Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Santa Barbara - Mike Holt

For the second year running the class held a regatta in Santa Barbara. This time 14 boats turned up for some highly competitive and tight racing. Saturday was held in light, even for the East Coast, conditions, 5-8 knots out of the West, with warm and sunny conditions. The very lightest teams occasionally saw the wire at times towards the end of the day but the rest of us became familiar with the insides of our boats.
Saturday was completely dominated by Andy and Howie winning all 4 races with only Brian and Ted ever heading them at any mark. They managed to end the days with 3 2nds and a 3rd along way clear of a tight pack of boats. Don Smith who has now sailed more events this year than n the last 10 years, sailing with Chris Rabb in Howie's B boat notched a 2nd in race 1 and raced competitively all day. Reeve and Holt also had a strong day as did Pat and AJ.
Saturday night was spent exploring Santa Barbara and its delights and come Sunday morning not all heads were as clear as they should be. The weather was slightly different, with the fog lingering longer and in an opposite move to what we are used to with Santa Cruz or Long Beach this seemed to mean more wind. The first race of the day started with the wind moving much more than Saturday catching many out who were doing the West Coast "hit the beach" game. Jeff Nelson, trading down and sailing with me for the weekend picked the way around the course best to win. Then for 2 races it was back to the Andy/Howie show in the gradually building breeze but racing through the fleet was close and the overall standing were starting to get interesting and I am sure everyone was trying to remember their scores and the boats around them's scores too.
So to the last race and the breeze was at its best for the weekend, around 15 knots and a 3 lap course was posted. Dave and Bruce pulled off a Port tack start but it was not enough to get them to the top first. Jeff and I managed that, pushing hardest to the beach to lead from Brian/Ted, Andy/Howie and Dave and Bruce. Three dizzy laps later and we crossed first, of course followed by Andy and Howie, then Dave and Bruce. With the dust settled, Andy and Howie had run out comfortable winners, Jeff and I had pulled up to 2nd, winning the tie breaker with Brian and Ted who took 3rd.
It was great to see so many of the new sailors mixing it up at the front, Holt and Reeve sailed well all weekend to end up 4th and everyone had a good race along the way, Rich and Bob a particularly sting 2nd in race 7, James and Ian racing at the front for a lot of race 5, Bill and Stine racing at a new level in the Waterat. The conditions in Santa Barbara are very different to the other venues we go to and require slightly different skills. They also ran a very good event, with good courses and race management, many thanks to the team at SBYC.


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