John! This has to be one of the best races I have done in America….
Once again the Tri-Point Ocean that is hosted by the Pierpont Bay Yacht Club in Ventura, CA has proven to put smile on the faces of those that participated… with another epic ride out to Anacapa, up the back side of the island, and screaming reach back to the harbor…
The start line for the race accounted for a mixed bag of five cats, Inter/Nacra 20, NACRA 6.0 NA – Turbo, NACRA 5.8 NA – Turbo, Prindle 18-2 and a NACRA 6.5…That’s right a SIX POINT FIVE. Roy Seaman entered this year with a backyard build with carbon fiber hulls, 21 foot long NACRA, a ten foot beam, carbon fiber mast, and lethal looking sail plan. Ouch!!!
Our start was at 11:30. None of the sailors had trouble getting to the start line on time with the unusual light wind that started to build right at about our start. The run to the first mark had many flying spinnakers with the exception on the 6.5. Carrying a large jib that had more square footage than my Manhattan apartment they dialed in and bid adios to us mere mortals..
After rounding the rig it was a drag race beam reach to the east end Anacapa with the beach cat fleet picking off the sleds and a few ORCAS, and there were no container ships to deal with this year…
The back end of the island had many taking the outside line as this provided a steady wind, but the hot ticket was the inside. Counting on the Coanda effect of the wind coming down the channel and slipping on the back side of the island helped me pick up the minutes lost on the first leg with a spinnaker malfunction. Only having a few holes to drift through we picked up ground on the two boats in front, NACRA 6.0 and 6.5.
Coming off the west end of the island we saw our typical 15 knots of wind, a small potato patch of waves, and a beach cat drag race between a NACRA/Inter 20 and a supped up NACRA 6.0 NA. Making an assessment of my boat (Inter 20) there were two things that were a little un-nerving at this point in the race, the trampoline was coming out of the forward track and was about half way out and the one of the bridle wire clevis pin’s “wing-ding” went a missing!!!! (I know tape everything up……got it!!!!!) Conferring with my crew the decision was to put the hammer down and deal with the consequences should they happen!
The ride back saw 22 plus MPH peak speed on the GPS and I found out how much this Inter 20 LOVES to surf. I took just little under an hour to make the 16.5 mile journey from the west end of Anacapa Island to the Ventura Harbor finish line….
The line honors went to the 6.5 with our 20 second, the 6.0 third, 18-2 fourth and the 5.8 fifth. The corrected time put the 18-2 first, 6.5 second, N20 third, 6.0 fourth, and 5.8 fifth.. The total elapsed time for the fleet to do the race was just under four hours.
Back at the harbor one of our guest from Arizona had lamented that this had to be one of the best races he has ever done in America and will be back for next years event….. At the yacht club many of the sled drivers had commented how they enjoyed watching the beach cats scream across the ocean and have asked for rides on our “little boats.”
Hopefully next year we’ll see more cats in this race, and I want to thank the Pierpont Bay Yacht Club for hosting this event…