Monday, May 3, 2021


J/145 sailing Newport to Ensenada Race

Mother Nature Throws Everything including Kitchen Sink @ Racers!

(Newport Beach, CA)– One hundred three boats started the traditional 125.0nm race to Ensenada; while nineteen did the 14.0nm sprint course to Dana Point, CA; and forty-one chose the course around the Coronado Islands with a finish after 92.0nm in San Diego, CA.

Here is the report from on-board the J/145 KATARA:

"KATARA and sistership J/145 PALAEMON have competed head-to-head numerous times along the California coast and are always well-matched. The two sisters were scheduled to participate in the 2021 N2E Ensenada course when PALAEMON owner Rudy Hasl contacted KATARA owner Roger Gatewood, letting him know that if we switched to the Newport to San Diego course two other J/145s, ANDIAMO 2 and MORE MADNESS, would join us. The chance to race four of these powerhouses against each other head-to-head was a no-brainer! Sign us up, was our response!  

The race started in a pleasant 8-10kt southerly breeze with all four 145s on their light-medium genoas. KATARA took the inside slot and spent the first several hours exchanging leads with PALAEMON, a mile or so further out. As the breeze slowly shifted right KATARA deployed her Tweener sail. While it didn’t buy much, KATARA started ever so slowly edging out with maybe a 0.1kt edge at times. As the breeze continued to decay and slowly shift right KATARA peeled to the A1 and PALAEMON to the A2. 

The breeze continued to decay as the sun set and the 145s approached North Coronado island, a mark of the course. As we approached the rock, KATARA’s navigator noticed that AIS indicated that, after nearly 80.0nm of racing, all four J/145s were inside of a 1.0nm ring of one another! WOW! This was close racing offshore!

The breeze fell off to near 'triple-naughts' (0.00 kts) as the four big J’s struggled to find a path around the rock. KATARA and PALAEMON found small zephyrs of air and slowly escaped to the East side of the rock. The final 12.0nm was a constant battle of KATARA sneaking out a half mile before losing her air and having PALAEMON close the gap again and approach from the rear. Ultimately, KATARA held her lead, finishing just over 8 minutes ahead of their friends on PALAEMON. ANDIAMO 2 and MORE MADNESS were less fortunate with the rock and it’s difficult breeze, finishing some 3 hours later. 

The following evening, PALAEMON's owner/ skipper Rudy Hasl, a San Diego Yacht Club member, hosted what was likely the largest gathering of J/145 sailors ever, organizing a dinner with over 50 guests between the four crews! Much, much fun was had by all....kudo's to Rudy and crew for organizing the group and the shindig at the club! THANK YOU!"

Apparently, KATARA and PALAEMON plan to compete again in the SoCal 300 and hope the other two sisterships join them!

J/145 Katara at San Diego Yacht Club
As for the rest of the Newport to Ensenada event, here's how those races went for other J/Teams.  

For the Newport 2 Ensenada course, Viggo Torbensen's J/125 TIME SHAVER took the silver in PHRF A class with Scott Torrance's J/124 FORGIVENESS taking fifth place.  In PHRF B Class, Dave Gorney's J/105 NO COMPROMISE took the bronze. Then, in PHRF C Class, Chuck Bowes' J/29 RHUMB RUNNER placed fourth. 

For the Newport to San Diego race, while the quartet of J/145s were dueling each other, it was Tom Barker's J/65 GOOD CALL that took the silver in PHRF A class. Notably, GOOD CALL lost to an all-carbon Swan 65, mostly stripped out, with all brand-new carbon sails while GOOD CALL enjoyed their on-board 100-bottle wine cooler, five stateroom HVAC system, satellite-connected broadband Wi-Fi, and four stainless-steel slide-out drawers (refrigerator/ freezer) full of food, caviar, champagne, and other yummy things. The off-watch on GOOD CALL is just as popular, perhaps more for some, than sitting on deck on a full-moon night with the moon light dancing across the undulating Pacific swells...hmmmm, tough choice! 

J/29 sailing Newport to Ensenada Race
In the PHRF B class, Tom Pollack's J/124 MARISOL took the silver with Mike McCarthy's J/88 BLUE FLASH finishing in fourth place. 

Finally, in the Newport to Dana Point "wind-sprint", it was Charles Brewer's J/124 HEARTBEAT 4 winning, followed by Tom Garrett's youth team on the J/70 SLOOP JOHN B in fourth, and Matt Campbell's J/120 ADIOS in fifth place. 

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