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5o5's at the SDYC Hot Rum #2

Bill Jenkins - December 2, 2001

Sunday started out as a bright but not very windy morning, and things didn’t change much during the day. Three boats made it to SDYC to rig up and face the daunting conditions: Taz (Mike and Mark), the Kitty (John and John), and Top Guys (manned by the still boatless Team Weasel while Steve stood by, ready to rush Alane to the delivery room at a moment’s notice). True to his word, this time, Geoff did not show up. This in spite of a truly severe round of harassment at the party the previous night and a promise of more to come.

Once at the starting area, the bay seemed to be filled with kelp and the current was ebbing at what seemed like about 5 knots. Nevertheless, we all gathered at the leeward end of the line and, at 12:25, charged off toward the bay entrance. Top Guys immediately picked up a piece of kelp at the tip of the rudder (I love clearing those pieces off…) and the Kitty started driving over. Once the kelp was clear, though, Top Guys showed its winning form and began pulling away. We concentrated on staying in the current and ahead of the Kitty, while Taz was seen, from an increasing distance, playing the far right side of the channel.

Once we got to the entrance things became a little weird for a while. As the current dissipated and the current-induced wind also went away, the boats started bunching up and we concentrated on keeping what little wind we had clear of the enormous rigs around us. Around this time Defiance caught up to us. After flashing the “loser” sign a few times and pointing out to everyone within earshot how weak the Defiance foredeck crew obviously was, Top Guys threw a tight cover on them and, after two tacks, drove them back into obscurity. Not bad considering the size difference. Unfortunately for us, they chose the right side of the course to make their escape to. Since that was the direction the wind finally came up from, the next time we saw them they had managed to sneak ahead and were out range. In the meantime, Kitty had wandered off to the left side of the course and was completely stalled, while Taz suddenly charged out from under Point Loma into second place (remember? They went right early on).

We rounded, still in ahead of the other guys, and set the chute. It was really tempting to keep going, especially since the best wind of the day lay between us and the next mark down off Coronado. But it seemed pretty certain that we needed to head in if we were going to make it home before dark. The fact that a sixty-foot Formula 1 was about to drive over us helped with the decision making process there. Somehow we capsized on the way in (you’d have to ask Dan how that happened since I was happily oblivious on the leeward side of the main), and then Taz went blasting past us while we were busy sailing toward the wrong side of the course.

This is getting pretty long, so suffice it to say that all three boats made it back to the club, Top Guys first, then the Kitty, then Taz. A lot of people saw us out on the water and, at the party, asked about 5o5 sailing. Also, one of the local I-14 guys stopped by to say that he’s looking into organizing a regatta on SD Bay the weekend between the mid-winters and the NOOD. So keep that date in mind.