Friday, July 5, 2013

Santa Cruz Summer Open Report - Mike Holt

Last weekend we had a small but very fun weekend of racing in Santa Cruz, or more accurately one day of racing…

Saturday was the day you imagine when you dream of sailing a 505. 15 knots, building during the day to mid 20's, big swell, blue skies and seas and some boats to race! We had 8 boats out and joined in the One Design program with the Santa Cruz 27's and Santana 22's. Three races were held of fairly reasonable length, 2 up, 2 down. Race 1, Mathias and I had a race long duel with the other Mike, sailing with Rob Woelfel. Funny side story, Rob gets a text from a 714 number, asking him to crew in SC at the weekend. Rob's response, "who are you?". 200 yards from the line we squeezed by to take the win. Close behind and ready to pounce on any mistakes were Pat and Jeff, pushed all the way by Olliver and Tim.

Race 2 and the fan had been cranked up a bit more and we were into experimental racing. In an effort to keep the fleet closer together we devised a plan. Essentially, 2 lap race, when the leader goes around the leeward mark the boats behind (if they are not about to round too) perform 1 more gybe, then can drop and go back up wind. Now this is wide open to abuse and I will let you readers decide whether this was the case… Anyway, to the race. Mathias and I managed to completely foul up the start and tacked first to port, headed to the beach and were long gone by the time everyone else got heading that way too. We continued to extend(what were we thinking) and had a very nice lead (doh!) at the bottom mark. So everyone does their maneuver and we are now in last place and chasing hard. Well, to be fair to Rob and Mike, they lined up alongside us. We managed to catch all but Rob and Aaron who mysteriously had a very slow first beat and won the race by some distance!

Race 3 and the fan was turn on full. With Rob/Mike and ourselves  both Port tacking the fleet and getting to the shore first, there was no challenge at the top with us rounding in that order. However Mathias and I managed to put the kite under the bow and do a complete "yard sale" at the top mark letting everyone passed. Rob and Mike stayed up to win, Pat and Jeff stayed up to get 2nd and Olliver and Tim pulled off 3rd.

Sunday did not deliver the same experience. The Westerly struggled to make an appearance and in fact on the race area never did. Undeterred we headed further North and found 15 knots or so to sail in up towards Natural Bridges.

What really impressed me was how much everyone is improving, up wind and downwind. Olliver and Tim were going really well at times as were Chris and Ian. Jay and Eb had good speed but were suffering from rig issues. Pepe(Evan Sunday) and Paul were also right in there at many points in the racing, including 2nd to the top mark in the second race.

Next up is the Gorge, if you have never been before you need to go, if you have been before, why are you not going!!  Warm, windy, fresh water, fantastic. The Garda of the USA.

Then the recruiting weekend in Santa Cruz, July 20/21 and then the training weekend, 26,27,28 and 29, do the days you can.

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