Not the Norm at Yachting Cup
Published on May 6th, 2017
San Diego, CA (May 6, 2017) – It was a breeze on day as the Yachting Cup got underway today for most classes, testing nearly 100 boats competing on three courses in the ocean.
While the wind hovered at around 15-20 knots, it was 3-5 foot swells that were frequent and close together that made a rough ride for crews and boats. Add in the occasional rain showers and the day was certainly not the norm for San Diego.
“It was a challenging day,” noted 2010 Yachting Cup winner Chuck Nichols on his J/120 CC Rider. “Not only did we have the breeze that kept building but the sea state was tough. There were a lot of square waves and we were knocked around a lot. Our crew was really exhausted and we were using our biggest head sails. Tacks were difficult for people because we had a long grind.”
Nichols had a good day despite the challenges. “We were ahead in every race and had reasonable boat speed, plus S/C Kyle Clark was making good tactical calls. We only race for fun and it’s not fun to lose!”
Chick Pyle on Kea had a successful day winning all three of the Beneteau 36.7 Class races on the Near Roads course. “Our key to success today was being conservative. We tried not to take risks and to do everything slow and well in advance to give everyone enough time.”
Pyle was sailing with a crew comprised of veterans and newbies – some who had never even raced a big boat before. “We had a total pick-up crew today, but we had a core of really solid sailors. We borrowed a freshman and a sophomore from the Point Loma High School Sailing Team and today was their first time sailing a big boat. It was a real eye-opener for them.”
Skipper Mark Hinrichs also raced on the Near Roads course today, winning two out of three races in the Schock 35 Fleet on his boat Strategem. “We have always been a little better in heavy air and we kept it simple with early take downs. We started in the three and stayed in the three. A lot of other boats had trouble in the first race and we managed to stay out of trouble. Going into tomorrow, we are going to try to repeat today.”
Finally, Roy Disney on Pyewacket (Andrews 70) is leading the AA division after three races on the Far Roads course. Disney was yet another seasoned professional who confirmed that the day’s conditions were tough. “It was hard today… the waves were very difficult to steer in. There were situations where either we tacked underneath someone and then hit a wave and went down to 0 knots, or they did. We ended up hitting the weather mark one time because of the waves. It was chaos out there.”
Disney recently returned from winning his class and the overall corrected time in the Newport to Ensenada Race. About 2/3 of his crew today sailed to Ensenada with him, so they are pretty in sync at this point. “We had some issues, but everyone remained calm and figured it out.”
The awards ceremony will be held at San Diego Yacht Club after the completion of races on Sunday, May 7 where prizes will be awarded by class.