For its third racing season in the USA, the Open 5.70 has now became the largest one design fleet in Santa Monica Bay and will probably be the largest fleet represented in 2 weeks during Long Beach Race Week.
The Open 5.70‘s showed up in force at Cal Race Week. With 11 boats on the starting line the Open 5.70s were one of the largest one-design classes (the Star boats also showed up with 11 boats). This is the most boats the class has seen on the line since last years Pacific Coast Championship at Long Beach Race Week. There were 9 local boats and 2 boats which had traveled down from San Francisco for the premier Marina del Rey regatta.
Conditions were light all weekend but this kept the racing close. With some significant 20 degree shifts throughout the course of the day going the wrong way was costly and the leaders were constantly back and forth with one another. The Open 5.70 fleet prides itself on its “openness” and more experienced owners are always willing to lend a hand – giving tips about everything from rigging, sail trim, weight distribution to the skippers and crew of the new boats to make them more competitively more quickly.
It wouldn’t be racing without a little chaos and Sunday was just that. With only two races on the schedule the Open 5.70 class managed to take 4 starts. One was a general recall as a large portion of the fleet was over early at the pin end of the line. The other extra start was the result of a race abandonment at the first leeward mark. It was the last race of the day and there was a lot still to play for – the course given by the race committee was two laps around the long weather mark and the color of the mark was yellow. As the racers proceeded upwind they were faced with two weather marks – a long orange and a short yellow!! The fleet split with three of the boats rounding the yellow and half the boats rounding the long both believing that their interpretation was correct. The RC realized the confusion and abandoned the race – a good decision on their part as the racers would likely have protested and had the race thrown out. So with the day winding down and all the other boats sailing back to the marina the Open 5.70 class were on the start line again sailing for the trophies (it felt like being held back after class for misbehaving!).
Tracey Kenney, on “Hat Trick” had a clean day on Saturday with a 1-2-1 and held onto the lead on Sunday to finish a clear 5 points ahead of 2nd place. Nik Vale, on “Demonic”, was rewarded for his consistency on Saturday and his 1st place in the last race on Sunday earned him 2nd overall. David Brown, on “KOA”, took 3rd overall. Photos thanks to Patrick Reynolds. Check the following links for: