Saturday, July 28, 2018

Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race Preview

J/70s sailing off Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara, CA)- The 2018 edition of the Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race is shaping up to be another notable event in the southern California offshore season. With eighty-nine boats registered in the giant PHRF division, it will be a “who’s who” of the SoCal offshore fraternity that will be vying for both class and overall honors. Hosted by Santa Barbara YC as the starting point and the King Harbor YC as the finishing point off the gorgeous Point Loma peninsula off Los Angeles, the fleet will always be engaged in the classic elemental battle of how to win, what appears on paper, to be a very simple race.

The standard “formula”, if there is one, breaks down into four basic strategies: (1) sail the first part from Santa Barbara to the Anacapa Passage as low as possible on starboard tack, as the wind that funnels down Santa Cruz Island from the northwest favors those coming in “hot” from further east/ southeast; a distance of roughly 30.0nm at 154 degrees. (2) rounding Anacapa Island is always a challenge, the decision to go offshore vs. inshore causes all kinds of anxiety and consternation for any navigator/ tactician. In short, the goal is to get around it as efficiently as possible and if often includes elements of both. (3) Anacapa Island to Point Dume on the Malibu Riviera is the “classic play”, a distance of 32.0nm at 92 degrees. The reason why it “works” is because any northwesterly flow of any type down the Santa Barbara Channel at all accelerates like crazy against the 3,000 ft tall mountains just inshore and then gets curved around the point. However, the effect lasts for about 10.0nm going into Point Dume on port tack, then as the NW flows gets “bent” around the headland, it’s often best to simply head straight for the King Harbor entrance on starboard tack about 26.0nm distant at a bearing of 113 degrees. Why? Because, for most boats that get to Point Dume before sunset, the thermal onshore breezes are still strong that are getting sucked into the greater Los Angeles regional basin off to the east (with 5,000 ft mountains still hot and drawing in the cool ocean breeze late into the night). This year’s will be light, so those effects coming into the L.A. Basin may be even more pronounced than in past races.

Starting on July 27th will be a strong fleet of J/crews, representing most of the top sailing clubs across the Southern California region. Those teams include twin J/125s (Dr Laura Schlessinger’s WARRIOR and Viggo Torbensen’s TIMESHAVER); Glenn Griley’s J/122 TKO; three J/111s (Bernie Girod’s ROCK & ROLL, Doug & Jack Jorgensen’s PICOSA, & Ken Kieding/ John Vincent’s ARGO 3); two J/120s (Tom & Teri Manok’s POLE DANCER & Jack Rose’s PRIVATEER); two J/124s (Seth Hall’s MARISOL & Scott Torrance’s FORGIVENESS); Jack Mayer’s J/109 ZEPHYR; David Gorney’s J/105 NO COMPROMISE; Eric & Steve McClure’s J/35 MACS; Doug Stelck’s J/100 JIB & TONIC; Fred & Suzanne Cottrell’s J/33 TIGGER; two more J/105s (Chuck Spear’s TWELVE BAR BLUES & Dan Murphy’s CUCHULAINN); Brian Kerr’s J/92 DOUBLE DOWN; and Tom Hinkle’s J/40 WHITE LIGHT. That is quite the J/Tribe headed down the SoCal coast from Santa Barbara to LA! For more Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race sailing information Add to Flipboard Magazine.