5th, and John/Lazzaro in 6th.

Unfortunately Terry and Aidan had an incident that ended their regatta and sent Aidan into the mast and subsequently to the hospital with a broken hip. I hear that he is recovering and is able to walk. All of the 14 fleet is hoping for a quick recovery for Aidan and we look forward to the day you can get back out on the wire.

The next fleet event is the Sailing World Regatta in San Diego March 25-27th. Looking forward to seeing everyone there!

-Mike Pacholski/James Clarkson

All Photos: Volker Corell

Regatta Report

Helly Hansen NOOD – 2022

On Mar 24-27 the Sailing World Helly Hanson Regatta Series came to San Diego. This series replaces the long standing Sailing World NOOD regattas and is probably more appropriate as the majority of boats are no longer Offshore and many are not One Design. The International 14s continue to sail this event, again using it as our West Coast Championship event. We sailed in San Deigo South Bay out of Coronado Yacht Club. Always fun to get over to Coronado which feels like a vacation spot even to the local San Diego boats. We had ten boats participating this year which was really only the third significant event sailed in the post Covid era. A few new boats and and few boats we haven’t seen in a while were present. A couple Seattle boats came down with Kris Bundy and Jamie Hansler sailing together on the B6. Dan Kaesler and Evan Walker, sailing only their second 14 event, in a B5 representing ‘Raptor Deck’. The San Francisco fleet sent James Clarkson and Josh Leihe on James’ Hollum, and John Clark and Michael Lazzaro on John’s B6. We also saw Ron Boehm’s ‘Sweet Jane’ B5 reappear sailed by JV Gilmore and ‘Maartin’ Fabiansson, who flew in from Sweden to join the fun. L.A. was represented by Michael Leitch and Elizabeth Campbell sailing their new to them B6 which has replaced the Woody (great trade up guys). And Paul Galvez and Danial Roberts sailing Paul’s B5. The local San Diego fleet was represented by Terry Gleason and JP Barnes sailing Terry’s new Hollum “Dunder Pit” – be sure to ask Terry to explain the name to you next time you see him! Channing Hamlet and Pete Stanton sailing Channing’s Red B6. And finally Brad Ruetenik and Hawaiian import crew Michael Pacholski sailing Brad’s older B5 Astragalus (after breaking a rig the prior weekend on the B6)

The 14s set out to sail 2-3 races on Fri. Pre-race there was an abnormally strong right breeze coming down the bay from the Coronado Bay Bridge as opposed to the normal onshore breeze coming across the narrow sand spit dividing South Bay from the open ocean and the ‘Coronado Roads’. Just as the RC was ready to get the first race going for the F18s, I14s and FDs on the north course some of the more normal left breeze started to come in. Thus, an AP went up and we waited for another 45 min. or so hoping the breeze will normalize. Eventually, the RC split the difference and sent the fleets up under the Navy base off Glorietta Bay in some puffy, shifty breeze. The first race was the start of a fairly consistent race series. Terry and JP won the first of many races in the “Dunder Pit”. Brad and Michael were second in Astragalus, and Michael and Elizabeth were third in their new B6. Do to the delay, we requested the “Distance Race” as our second race so we wouldn’t be out there all evening. We sailed our usual windward / leeward course, then sailed up under the Coronado Bay Bridge past downtown to Fleet Mooring Bouy 19, back to to channel marker 23, back to FM19 doing a couple laps on the city front, then and back under the bridge to South Bay and the finish line. Again, Terry and JP showed their speed and won the race followed by Brad & Michael in second followed by Channing and Pete in third.

We had a short meeting that evening discussing logistics of shipping the fleet to Hawaii for the upcoming Pacific Rim Championships in Kaneohe Bay on Oahu, Hawaii later in April. A container will go from both SF and LA. We also discussed the logistics of shipping boats to the Germany Worlds in Flensburg Germany at the end of July.

Sat. sailing commenced with somewhat more normal South Bay breeze. We sailed four two lap Windward / Leeward races for the day. Initially, the results remains similar to Fri with Terry and JP winning the first race, Kris and Jamie got going with a second followed by Brad and Michael in third. Race two finally changed up and bit with Kris and Jamie in first, Terry & JP settle for second, with Brad and Michael third again. The rest for the fleet continued to mix it up and have some very close racing with finishes all very close, some of the closest 14 racing I’ve seen in a long time. Race three was again a small change with Brad and Michael winning, Terry & JP in second again and then a great showing bye James and Josh finishing in third and showing some great speed. Race four had Terry & JP wining again, followed by Kris & Jamie in second and then Channing and Pete getting in the action with a third.

Sun was sch. for 2 additional races with a possible additional if the wind cooperated. The breeze was more left with some prefrontal breeze coming in. Normally, left breeze in South Bay means go left and get out to the top of the course in more breeze. We tried that a few times and it just wasn’t working like normal. The boats who got to the top right were often coming across the top of the course in a nice right lift which again is not normal South Bay strategy at least not in left breeze. Didn’t much matter for Terry and JP as their speed kept them in front no matter what. “They won another 3 races on Sun. Michael and Elizabeth were up to second in race one with Kris and Jamie in third. On race two The ‘Dunder Pit’ won again, followed by James and Josh getting their second place finish and Brad & Michael getting third. The last race had Terry and JP win again with Paul & Danial getting in on the action with a second place followed by Kris and Jamie in third.

Fortunately most of us got some cold refreshments handed to us by Cameron Puckey and Renee in the chase boat for the sail in. Boats were pack and headed either back to Seattle, SF, LA and for us lucky ones who get to stay in SD. As always, love sailing these boat and the group of people in the fleet who are all very friendly and extremely helpful with ideas and trying to get everyone faster. The fleet continues to be very supportive of the newbies as we all know too well these boats are extremely challenging , but very rewarding to sail. Can’t wait to sail in Kaneohe next month!