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Tri Point Race Recap- my perspective #262708
08/20/13 05:55 PM
08/20/13 05:55 PM
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,304
Gulf Coast relocated from Cali...
TeamChums Offline OP
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TeamChums  Offline OP
veteran

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,304
Gulf Coast relocated from Cali...

A little bit of a read but I was asked to share it with youguys here. We went all the way to Ventura for this one day distance race. Yes, I said one day...the raced is that freeking good to travel that far for it. It's a shame that there are boats all over So. Cal that won't get off their a$$es and come do it.

2013 Tri Point recap;
Lucky for me, I had David and Reesa Cerdas more than willing to drive the boat to Ventura, all the way from Texas. That whole family has been more than supportive in so many of our sailing events, I can’t even begin to repay their generosity. Without them, I’d not be able to do even half the events we get to do. Thanks David, Reesa and Mom and Dad!
Most good regatta adventures start with the road trip there. This one was no different. David was giving me updates from the road so I didn’t worry. At the California border, he sent me a picture of the trailer tire with a nice bubble in it. It was a pretty new tire but these things happen. In the spirit of competition, I suggested he keep going so we could see how far it would make it in that condition and placed bets accordingly. I bet he’d make it the remaining 300 miles. Others weren’t so optimistic. I won, he made it.
I flew into Burbank on Friday night and took a nice pungent Supershuttle ride to Ventura. Upon stepping into the van, I was immediately (mentally) transported to the Middle East by the aroma of rancid curry and body odor. Oh, well, it’s all part of the adventure that was under way. One smelly hour later, I arrived in Ventura and was greeted by some of my long lost Fleet 42 brothers and sisters. That alone was a big part of why I wanted to do this race with David in the first place. Fleet 42 was the first group I met when I started my sailing adventures and I wanted David to see what a special group they were. I don’t mean helmet wearing, window licking special (maybe some) but true friend special. I was handed a bottle of Sailor Jerry Rum and a can of Gingerale and the trash talking started! This is what I came for. David had the boat rigged with help from Reesa and the gang. I did next to nothing but drink (which I am a true champion at). The next morning, we had our traditional breakfast/trash talk session at the local Carrow’s restaurant that John “Nazi” Schwartz and I started over 7 years ago. It was great. We then got registered at PBYC and were greeted by Richard and Suzan Countess. It was great to see their smiling faces again. They are the backbone of the racing at PBYC and we are all so thankful for the effort they put into helping the beachcat class be a reality in their racing series.
The weather report called for light winds, which is unusual for August around the Channel Islands. We launched and started the 2 mile sail to the start line without any issues. The boat felt good. We set the mast rake for light wind and everything seemed to respond well. We crossed tacks with AFTERBURNER on the way out of the harbor and received nice greetings from some familiar faces like Bill Gibbs and Mark McNulty which was adding to our already fun experience.
The Beachcat start is always the last start after all the bigger boats. This makes it nice since we don’t have any traffic but our own to worry about on the line. We all got a great start. It was great to see everyone being so aggressive at the line and even one boat over early. I think, just by luck, we got in the best position and nailed it right at the horn.
We were off beam reaching to the first mark, Off Shore Drilling/Production Platform GINA (I’ve done a lot of welding on that monstrosity) with great boat speed. We were watching the other boats getting settled into their proper trim and seeing who was going to jump out and make us worry. The P-19’s and P18-2’s are basically a scaled down version of a Tornado Cat, so we knew not to take them for granted in these reaching conditions. They all settled into a fantastic pace. John Schwartz and Reesa Cerdas were on the only F18 and were easy to keep track of with the day glow yellow sails. With the pace everyone had, we knew there was no room for mistakes and we weren’t going to have an easy race. This is what I was hoping for and wasn’t disappointed. Now for the even more exciting part. We decided to throw the chute out and do some power reaching and try to put some distance on the fleet. Once we had it up and got out on the wire for some double trapping, we noticed the other Nacra 20 in the fleet did the same and were driving down on us pretty hard. This was Manny and Brett. I wasn’t sure what to expect from them since I knew Brett was a little new to the N20 but not new to sailing catamarans. As far as Manny, well I think he’s just plain crazy and will find a way to make anything go fast. Together, they made a hell of a team that pushed us as hard as any top catamaran team has in the last few years.
