Once again, another spot-on analysis from the legendary Hippie, Jon Shampain…
So, the editor asked me to write a wrap up for the Cabo Race. I’m sure he’s hoping I will stir the pot a bit by being overly critical of the race and organizing club. Anyone who followed the race knows that the passage was plagued with light and variable winds, it took twice as long as the average time, and even with an extension of the time limit, quite a few of us still missed the awards and were a bit hurt by that. In spite of this there are many things that will continue to bring me back to offshore sailing; racing with friends and family, reading spinnaker trim through the moon light, checking out the sea life; whales, dolphins, turtles and sharks, the night sky from sea is truly amazing …these are some of the things that brought me to sailing in the first place, it’s not only crunching the corrected time numbers and plotting the competition. In spite of the light conditions there were a few moments that produced a good adrenalin rush for us. We spent some time in the mid teens, flat ocean, just smoking along.
We did good by Horizon, 2nd in class and 7th overall, & in this fleet that showed up to race, we were pretty happy. There wasn’t a gimmie in the whole group. In our class we beat a near sistership and a pair of SC 52’s while neither J125 stuck it out although they were both behind us when they dropped out. The Rodgers 46 was wickedly fast and just a bit different kind of animal than our older California 50’s with the masthead rigs and dated hull shapes that the SC 50 and SC52 represent. With any luck, the Transpac powers that be were watching. It looks like we will have a large number of SC50/52 to have our own class similar to a couple of Transpacs ago. That way similar boats can race similar boats and overalls can fall where they may. After speaking to some of the other SC 50 & 52 owners and crew, it’s clear that I am not alone in these wishes for the Transpac this year.
In this Cabo Race, perhaps an additional class would have made for better racing. That class would have included the TP 52’s, Criminal Mischief and the Rodgers 46. They would all seem to have similar sailing characteristics. Leave the older Cal 50’s to race against one another and the more modern designs to also race against similar performers in class.
So we’re sitting on the hook at Bahia Santa Maria on the way back home. Not alone, Innocent Merriment, the J160 and Sin Duda, a SC52 joined us yesterday. Our 1st leg wasn’t too hard, left at dawn Sunday keeping one foot on the beach following the curve of the land around to the barrier islands that make up the outside of Mag Bay. Dropped the hook Monday AM, about 0800’ish. Of course now that the race is over, the normal Baja winds seem as though they never left. It blew 28-35 yesterday in the anchorage…not very nice heading upwind, which is where home is. It looks as though the wind will back off starting this evening and we will have a 36 hour window to get up to Turtle Bay. Then more crunch time…that is the Baja experience going back home.
So the race is over and most of us are glad of that. Not one of the most exciting Cabo races in past history.