We got a few words from Buzz Blackett, owner of the all carbon Antrim 27 ‘io, after their class and overall win in the SoCal Islands race…
‘io is the best keel boat I’ve ever owned or sailed on. She is solid upwind, although even with a keel bulb that’s 200 lbs heavier than the bulbs in the glass A-27s she’s a lot more tender than traditional racer/cruisers. She reaches well, but the canoe body and the absence of chines requires constant adjustment of the mainsheet or traveler to keep her on her lines. Downwind, she sails like a skiff, with instant acceleration in puffs and pinpoint control with a perfectly balanced rudder. (BTW, ‘io is the familiar name of the only native Hawaiian raptor.)
The key to our Islands Race was holding on starboard for about 15 minutes past the southern waypoint off San Clemente before gybing for the long leg to the finish. From the YB tracker viewer, it looks like the big boats well ahead of us at the left turn ran into light wind half-way home.
Some of them, like Pyewacket, even had to gybe back to starboard to get out of it. We stayed a bit south, and had perfect breeze with no shifts or holes until just before the finish. We were lucky to finish just before dawn, when the wind at Pt. Loma shut down.