Archive for August, 2006


Pyewacket Sets Catalina to Newport Record

August 28, 2006   

August 28 – Newport Beach

The MaxZ86 Pyewacket, which Roy Disney donated to the Orange Coast School of Sailing, but next year will be chartering back for one or more Mexican races and yet one more TransPac, set a new elapsed time record for Long Point on Catalina Island to the Newport Pier of 1 hour and 32 minutes.

At least we think it’s a record. Those aboard who should know things like that – Costa Mesa-based pro sailor Keith Kilpatrick, long time Newport racer Craig Fletcher, and the School of Sailing‘s Brad Avery – couldn’t remember a boat having a faster time. But Avery hedged his claim a little. “You’ll probably get a couple of people who will write in and say they’ve done it faster on a multihull or sailboard, but I’m pretty comfortable that this is the monohull record.”

The believed record was set on the third day of the Newport Harbor and Balboa YC’s Long Point Race Week, a terrific event that saw the 40+ boat fleet enjoying a race over to Long Point, a second race up to Ship Rock and back, and then back to Newport.

More on that event and the attraction it would have to Northern California racers in the Wednesday ‘Lectronic.

Assuming the White’s Landing to Newport Pier course is 24 miles, Pyewacket averaged about 16 knots. The amazing thing about this is that while the wind was consistent all the way across, it never blew more than 16 knots. Pyewacket had no trouble sailing faster than the wind most of the time, peaking out with a high of 19+ knots on a close reach.Pyewacket was given a real battle by Doug Baker’s Long Beach-based Andrews 80 Magnitude, a boat that’s never really gotten her due. A somewhat less complicated and slightly shorter boat than Pyewacket, she was only a short distance to lee of the bigger boat for about half the crossing, at which point Pyewacket hoisted her #3 asymmetrical, a brutally strong Cuben fiber sail needed to stay high. Magnitude had left her similar sail – they go for about $50,000 – back in the container ashore, and therefore fell further down the rest of the way.This was the first time we’d sailed aboard Pyewacket, and we were surprised at what an absolute beast of a boat she is. That she could be so well sailed by a mostly amateur sailing school team, which was assembled after a call for tryouts on Scuttlebutt, is a tribute to both the absolute dedication of that crew and the supervision of the likes of Kilpatrick, Hogan Beattie, Fletcher, and Avery.On most boats, a reach from Catalina to Newport would involve setting one sail and getting the most out of it. That’s not how you do things at the top of the racing game. There were probably six or seven sail changes in Pyewacket’s 92-minute crossing, and two trips to near the top of the 125-ft mast.Changing sails is many times harder than it sounds, as they weigh hundreds of pounds, are like wrestling with alligators, and must be dragged up on the deck of the pitching boat and laid out in position for setting. Once this is done, the afterguard usually calls for a different sail to be brought on deck and put into position. You don’t ask questions when you’re part of the crew, you just do what you’re told. If you didn’t absolutely love it, you’d never do a second race.And who would be the bowman, probably having to do more physical work than anyone else on the boat? There wasn’t one. There was, however, a bow woman in the person of 29-year-old Ashley Perrin of Mill Valley. Although not unusually large or strong looking, Perrin was an absolute monster on the bow, relentlessly giving every ounce of her physical strength to accomplish the many jobs she had to do. It was something to see. We’ll have more on Perrin in a future issue of Latitude 38.As Pyewacket crossed the finish line at 14 knots and co-skipper Fletcher jumped overboard and swam to the race committee boat to resume his duties as race chairman, the sailing school’s Avery remarked on what a tremendous impact Disney’s donation had made to their program. The minute we entered the jetty, we could see why. There was a school of sailing launches overseeing a flock of students in Lido 14s, and as we moved up the harbor, a seemingly countless number of the school’s Shields being sailed around the bay. No matter what day you visit Newport, you see evidence of the thousands of people, of all income brackets and all physical abilities, who get to enjoy the ocean each year because of the school’s programs. If there’s a better or more well run such program in the country, we’re not aware of it, and it survives on the generosity of the likes of Roy Disney. On behalf of everyone, a very heartfelt ‘thank you’.  

Pyewacket King Harbor Race 07

August 8, 2006   

This is a copy of an article posted on Sailing Anarchy written by Tom O’Keefe. Ashley of RYM did bow on the boat for the race.

A report from the R/P 86 Pyewacket on the Santa Barbara to King Harbor racer here in SoCal. Also, be sure to check out the Audio Innerview with recently did with Roy Disney. Enjoy.Friday morning we woke up at 4:00 AM to drive from San Clemente to Santa Barbara and found drizzle outside. As we traveled North, the drizzle turned to rain and phased in then out. When my wife and daughter dropped me off at SBYC, the weather had set into a persistent mist. During the dock walk I ran into several friends from past crews and the usual boat gossip/networking ran rampant. After dropping off my backpack, I made my ritual visit to the Minnow Cafe for a quick bite and then it was back to Pyewacket to start the pre race prep and get out of the rain. We checked the kites and banded an A 2 that was the only kite we found stuffed.

Around 10:30 AM the misting petered out and we rigged the boat for who knows what direction we’ll find outside. All we knew for sure is that it will be light air. At 11:00 we motored outside, checked in and raised the main. For those that have never been aboard Pyewacket, she has halyard locks on all halyards. There are 6 people grinding tagged into the utility winch to raise the main and 1 (sometimes 2) people up the mast making sure the luff rope, then top batten and luff rope again all get fed into the luff track worry free, as almost an acre of Carbon/Kevlar and Mylar gets raised. Next we raised the Code 0 on it’s furler and finally the J-2 on the fractional head stay.

We checked the line, timed our approach and got a lane reaching back and forth with the J-2. I was trimming port side and John was trimming starboard. Keith called for the Code 0 about 30 yards from the line on final approach and boom we’re doing 10 knots in 6-1/2 knots of breeze. Initially, the breeze is from SSE and clocks South as we point on port out to Santa Cruz Island. Magnitude is just to leeward and astern and After Burner is doing a good job of pacing us abeam. We seem to have a flatter Code 0 which allows us a bit more point and boat speed. But, as we approach the island the breeze starts funneling, fanning and shadowing which makes for some very interesting exchanges back and forth between Magnitude and Pyewacket.

In the end we led by a few hundred yards between the islands and bore off to our first Code A 1. Magnitude sets a very nice A 1 and carries it low of rum line. Ours is giving us decent speed pointing higher on rum line and we have footed out by a bit. Unfortunately, a lift sets in and Magnitudes inside position is now favored and our gage has only hurt us. We attempted to sail lower. But, we just could not get down to Magnitude’s line.

Now begins the long light only to get lighter reach across the bay trying to get lower and maintain speed. But, Magnitude is looking better and better. Just before dark we both threw in a jibe towards the beach. But, they were ugly and pointing back at Malibu is not a favored option. So, we jibed back toward Palos Verdes around 9:30 PM. We tried another A 1 at one point. But, both kept us about 5 degrees higher than Magnitude and across the bay that worked out to a few miles of separation. There appeared to be more pressure inside, which also benefited Magnitude and by the time we made our final gibe in Magnitude was a solid 2 miles ahead. Then it got light and ugly. We worked our way in first with the A 1 and then the Zero.

It was an extremely light air race, which can be very frustrating. But, the crew of 22 aboard Pyewacket were all very positive through out the entire race. We finished second boat for boat. So, a big congratulations are due to Magnitude and her crew. But, we also did the best on corrected time that we’ve done to date. So, to all the crew of Pyewacket, I’ve also gotta say job well done. And, Thank you to OCC and Roy Disney!