Getting ready for upcoming Islands Race

Published on February 14th, 2017

For the eighth year, San Diego Yacht Club will partner with Newport Harbor Yacht Club for the 130nm Islands Race. Beginning on February 24, the popular course departs from the Long Beach Harbor and head west of the Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands for some of Southern California’s best sailing before they finish the regatta in San Diego’s Point Loma.

Over 30 boats are expected to compete, ranging from 33-70 feet in length. The smallest boat entered so far is BAZINGA, a Hobie 33 while two Santa Cruz 70s, Grand Illusion and Holua, and Pyewacket, an Andrews 70, are the largest.

In the multihull division, Mighty Merloe, a 60 foot trimaran, will likely be the first boat to finish the Islands Race. The 2016 course was shortened due to storms throughout Southern California, but if the weather cooperates this year, Mighty Merloe will focus on improving their elapsed time record from 2015, which was a brisk 7 hours, 45 minutes, and 42 seconds.

The overall monohull Islands Race winner for the past two years Varuna, a 46 foot Rogers, skippered by Chris Hemans from Balboa Yacht Club. Varuna’s corrected time was 6 hours, 55 minutes and 44 seconds on the shortened course.

Skipper Tim Fuller from San Diego Yacht Club has participated in the Islands Race numerous times on his J/125, Resolute. Fuller plans to use the complexities of the Islands Race to prepare for the Transpac in July.

“The Islands Race does have its challenges. First is lane positioning on the long drag race from LA around the west end of Catalina Island in a typical westerly breeze. Second is navigating the exclusion zones outside of San Clemente Island, and third is tactically anticipating the wind fill and direction on the last leg to Point Loma.”

After narrowly missing the overall title last year by a margin of just one minute, Fuller has his eyes set on the overall title for 2017.

Wayne Terry, SDYC Staff Commodore, is once again co-chairing the race along with Daniel Geissmann from Newport Harbor Yacht Club. “The annual Islands Race is a tune-up precursor to this year’s Cabo and Transpac Races. We hope everyone participating in this year’s event enjoys a fun, fast and most importantly, safe race.”

SDYC will host the award ceremony on the clubhouse main deck at 3pm on Saturday, February 25 with food and drinks for competitors starting at 2pm.

Event detailsTracking

Source: Emily Willhoft, SDYC

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