Tri Point Ocean Race, by Johnathon Magick

Thought I would also share a recap of the Tri Point Ocean race. First …why did I not buy a bigger boat and do this race sooner??? This long distance race around Anacapa Island is an absolute blast!!!!

F42 members drove to Ventura arriving Thursday evening, ready to set up and practice Friday morning. Scott and Katy drove their RV, while Manny, Julianne, Jim and Brett “RV-Pooled” with a double stack trailer for Jim’s F18 and Brett’s I20. Bob Videan drove from AZ with his son, towing their Prindle 18-2. Thursday evening, a marine layer rolled in, substantially limiting visibility, and as Friday morning began, it was slow to burn off, leaving us time to catch up with friends and leisurely assemble our cats. Lee Wicklund set a new standard for crew performance, having his crew tow his Inter 20 for 28 hours from Texas, and then assemble it before his arrival. His crew, David Cerdes, is an exceptional young man in his senior year of high school, who has been sailing with Lee for some time, and has become quite an accomplished sailor.

I purchased a new Go Pro to video the race, but after putting the mast up without the GoPro, and then using a ladder on the trampoline to secure it to the mast (without the wireless on), we decided to make Rocky Point the first video event.

Friday afternoon we made it on the water and out to the start area for a couple hour sail. Winds were solid, and waves were in check, though one person not to be named (it wasn’t me) was feeling a bit sea sick. The marine layer never burned off fully Friday, so visibility was limited, and it was fun when Scott’s GPS started to give us multiple conflicting readings. We were doing a bit of guessing on how to get back but made it in just fine. This lesson on how to get back to the harbor paid dividends on Saturday during the race. Next time I’ll also have a digital waterproof compass!

Skippers meeting was at 8:30am Saturday, with a start for the catamarans at 11:20am. Winds were extremely light in the harbor and the wind was coming directly from the harbor entrance, so we had a line up of boats tacking back and forth to get out to sea. Once out of the harbor the winds picked up, and grew steadily over the day.

The race started promptly at 11:20am, and Scott Agan and I seemed well positioned for the start, except we had the timing sequence off by one minute (late) and had to scramble to the line. Thanks to Bob Videan for sharing the timing to start with us! Not surprisingly, Lee Wicklund timed the start perfectly and took the lead immediately, and we were also staring at the back of Jim’s F18, Brett’s Inter-20 and Bob Videan’s P18-2 for most of the first beam reaching leg up to the oil rig Gina. As we approached Gina, Scott and I must have made some adjustments that worked, because we put the afterburner on and from that point to reaching Anacapa, screamed past many of the other boats, including most of the monohulls (some of which looked liked they were standing still).

As we reached the east side of Anacapa, the two Inter 20s were within sight, but well ahead. Winds were extremely light on the back side of Anacapa, with shifting conditions and occasional puffs. The eventual winner from the cat class, Bob Martinez, sailed these conditions perfectly in his Dart 18 catamaran. The shape and size of Anacapa proved to be very misleading from the water, and a tack “out to sea” followed by a wind shift and another tack, put us in a position where I think we sailed to the same spot twice (that’s what the GPS says). Many of the boats we had passed before the island gained and some passed, though we made up some of the distance over the couple of hours it took to eventually clear Anacapa. The slow sailing behind Anacapa also gave us time for a brief food and drink recharge.
As we cleared Anacapa, winds immediately picked up to 15-20, and we basically took a straight route back to the harbor, 18 nautical miles away. Many of the boats, including the monohulls, sailed a broader reach, while we took a more beam reach route, reaching speeds exceeding in 20MPH in waves of 5-6 feet+. My new sail was cut too long, making it impossible to downhaul the main, so keeping the hull down was a work out and a challenge. We had some high adrenaline deep hull burying and a more than a few crashing waves to keep it exciting the entire way back.
Out of 30 boats, we finished 5th across the line (12 seconds slower than 4th) in a time of 4 hours, 47 minutes, and placed 5th of the 10 catamarans after Portsmouth. For the 4th time out on the Prindle 19, and our first time sailing together, Scott and I were both very pleased.

The PBYC fleet members were extremely gracious hosts and we enjoyed an awards ceremony, drinks and a meal back at their clubhouse Saturday evening.

For others in the fleet, my only regret is that I didn’t sail this event in years past. Hope to see you there in 2014, and on the water evern sooner!!!

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