Coronado Fall Regatta 2004
by Travis Wilson
Eight boats decided to come down and get a taste of what the sailing will be like at the 2006 Class Championships. When I arrived at the club Saturday morning I was a little concerned only seeing Mini-Me in the parking lot rigged and ready to go. But as the morning went on boats and there crews started to wonder into the parking lot. That’s the good thing about the boats we sail. They can be rigged in less than 30 minutes.
There was one exception. Jim McBride and crew found themselves with a broken upper shroud. The hunt was on, who had a spare. We ended up finding two spares but none were the correct length for his setup. But fortunately Pete Hunter #914 who couldn’t sail (New House) stepped up and went down to Sailing Supply and had one built while we were having the skippers meeting. He was back to the club by 11 and they had the mast up by 11:30 and were able to make the first race. Thanks Pete for helping out.
As the first major winter storm headed towards California it made the normal Coronado conditions not so normal. At 11:30 Team Head First and Bustin Loose were sitting at the dock watching the other boats try to sail out to the course. The decision was made. Go get “IMPACT”. Impact Willem’s Allen Andrews 39 came to our rescue to be the official tow boat to the course. As we picked up as many boats as we could before the old diesel said no more and we were on our way to south bay (sorry if we passed you by but the engine was struggling). It was the best pre race decision made by Willem all day.
12:00 postponement. No wind. What is this? This is not normal south bay. As team Head first tried to sail we looked over our shoulder and saw her. IMPACT anchored. Perfect, she became the resting place were we all tied up to and waited for the winds to build. Even Rick Harris pulled out a fishing pole and got some bites. Good call Willem on bringing her out.
Finally we got some breeze. Race one was about to start. The course was a single lap. It was light probably around 5 knots. Head First did the unexpected. We started at the “BOAT” and we were over and had to come back. During the turns I looked up and saw Chris Wright driving Ellen Perry’s Purple Haze starting on port tack at the boat. I remember Willem saying he is launched and crossing the fleet. This was the shiftiest race of the five. With 30 degree shifts rolling down the course it made it very tough to get there first. At the top mark Purple Haze got there first followed by Quit your Bitchen (Schock and Kline), Mine-Me (Golison and Washburn squared), Bustin Loose (Harris), Nehushtan (McBride), Head First (Van Waay, Wilson), Kopp Out (Tom Koop). It was now a race to the bottom mark and the finish. At the Leeward mark the boats stayed in the same order except Head First was able to get by two boats. For the short up wind leg to the finish Mini-Me got by Purple Haze right at the gun. The time between the first boat (Mini-Me), and the third boat, (Quit Your Bitchen) was 5 seconds. It was a close finish.
Race 2 was about to start. A single lap was called for again. Now we were seeing 5 to 8 knots of pressure. At the start Rick Harris sailing Bustin Loose pushed Head First and Mini-Me both over early at the pin. Head First quickly jibed around the pin and kept going. Bruce unfortunately didn’t know he was over for a minute or two. Rick went on to win this race with a runaway and Head First was able to stay in the game and grind back to a second place finish. Mine-Me got a seventh. Purple Haze got a fourth and was in First place after two races.
Race 3 again was a one lapper and the breeze had picked up to 10 knots. Finally we all got to hike. Head First and Bustin Loose started at the pin and were the only two boats to go left. The rest of the fleet was on the right side of the course. They looked so far away. But as we all tacked and headed towards the weather mark we were all a baseball toss away from everyone. It was amazing that with shifts and mile long legs that all 8 boats were rounding the marks at the same time. Bruce went on to win the race. For all of you that don’t know. “Bruce is Fast Downwind”.
Finally the day was over. As we all headed back to Coronado Yacht club and re hydrated our selves at the bar. The class got divided up into two parties that night. One half of the fleet decided to drink the complementary beer on the deck of the Club. While the other half, me included drank our beer watching the Red Sox Yankee game in the club. It was a fun night. I learned a lot that night about who I sail against. I learned a great deal from John Cooper about what he does and how his son is about to become a professional baseball player. That is great. Also I met Tom Kopp for the first time. Tom is new to the fleet and he flew in two ringers from Chicago to sail with him. They didn’t mind the flight at all as they told me it was in the 30’s at home. Got to love the Southern California winter sailing. The brothers of Tom and John Font sail on the great lakes in the highly competitive Tartan 10 fleet. As the slug fest between the two baseball games winded down everyone started to go on their own way back to there resting places of choice. Or, in our case some local drinking establishments.
