Islands Race Offers Scenic Tour

Published on March 3rd, 2016

The Southern California offshore calendar gets underway when the 130nm Islands Race takes off on March 11, marking the seventh year that San Diego Yacht Club partners with Newport Harbor Yacht Club in the event.

The race showcases impeccable scenery alongside the California coast as competitors start in Long Beach Harbor, navigate around the Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands, before completing the race in Point Loma in San Diego.

“As we look forward to the 2016 Islands Race we hope for similar circumstances to those that were experienced in 2015,” noted race co-chair Wayne Terry. “The perfect weather and excellent conditions resulted in an awesome race.”

Over 30 boats are expected to compete, ranging from 29-70 feet in length. Among them are a handful of sleds, several pole boats, and numerous displacement boats of varying lengths, plus one powerful trimaran.

The smallest boat in the line-up thus far is Blue Flash, a J/88 at 29 feet while the two sleds, an Andrews 70, Pyewacket, and an SC70, OEX, are the largest. Pyewacket skipper Roy Disney from Waikiki Yacht Club will return to California for the Islands Race after having recently competed in the 2016 Puerto Vallarta offshore race where they finished second overall in the 21 boat event.

Paul Casanova has participated in the race each year since its inaugural start in 2010. Casanova won the first year’s race on Flaca, an SC50, and has high hopes for the 2016 race, this time in a different boat, Flaquita, a Reichel/Pugh 44.

“It’s a fun race that can have several different conditions,” notes Casanova. “It would be great if we get a lot of boats competing and have good winds.”

The overall monohull 2015 Islands Race winner was Varuna, a 49 foot Rogers, skippered by Chris Hemans from Balboa Yacht Club. Varuna’s corrected time was 18 hours and 41 minutes. The fleet finish was fairly tight last year with most of the 33 boats finishing with a corrected time between 19 and 22 hours.

Without a doubt, the fastest boat in the fleet this year will be the multihull Mighty Merloe, a 60 foot trimaran. Mighty Merloe will be focused on improving their elapsed time record from last year, which was a speedy 7 hours, 45 minutes, 42 seconds.

Race websiteTracking

Source: Emily Willhoft, SDYC


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