Regatta Report

Midwinters – 2022

Midwinters – 2022
Cabrillo YC, CA
Write-up by Mike Pacholski and James Clarkson

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

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