Our beloved Hippie, Jon Shampain, navigator on Horizon, maybe the nicest and certainly one of the best-sailed Santa Cruz 50’s ever, does a brilliant job of succinctly presenting both the agony and ecstasy of this fucking crazy sport from the race course to Cabo San Lucas. It is also worth noting that Roy Pat Disney is doing his dad proud with his own Pyewacket (S/C 70) as they are currently One and One.
Half way, and finally it’s all coming together. Approaching Punta Eugenia and Cedros Island we finally started seeing some real breeze. Cut the corner hard around the San Benitos Islands, and as expected just when things got navigationally challenging, the wind headed us and we found ourselves with the 2A up in 17kts with the wind way forward of the beam. Glad they make sails tough at the Ullman loft and glad I had Mel to drive. As you round the corner at Punta Eugena you get into some very flat ocean waters as the point creates a bit of a lee.
We timed it very nicely and as the wind shifted to a more northerly direction in the wee hours it goes essentially offshore, the chop is gone and only the long ocean swells remain. Hopefully we cut some additional mileage off that maybe our competitors didn’t with a more conservative rounding.
Because of the weather, or lack of weather for the first few days of this race, the RC has extended the cut off time until Saturday, so all the boats can try to finish and be scored. A very good decision…a rare thing in this day and age. A few boats have dropped out; both J125’s with Erik’s work mate Keith aboard Timeshaver, and an Express 37 in the PHRF fleet, due to the slowness encountered. I guess Erik wins the bet with Kmag. I will say Timeshaver was in a different zip code from us when they bailed. Sorry Keith.
It looks like the bigger boats will walk away with most of the hardware for this one. In our class the Rodgers 46, Bretwalda III is the talk of the town. From back east somewhere & way powered up & modern, she has taken big mileage bites out of us in certain conditions. Last position report she had put 36nm+ on us since day 1. We’re holding on to a 2nd in class from 2 SC 52’s and a near sistership in Adrenalin from Newport Beach. But wait; the morning standings are in and it seems we are again leading the class and even made up some ground on some of the big boys. Then karma hits…fog. We can only hope that it isn’t our own private hell, but it just might be. In all the years sailing and delivering up and down the baja I’ve only encountered fog once down here before…so the roller coaster ride continues.
We sat with no breeze for a few hours watching John T trying to break the head and hoping all our hard work wasn’t in vain. Then a small wisp of new breeze begins to fill; drifter to the #1 to the Code 0 to the 2A with spinnaker staysail and off we go again.
It seems this race is far from over and anything can happen and probably will. What a stupid sport! – hip. Track ’em here.