2008 SCYA Midwinter Regatta

Santana 20's Hosted by Mission Bay YC

February 16 & 17, 2008

Pete Hunter Wins at SCYRA Midwinter Regatta


Pete Hunter took bullets on 4 of the 6 races and won the Southern California Yacht Racing Association Midwinter Regatta going away. Pete and his crew of Gary Magill (middle) and Richard Hoffman (who has to have the biggest foredeck wingspan in the class) mastered the shifts, a new set of Quantum sails, the occasional suicidal catamaran mark rounding, as well as being over early on two of the races (coincidentally the two races they didn’t take bullets on) to take Class Honors. Eric Kownacki, John Porteous, and Derek Martin where 2-3-4, but separated by only two points apiece. Jerald Skeen and crew, after being suffering through a most un-”friendly skies” airline experience getting down to San Diego, finally jumped on a quick, hassle-free, and (ahem) on-time Southwestern Global Airways flight a made it down to beautiful San Diego. It was so good to see the Oregon Ducks in tow behind “Four”, which was their stunt Tuna, graciously supplied by Robert Noe and Linda Polich.


The weather was postcard perfect – sunny and in the mid-60’s. Both days were originally supposed to be out in the ocean, but the leftover swell from a recently passed winter storm and the light airs that filled in behind it, made getting out the channel way too dicey. Derek’s boat was the first to get close to the channel on that beautiful Saturday morning, and could see 6-8 foot waves breaking all the way across the mouth of the channel. There were actually surfers in the mouth of the channel! Derek’s foredeck Russ Gibfried, a total surf dude, thought more than once about ditching the sailing for the day and getting his stick out pronto! The PRO made the early call and confined the racing for the weekend to the Bay – a good decision.


The air in the bay was actually better than out on the ocean, but still only 5-8 knots and fairly shifty. The racing was extremely tight, and while the left was somewhat favored, it was hemmed in by the beach. As expected, those that stayed in velocity and clear air did well, but lead changes were the norm, and even the short reach from the last leeward mark to the offset finish line made for some woolly finishes! Derek Martin, after breaking yet another spin pole on in the first race, initially decided to retire, then changed his mind and re-entered the fray. His crew still managed to pass a few boats going DW on that last leg, and sailed the rest of the day “sans pole” – not an easy feat in light air. Nice work by Russ and Kevin Baker (middle).


The breeze freshened on Sunday and gave us smaller shifts with consistent velocity – perfect racing conditions – except for the suicidal catamarans who felt the two boat-length rule didn’t apply to them since they were going three times as fast as everybody else. Many a colorful remark was shouted at those two-hull weenies horning in on waterspace that was rightfully ours! Boarders away!


Eric Kownacki lead from start to finish in Race 2, and John Porteous had great starts all weekend, and made some huge gains downwind in Races 2 and 6, winning the last one in a cakewalk. The leeward marks proved entertaining, and Dave Wright ended up on the outside of the pinwheel on the last leeward mark in Race 6, and reached down to the favored pin end on the last leg to the finish, and beat the inside boat by inches. Jim McBride battled up at the front of the pack for all of Race 3, and John Weightman was particularly fast upwind, taking a second in Race 5. Ev Meade was leading at the first windward mark on Race 1, missed the offset mark, but luckily the rest of the fleet was there to graciously remind him of the correct course. (Yeah, we’ve got your back Ev). The fleet pretty much agrees that we are all in serious trouble when Ev’ learns the course and can correctly remember how many times he’s gone around! Stand by!


A wonderful weekend of great sailing and camaraderie was had by all, and the Tuna 20 crowd was well-positioned close to both the roaring fireplace and the bar on both days after the racing was complete for the day. We even got in a little bit of trouble for illegally smokin’ some fine Davidoff cigars on the back deck. Curse those California smoking laws! All in all, it was a weekend that we hated to see end, and it was great to have Jerald and the boys down from Eugene. Can’t wait to head north this summer and hang out with good folks of Fleet 19 and see what other sailing moths are drawn to the Santanarama flame!


Please visit Southern California Yachting Association (SCYA) at www.scya.org to read about the history of this long running regatta.


Place Skipper Sail # R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 T
1st Pete Hunter 914 1 -5 1 1 1 4 8
2nd Eric Kownacki 921 3 1 3 -6 3 2 12
3rd John Porteous 276 2 2 -6 4 5 1 14
4th Derek Martin 926 4 3 -5 2 4 3 16
5th Ev Meade 110 - 10 dnf 4 2 9 7 6 28
6th Dave Wright 783 -7 7 7 5 6 5 30
7th James McBride 167 5 6 4 8 8 -9 31
8th Weightman 95 - 10 dnc 10 dnc 10 dnc 3 2 7 32
9th Jerald Skeen 458 6 8 8 7 -9 8 37