After a night of poring rain and 30 knots of wind Sunday was about to get on its way. Race 1 a marathon 3 lap ordeal. This was the most exciting race of the weekend. And I have never seen so many lead changes in a Santana 20 race before. There were so many race leaders I couldn’t keep track. We had 10-15 knots of breeze. After the first lap Head First was leading Mini-Me by 2 boat lengths. That is the way it stayed going downwind. During the second beat Bustin Loose, Quit Your Bitchen and Purple Haze went left and made huge gains while the rest of us did the normal thing and went right. At the weather mark Purple Haze had taken the lead followed by Mini-Me, Head First, Quit Your Bitchen, Bustin Loose as we headed down to the leeward mark. Purple Haze and Head First jibed at the top mark and were the first to go right on the run. Head First Got Inside of Purple haze at the bottom mark and re took the lead. Amazing still that after 3 miles of racing all 8 boats were in the hunt. Less than 1 minute separated first from last. On the third Leg we decided to cover Mini-Me on the left side of the course. Quit Your Bitchen, Bustin Loose, and Purple Haze went right and made huge gains. Again there was a new race leader. Rick went on to win this race.
The last race was set to go. A 2 lapper was in place with Head First winning the event by one point, Bustin Loose in second trailing by 1 point and Mini-Me 2 points back. Here we go again for another tight finish. The race started in the best pressure of the weekend. 10-15 knots strong. The boat end was favored. Bustin Loose, Head First, and Mini-Me were all at the boat. At the start Rick was at the boat with Head First to leeward and Mini-Me to leeward of Head First. Rick was the first to tack away and go right followed by Head First and then Mini-Me. After some exchanges in tacks Head First was able to send Bustin Loose right as a lefty came in. After the first lap Head First was leading Followed by Mini-Me and then Bustin Loose. The last upwind leg Head First decided to let Mini-Me go and protect against Bustin Loose. We went right with Rick as Mini-Me worked the middle of the course. A big right sift came in and we over stood and had to reach in. As I looked under the sail I saw Bruce erase a 15 boat to leeward margin and sail right at the mark. Still at the mark it was Head First, Mini-Me and then Bustin Loose. Mini-Me with their great downwind speed was able to pass us and go on to win the race by 3 boat lengths.
The regatta was over. It was a blast. Everyone seemed to have a great time even though we only got 8 boats to play. But next time I plan to have more than 15. I have to apologize for not knowing more about everyone else in the fleet to write on. I was trying to sail and remember what was going on to write this article for you all. The next event down here I promise to have a photographer (who’s not afraid of getting rained on) and someone to keep track on everything so that we will have a more detailed report with photos. The next event in Coronado will be Sailing World’s NOOD Regatta. It would be huge for the class if we could race in this event and get national media coverage. It is March 2 weeks after Schock Memorial hosted by San Diego yacht Club but the small one design classes sail out of Coronado. It’s a 3 day event. Also there will be Spring Summer and Fall events every year just like this one. They will be listed in the Regatta calendar on the S20 website. I look forward to seeing everyone again at Turkey Day and the Birthday Regatta in Arizona.
Head First (Van Waay, Wilson) 4,2,2,2,2- 12
Mini-Me (Golison Washburn) 1,7,1,4,1- 14
Bustin Loose (Harris, Bingham, Maxim) 6,1,3,1,4- 15
Quit Your Bitchen (Schock, Kline, Hoffmeister) 3,4,4,3,3- 17
Purple Haze (Wright, Perry, Sorry 2 others) 2,5,6,5,6- 24
Kopp Out (Kopp, Font, Font) 5,3,8,7,7- 30
Gem (Cooper, Whittaker, Kevin) 8,6,5,6,5- 30
Nehushtan (McBride, Denny, Coleman, Mitchell 7,8,7,8,8- 38