it’s a small world
So you may think the Olympics is big in the sailing world every 4 years, or maybe the Volvo Round the World Race is big every 3 years to 4 years. How about the America’s Cup every 4 or so years, or maybe even Key West Race Week every year. Let’s not forget such notables as Transpac, Vendee Globe, Chicago-Mac, or even Round the Isle of Wright race abroad. What is your favorite “Big Time” notable Regatta? Well let me give one that’s even BIGGER and is even considered tougher, bigger, faster, longer, larger and to some even a dream to attend, just as the Olympics, Volvo, Key West, or even America’s Cup. Try to imagine an event that even in it’s title is misleading. Try to imagine an event that is packed with so many boats, so many skippers, so many races, so many titles awarded, and so many parties, that it actually takes 19 days to complete this “Race Week”. How about a Regatta that will have almost 200 boats by the end of registration this week, and skippers from almost 12 different Countries, Nine different Class Nationals Championships awarded, and more present and past National Championships Skippers in attendance than any other Regatta in History. Folks I give you the 11th running of the San Diego Argonauts “RACE WEEK”.
Hosted by one of the Nations most prestigious American Model Yachting Association’s Radio Control Sailing Club located in San Diego, California….The San Diego Argonauts!!!! This event over the years has become such a “Premier Event” for the Hobby of Radio Control Sailboat Racing, that it is only held and hosted every 3 years. Just like what the Columbia River Gorge is to Windsurfing, or San Francisco Bay is to notable windy sailing, or even Hawaii is to Surfing, the pond in San Diego known as the Mission Bay Model Yacht Pond is what most consider the Mecca or must go to before you die type of location for Radio Control sailing or Racing. This specialized Pond was literally build back in 1939 with every thought and detail considered for sailing and racing R/C boats. It was even built with the longer length of it running parallel to the Southern California’s prevailing winds. So literally 90% times of the full year of sailing a perfect Windward/Leeward Race course can be set. Just meeting, or getting to know any of the “Argonauts” is a thrill and honor. As with any notable sailing Yacht Club around the world, the World of Radio Control Racing is filled with all the same type of skippers and Champions that you would see and read about in any Sailing Mag or Blog.
This year “Race Week” is being held on August 1st thru August 19th, 2012…that’s this week! We are talking 19 days of racing…..think about that! How many folks can put their lives on hold and go Sailboat Racing for 19 days? Well not too many that I know! But hey what about the Regatta Chairman that has literally put his life on hold for the entire event, not to mention a year of planning, and weeks of paperwork before and closing out after the event. This is a special guy…….this year it is Fred Rocha, of the San Diego Argonauts. Fred is also a Class Secretary for one of the more recognized International Classes that will be holding their 2012 Nationals Championships at this event, taking up 4 days of the packed 19 day “Race Week’s” schedule. This Class is called the Internationals One Meter Class and is currently the largest Class to be racing this at “Race Week” on August 2nd – 5th . This weekend the IOM Class currently celebrating it’s 15th year of success. With 49 boats Registered for the regatta in this Class alone, and with skippers representing 6 different countries, such as Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, and of course the United States…it is obvious that this will be one of the hottest tickets in town for any sailboat racer to go view! Such notable names attending for this Class National Championship will be Ian Vickers of New Zealand(and The Artemis Racing Team), Eric Arndt of the United States (and The Houdini Yacht Racing Team), Peter VanRossen of Canada(and 4 times US National Champion), Craig Mackey of the United States (many Class National Champion), and so many top USA Ranked IOM Skippers.
If you’re in Southern California this weekend for pleasure or maybe in the next 19 days, from Aug 1st thru the 19th on business and need a quick get away to watch some sailboat racing….google Mission Bay Model Yacht Pond and get the location and swing by for view of some of the most intense and race jamb packed starts, finishes, and mark rounding you’ll ever see. For a complete run down on the Club’s history and even the “Race Weeks “ schedule of event, and Class being raced that day go to the San Diego Argonauts website for all that is San Diego’s R/C world. Just as in big boat world and the National Governing body of US SAILING, The Radio Control world also has it’s Nationals Governing body call the AMERICAN MODEL YACHTING ASSOCIATION (AMYA). It’s staff of 100% Volunteers are here to not only help all Regions around our country in any way to enhance R/C Sailing but to promote and enhance in any way to Hobby of Radio Control Sailing. Many of the top names and who’s-who of the Hobby and AMYA will be present during this “Race Week”. With the expert planning and an army of Volunteers, Fred Rocha and his team of Argonauts have turned this event into for 2012 the biggest in history for them and the AMYA. If you find a way to make this event, don’t hesitate to ask questions. But be careful, during lunch break somebody may insist that you pick up that radio and give a shot. Do it at your own risk because you’ll get hooked!!!!! Check out anything and everything considered R/C sailing at the AMYA website.
Loyal followers of Sailing Anarchy, you may of remember of that story ran last October about a great little R/C Regatta (no pun intended) in Texas (shameless plug!) with over 30 skippers and how I described how if you could ever fly over a sailboat race and see the perfect place to start, the perfect laylines and where to tack, being able to hang out with your buddies all weekend, shout sailing rules to them and there only 2 feet away from you, and then go have a great party afterwards and do what….talk war stories about the days racing sound and how you BS (boatspeed) was better than theirs. This is a typical regatta!!!!..Sounds familiar?…not any different from the big boat world regatta. And you didn’t even have to hook up a trailer or feed a crew or pay for extra Hotel rooms. Radio Control Sailboat Racing is a world of every demographic of person’s you can imagine. I will never forget a gracious IOM skipper at a regatta that gave a newspaper interview to a newspaper intern assigned to cover the event. When asked the skipper why Radio Control Sailboat Racing?……his reply was “This is my release…..here unlike my real job, if I make a mistake no body dies”….his job description “Neuro-Brain Surgeon”. Racing Radio Control Sailboats test all your senses just as real boat racing but in different order. It will test knowledge of the rules and it will also test you as a person to stay calm in moments of chaos such as electrical meltdowns with in a boat. And this is all happening before the first race in the parking lot unloading. More and more Yacht Clubs are getting fleets of there own boats and having evening races off their docks or even porches of their clubs to get their memberships revived back up. It’s an incredible Hobby and a natural progression from the big boat world to the small boat world. Come join us sometime at the pond and you’ll fall right into that niche of the population of …….Big boys with big toys!!! – Anarchist Ray.