Sunday, May 11, 2014

J/125 Timeshaver- Ensenada Sailing Report

J/125 Timeshaver team(Newport Beach, CA)- Here is the “insiders” report of the N2E Race from Ullman Sails’ Keith Magnussen.  “K-Mag” sailed on the J/125 TIMESHAVER. Here’s what he had to say, “Everyone knows by now that the J/125 is my favorite boat to sail, especially in breeze.  This years Newport 2 Ensenada was calling for some good wind and we were ready.  We have been dialing the boat in for the past few years and have been working hard on the sail inventory.  It is crucial to have the right spinnaker up in the right conditions to take advantage of what this boat has to offer.  We pushed the boat hard and ended up Second in Class and Second Overall missing out by less than three minutes.

Here is how it went down for the crew of Timeshaver- myself, Viggo, Jack Bazz, Jack Maranto, Blake Hamilton and Charlie Underwood:

We start on port tack with 80% of the other boats and get moving in what proves to be a strange year for Ensenada.  We have our #3 up and are trying to go fast to get to the new pressure that is forecasted offshore.  Below us are our main competitors Horizon (SC-50) and Derivative (J-125).  Horizon and Derivative battle it out and Derivative eventually pinches off Horizon forcing Horizon to go bow down and eventually go below us too.  Within the next 30 minutes we do the same to Derivative but they decide to tack, and that was the last we saw of them.  At this point we are in about 15kts of wind and just trying to stay with Horizon who are bow down and fast.  We go the high lane and when we finally all start to tack it is close.  Horizon crosses a few boat lengths ahead and we extend a bit further and tack onto starboard (this was actually lay line for the finish).

Ensenada RaceThe next few hours are back and forth with the breeze going lighter.  Lightest we saw was about 7kts for just about an hour.  Our goal at this point was to stick close and wait for what we were hoping was going to be a shift and J-125 wind.  It eventually clocked around and we threw up our 3A and staysail and started going fast.  Horizon followed suit and went for their 2A (pole forward I assume).  We had waypoints outside Coronado about 5 miles or so and were hopeful of going over the islands.  Wind Gods said no and we kept getting headed.  As we got to the Coronado’s we were moving.  Top speed 18kts at like 140TWA fully powered up.  Jack Bazz, who had never been on the boat, made the comment that it was like Mr Toad’s Wild Ride… yes it was.  Waves coming from every direction and us bouncing around from planning to launching off waves coming from the south.  Fun stuff as I would almost lose my footing behind the wheel.  All of us on deck were laughing our heads off as waves crashed over the front and kept of 15kts of boat speed for extended periods.  Horizon’s light was falling further behind and we were quickly ramping up on a big boat in front of us.  As we got close they had some kite trouble and we quickly passed to leeward.  I think it was Elixir.

The party was crashed by the land.  We were moving quickly towards the shore and had to take our kite down about 1.5 miles from the coast.  Back to Jib reaching (or SC-50 Weather).  There was just to much of this for us and we could see the light behind moving closer.  Eventually we got back into the spinnaker with a 5A and started reaching down and back in front of the boat that had caught up.  At this point I did not know it was Horizon.  Or maybe I did not want to believe it.  We crossed the finish line at around 1:30am with no gybes and one tack.  As I watched for the boat behind I got a glimpse of their spinnaker— Horizon.”