When we got closer to Platform Gina, we dropped the chute and prepared for a closer reach to the East End of Anacapa Island. Once we got out of the wind shadow of it, we were close reaching to the Island with Brett and Manny slowly gaining on us. By this time, we definitely had entered “Windy Lane”. This is a wind lane that is a few miles wide and is channeled down from Point Conception to Point Dume on the inside of the Channel Islands. Sometimes you can see it before you get into it just by the condition of the waves. It was a fantastic ride but we were having a hard time finding our groove and properly de powering the rig. This is due to the fact that we stood our mast rake up a little too much in anticipation for the light wind forecast. We worked on other avenues to de power including mast rotation and as much downhaul as we could get on that mast. By now the wind was in the 17 to 19 knot range. We expected 5-7 knots! Oh well, deal with it, this is distance racing and it’s what we live for. One by one we had passed most of the bigger boats by now that started as much as 20 minutes ahead of us. On the horizon, we saw AFTERBURNER take a huge left turn and new they had trouble. We later found out it was a rig problem and they had to drop out of the race. I was disappointed to see this but half the battle in ocean racing is having a rig in perfect shape. Sometimes you just can’t foresee these things. A couple of glances back revealed to us Brett and Manny had us in their sights and were gaining on us….fast! We made other adjustments but nothing was going to change. The mast rake was killing us. In higher winds, a little more mast rake can help with keeping the boat under more control…more control=more speed. They finally rolled us like a couple of fish tacos but the race wasn’t over yet. It was just starting and I hadn’t run out of tricks in my sleeve yet. We were coming to the wind shadow of Anacapa Island and now the race was going to turn into a chess game on the water. By this time we both passed the big FARR 400’s and one FARR 40 which were leading the race since ‘BURNER was out. We drifted in and out of wind shadows for about an hour or two on the back side trading positions with Brett and Manny the whole time. I knew the only thing that was going to help us was the time proven tactic of hugging the inside lane. By this time, the big FARR 400’s had managed to squeak by us since their weight and momentum carried them through the lulls better than we could. As we approached the West End, we had a spectacular view of Santa Cruze Island through the patchy fog. It was amazing. The wind was filling back in and the big FARR’s were about a mile or so ahead of us already leaning hard and leaving spray. We could tell it was going to get frisky in a hurry. We set the chute and held a course of about 225 degrees on the digital compass. Usually this time of year we can see the Ventura coast line and have the huge oak tree on the mountain to aim for but not today. It was fogged in enough that we couldn’t see squat. I asked David to set a way point on his GPS as we were leaving the harbor. He pulled it up and we could see what we needed and adjusted accordingly. By this time, we were full on in the wind channel and had to drop some sail area (the chute) so we could hold the course we needed. The wind piped back up to around 17-21 knots and made it a fun beam reach back. David called out mileage to the finish and we began clicking them off and running down the three big FARR 400’s. One by one we drove past them in our own wall of spray. By this time I was really kicking myself for not bringing my goggles. I could barely see anything. All the crew on the FARR400’s were waving and I’m sure enjoying the show of a 20’ open dingy screaming past them doing 20 knots in 6’ seas. We were literally getting air born off about ¼ of the waves. They waved and must have thought we were snubbing them for not waving back but the fact was, we couldn’t without falling off the boat. It was all we could do to hang on and still work the controls. One particularly big wave hit David so hard, it knocked him into me as we got air born and launched me off the deck. I was hanging onto the rudder arm and took it with me as I flew up, which unlocked the rudder. Big fun, though. Time to drop speed and lock it back down, then get back under way. The most difficult part was trying to keep from grinning and laughing as much as we did because in doing so, we found too much sea water would enter our mouths, making it difficult to breathe normally. Laughter always finds a way out.
After getting past the big boats now, we were back in the lead and had to only concentrate on not making a mistake. Our goal was to finish first. We couldn’t do that if we flipped or one of us got washed over board. We were leading but not out of the woods yet. We could see the skyline of the city and knew we were sitting good. We couldn’t back off because I knew Brett and Manny were out there somewhere and could easily capitalize on even the smallest mistake we made. We had to keep sailing smart. We didn’t fully relax until we entered the break wall in Ventura Harbor and crossed the finish line. We got the horn and slugged each other in the arm for our own way of congratulating each other. These boats take team work and it’s only going to go as fast as the slowest person on the boat. David and I both know this and that’s probably why we do well together when things get rough. We loaded the boat on the trailer and enjoyed watching the other cats come in with everyone having their own expression of relief and victory on their faces. Those are the trophy’s that we get that make this type of racing worth while.

