Anacapa Tri-point Race, by Brett Johnston

Heres my two cents worth on the Anacapa tripoint race put on by the PBYC.
Thanks to all of the attending fleet 42 members for an unforgettable weekend! Manny, thanks for the very nice accommodations and the great partnership on the water!
Jim and Julianne, Jonathan and Scott, Pete B, John S , Bob and Bob and company, Lee and David and Reesa, thanks for the competition on the water and the conversation on terra firma.
Thanks to Lee and David  for giving us something to point the boat at the majority of the race.
I’ve got a couple additional comments.
When we went in to the awards ceremony after the race and Richard C asked me why the hell no one protested anyone at the cluster £û€¥ that sufficed for a start. I told him that I didn’t realize that there was anyone else but me at the start!
And then here comes Martinez back through the line because he was over by about 10 seconds. If your racing Bob, and he asks you if you need a start watch, tell him NO.
So off we went. Lee and David out in front, of course. And up goes that blue chute! So Manny an I watched for a while to see how Lees boat would react. He had to fall off a few degrees for a little while, and wasn’t gaining too much, so we decided to keep ours in the bag to Gina.
As we rounded Platform Gina(oil rig), we ended up a couple hundred yards behind Lee and David so we started putting the Coon Toon on the rig. Oh, and we threw 270# of Manny’s arse on the wire . I started hiking HARD while still on the hull when the rig powered up. I kept telling Manny, “They’re getting bigger! They’re getting bigger!” Three times on the way out to the island, my lee rudder popped up, so with Manny on the wire running the chute, I handed him the tiller and, three times, crawled across the tramp to re set the rudder. I finally gave up and left the port rudder trailing, hoping that it wouldn’t break the head off.
I guess I need to work a little more on the rudders.
Also, as if this weren’t enough to deal with, at about this point, as we were screaming along, a freaking walrus, or sea lion, or other huge semi sea going thing of large mass, appeared right between the bows. It took one look at us and dove out of site. I looked over to the lee dagger board, expecting to see it take a quick sternward movement as it hit the diving beast, re locating my daggerwell. ……  NOTHING. We somehow missed him.  Or he missed us.
The backside. What a backside. A Slow game of chess.
Lee and David took the inside route, Manny and I got frustrated with that pretty quick and took the outside, away from the island. All of the smaller boats were still back a ways so we went on trying to get past the other I20 on The course. I don’t think we ever did get in front of Lee and David. We never stayed in close to the island, we tried to catch some breeze, off shore but within 1/2 mile. I was hoping that the current would not be bad within that distance. I dont know if it helped or hurt. By the time we neared west end of the island, the fleet had compacted a bit. Some, way too close!
When we got to the West end of Anacapa, we could see the wind line coming across in front of us. We watched as two big Monos that were right in front of Lee and David, reached the wind line, heeled over, and took off. First one… Then the other… And hen the Gumbee Green cat, off like a shot. And there we sat, 50 yards from the wind line as Lee and David ran up to the tip of the island, turned north, and just as they went out of site, up goes that blue chute. We were trying to stay in front of all of the other smaller cats that were slowly creeping up behind us, and they were getting a little to close for comfort!
We finally hit the wind line and headed to the western tip of Anacapa, about 1/4 mile away. Rounded to the north, and were off, the waves were huge, but I got out on the wire while helming and sheeting the main, and Manny ran the chute up the mast. Manny got to the back corner, I got into the foot strap on the transom and hooked on the chicken line. BTW, we looked for Lee and David out in front of us and they were no where to be seen! $!-!]+ !
We ran the chute for about 5 minutes and BAM! A loud bang and the chute haulyard  came loose in the swivel cleat at the base of the mast. Manny jumped across and ran the spin back up and re cleated, jumped back to the back corner, and sheeted in. BAM! Again! This time, we took a little closer look at the swivel cleat, and noticed that it had bent up at a 90* angle. This meant that the halyard wouldn’t stay in the cleat. Which meant no chute. We didn’t know if Lee and David  had their chute up or not. We pressed on under main and jib. Manny running sheets, me on trap, strap and tiller.
I don’t think the chute would have done us any good anyway.  The waves were huge, and the wind was howling. We stuffed the lee bow of the I20 to the main beam at least a half dozen times! She barely slowed down. Alternately, when we crested the waves, the rear beam would get swamped, sometimes stopping us almost dead in our tracks. Manny was sent flying toward the front of the boat at least a couple of times. Other sets would nearly sweep my feet off the side of the boat, and yet others would hit me in the hip, so hard that at one time, I ended up hanging onto the tiller, with my foot in the footstrap at the stern, chicken line attached, and I was hanging off the transom facing outboard doing a spread eagle  move that I never want to attempt again. I fought my way back to my normal position with both feet on the side of the boat, and we continued on. Manny constantly adjusting his position and actively running the sheets.
I don’t know about Manny, but I was getting pummeled by the waves,The spray coming off the from the bows smacking me in the face and eyes every time we crashed over another wave. My eyes were so sore and stinging from constantly wiping the spray out of them,  I finally just quit wiping them and just drove on with blurred vision.
About 1/2 way through the final leg, we rolled by one of the big monos. The rail meat watched as we flew by, spray shooting everywhere. We were looking awesome!
More of the same till we got back to Ventura. Huge waves and great wind all the way back. I checked my GPS,  we hit a top speed of 21.6mph. not sure where because i erased my track before I got a chance to load it on my computer. I think it may have been on the upwind to the island. We were glad to be back and out of those monster waves. I was beat. What a race!
10 cats on the start line, more than any other fleet.
BTW, A little bird told me that we will have a New and highly coveted trophy to race for next year for this race. Hmmmm, what could it be?
BTW, Lee, thanks for the new pole. I would like to just leave it at that.
Posted in Tri-Point Regatta, Ventura, California | 1 Comment

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