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!

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