Lee Wicklund/Team Chums


Lee

Keyboard sailors are always faster in all conditions.
-- Have You Seen This? --
Re: Tri Point Race Recap- my perspective [Re: TeamChums] #263005
08/29/13 09:59 AM
08/29/13 09:59 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 337
Arizona
AzCat Offline
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AzCat  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 337
Arizona
Anacapa Tri-point Race, by Brett Johnston
Great recap Lee!!
Heres my two cents worth on the Anacapa tripoint race put on by the PBYC.
Thanks to all of the attending fleet 42 members for an unforgettable weekend! Manny, thanks for the very nice accommodations and the great partnership on the water!
Jim and Julianne, Jonathan and Scott, Pete B, John S , Bob and Bob and company, Lee and David and Reesa, thanks for the competition on the water and the conversation on terra firma.
And thanks to PBYC FOR PUTTING ON A GREAT RACE!
Thanks to Lee and David for giving us something to point the boat at the majority of the race.
I’ve got a couple additional comments.
When we went in to the awards ceremony after the race and Richard C asked me why the hell no one protested anyone at the cluster £û€¥ that sufficed for a start. I told him that I didn’t realize that there was anyone else but me at the start!
And then here comes Martinez back through the line because he was over by about 10 seconds. If your racing Bob, and he asks you if you need a start watch, tell him NO.
So off we went. Lee and David out in front, of course. And up goes that blue chute! So Manny an I watched for a while to see how Lees boat would react. He had to fall off a few degrees for a little while, and wasn’t gaining too much, so we decided to keep ours in the bag to Gina.
As we rounded Platform Gina(oil rig), we ended up a couple hundred yards behind Lee and David so we started putting the Coon Toon on the rig. Oh, and we threw 270# of Manny’s butt on the wire . I started hiking HARD while still on the hull when the rig powered up. I kept telling Manny, “They’re getting bigger! They’re getting bigger!” Three times on the way out to the island, my lee rudder popped up, so with Manny on the wire running the chute, I handed him the tiller and, three times, crawled across the tramp to re set the rudder. I finally gave up and left the port rudder trailing, hoping that it wouldn’t break the head off.
I guess I need to work a little more on the rudders.
Also, as if this weren’t enough to deal with, at about this point, as we were screaming along, a freaking walrus, or sea lion, or other huge semi sea going thing of large mass, appeared right between the bows. It took one look at us and dove out of site. I looked over to the lee dagger board, expecting to see it take a quick sternward movement as it hit the diving beast, re locating my daggerwell. …… NOTHING. We somehow missed him. Or he missed us.
The backside. What a backside. A Slow game of chess.
Lee and David took the inside route, Manny and I got frustrated with that pretty quick and took the outside, away from the island. All of the smaller boats were still back a ways so we went on trying to get past the other I20 on The course. I don’t think we ever did get in front of Lee and David. We never stayed in close to the island, we tried to catch some breeze, off shore but within 1/2 mile. I was hoping that the current would not be bad within that distance. I dont know if it helped or hurt. By the time we neared west end of the island, the fleet had compacted a bit. Some, way too close!
When we got to the West end of Anacapa, we could see the wind line coming across in front of us. We watched as two big Monos that were right in front of Lee and David, reached the wind line, heeled over, and took off. First one… Then the other… And hen the Gumbee Green cat, off like a shot. And there we sat, 50 yards from the wind line as Lee and David ran up to the tip of the island, turned north, and just as they went out of site, up goes that blue chute. We were trying to stay in front of all of the other smaller cats that were slowly creeping up behind us, and they were getting a little to close for comfort!
SERIOUSLY??!!SERIOUSLY???!!! AND WE’RE STILL SITING HERE WITH NOTHING?!! …Not for long.
We finally hit the wind line and headed to the western tip of Anacapa, about 1/4 mile away. Rounded to the north, and were off, the waves were huge, but I got out on the wire while helming and sheeting the main, and Manny ran the chute up the mast. Manny got to the back corner, I got into the foot strap on the transom and hooked on the chicken line. BTW, we looked for Lee and David out in front of us and they were no where to be seen! $!-!]+ !
We ran the chute for about 5 minutes and BAM! A loud bang and the chute haulyard came loose in the swivel cleat at the base of the mast. Manny jumped across and ran the spin back up and re cleated, jumped back to the back corner, and sheeted in. BAM! Again! This time, we took a little closer look at the swivel cleat, and noticed that it had bent up at a 90* angle. This meant that the halyard wouldn’t stay in the cleat. Which meant no chute. We didn’t know if Lee and David had their chute up or not. We pressed on under main and jib. Manny running sheets, me on trap, strap and tiller.
I don’t think the chute would have done us any good anyway. The waves were huge, and the wind was howling. We stuffed the lee bow of the I20 to the main beam at least a half dozen times! She barely slowed down. Alternately, when we crested the waves, the rear beam would get swamped, sometimes stopping us almost dead in our tracks. Manny was sent flying toward the front of the boat at least a couple of times. Other sets would nearly sweep my feet off the side of the boat, and yet others would hit me in the hip, so hard that at one time, I ended up hanging onto the tiller, with my foot in the footstrap at the stern, chicken line attached, and I was hanging off the transom facing outboard doing a spread eagle move that I never want to attempt again. I fought my way back to my normal position with both feet on the side of the boat, and we continued on. Manny constantly adjusting his position and actively running the sheets.
I don’t know about Manny, but I was getting pummeled by the waves,The spray coming off the from the bows smacking me in the face and eyes every time we crashed over another wave. My eyes were so sore and stinging from constantly wiping the spray out of them, I finally just quit wiping them and just drove on with blurred vision.
About 1/2 way through the final leg, we rolled by one of the big monos. The rail meat watched as we flew by, spray shooting everywhere. We were looking awesome!
More of the same till we got back to Ventura. Huge waves and great wind all the way back. I checked my GPS, we hit a top speed of 21.6mph. not sure where because i erased my track before I got a chance to load it on my computer. I think it may have been on the upwind to the island. We were glad to be back and out of those monster waves. I was beat. What a race!
10 cats on the start line, more than any other fleet.
BTW, A little bird told me that we will have a New and highly coveted trophy to race for next year for this race. Hmmmm, what could it be?
CAN’T WAIT TILL NEXT YEAR!!
BTW, Lee, thanks for the new pole. I would like to just leave it at that.


Auscat MKV 444 A class
NACRA I-20- 440/CATHATKA
Re: Tri Point Race Recap- my perspective [Re: TeamChums] #263032
08/29/13 08:22 PM
08/29/13 08:22 PM
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 1,403
V
Ventucky Red Offline
veteran
Ventucky Red  Offline
veteran
V

Joined: May 2004
Posts: 1,403
Hey Brett and Lee,

Thank you both for posting these recaps... When I went rouge on this race many years ago to prove the the PBYC that Beachcts dinghy sized catamarans are capable of doing this race safely I said to myself this has got to be the most awesome way to spend a day on the water.. and you guys have pretty much detailed what this race is all about.

The folks at PBYC really enjoy your company and we really do appreciate you guys making the drive from Texas and Arizona. And I am glad to hear you too had a great time..

Every year we have been getting a bigger fleet with this year having the largest.. I am looking forward to next year, maybe we'll have some more local boats out there..

Oh! The trophy is going to be the perpetual Beachcats class trophy that is being brought over from the Milt Ingram Race to this one due to the large contingent of boats entering...


Re: Tri Point Race Recap- my perspective [Re: Ventucky Red] #263051
08/31/13 01:22 AM
08/31/13 01:22 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 337
Arizona
AzCat Offline
enthusiast
AzCat  Offline
enthusiast

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 337
Arizona
It wasn't my cat to let out of its bag. Can't wait till next year!!!


Auscat MKV 444 A class
NACRA I-20- 440/CATHATKA

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