SanDiego505 - Bay to Bay 2003
Saturday, May 17, 2003
Track from Phlegm
Click here to see the track from Dan's GPS aboard Phlegm.
Race ReportsPrior years' summaries are available for 2002, 2001, 2000 and 1999
Personal Account of Mark Kurzava's 2003 B2B Experience
This year I had the privilege, the honor, the huevos, to crew for one of the famed 505 sailing demi-gods from Long Beach, Rob Waterman, in his boat 88th Planet. Rumor streams in these parts down yonder suggest that members of the LB 505 contingent are often capable of sailing faster than the speed that such rumors fly. Intimidated, I internalized my feelings of sailing inadequacy, only lashing out with chants of "I'm not worthy" when comfortably alone. I told Rob outright that my sailing skill set was meager at best, but I'd at least offer some fair conversation during the cruise. Good thing too, cuz the light air turned our suggested three hour tour into what later seemed to be a life's endeavor. Our 2nd place finishing time was a hair over 6 hours.
At the start of the race I found myself again fighting my inner conflicts with this choice of hobby. Near the start line we happened upon a flotilla of kayakers, many of whom were of the female variety, and few darn cute ones to boot. I applaud team "Don't Point", as the first all-female San Diego 505 campaign I've seen. But by and large our little fleet needs more of the curvier feminine sort among us, preferably single, and preferably Nicole Kidman.
Over the next couple hours of the race we killed time dreaming up what we felt were more appropriate names for the new craft of the sailing-team-formally-known-as-Weasel. Consensus held that "Phlegm", although an adequate name for the snot colored craft, just didn't have enough bite. Nor did it sufficiently represent the growing distain we had for them as their lead over us gained. Likewise "Puke", "Toe Jam" and "Ear Wax" were ruled out. Of course we were not to leave out the ever popular, and somewhat obvious "Booger". "Booger Boat" kinda works, doesn't it? We nevery agreed on a single clinching title. My comrade in wit Rob held fast with his winner "Nocturnal Emission". But I became partial to "Anal Seepage" a name which I proudly admit I authored myself.
Overall our race was a slow uneventful one, almost painfully so at times. I s$#t! you not I occasionally had to look ashore to fixed land marks to convince myself we were moving at all, or worse yet, going backwards.
Off Point Loma we had a few close crossings with Ben Wood and company in team Tortuga (aka "Little Weasel"), and they even held a lead on us for awhile. But their fate was sealed after we rounding Buoy 3 and set the kite and gradually pulled away. Their consistent presence behind us kept us on our toes though, or at least gave us something else to think about during the doldrums. "They're gaining on us!" Rob would boast. "No they aren't", I'd recoil, ever optimist that I am. Perhaps Rob was over-dramatizing for effect, building controversy and emotion to eat away the mountain of minutes until we would again be reunited with cold beer.
We also amused ourselves by seeing how close we could get to the docked Naval vessels before the trigger happy patrol boats bore down on us and started firing rounds. Although risky, there was a hope that at least their oncoming wake on our transom might push our drifting craft forward a bit faster.
During the slow beat to "weather" near the bridge I performed my duties as crew with vigor, doing my darnedest to keep the boat flat in the light air. Mostly this involved me camping out on the lee side of the boat between the forward thwart and the bulkhead, balled up like an illegal Latin local, stowing away across the border behind the seats of an El Camino. Rob was as kind as I'd expect an overbearing, perfectionist psycho helmsman to be (no disrespect intended). Occasionally he sent bread and water down to me in my little lee-side hole. I've had more exciting rides, like in my stroller at age 1.3, but at least the view of downtown was kinda nice.
And I must say that it was rather fun to look aft and
count all the little boats astern. This was a new experience for me. I'm
just so used to looking forward at the competition!
can’t mean anything good when you contemplate opening a sailing story
with a scene from breakfast the next day. But here it goes:
morning after the Bay to Bay, Maria and I were eating breakfast when she
asked me what the highlight of the race had been. I was glad that Ben Wood
had taken the former Weasel on the race. It seemed really cool that Brad
and Gary and Chuck had taken an 18ft skiff down the course with us. Karl
Deardorff and his friend Dan had driven down from San Louis Obisbo to join
in the fun for the first time. And it was great to get Dan’s “new”
Waterat out on the water. All that was good, but the race itself was a big
wind had been from the south all day, never rising above 8 knots or so,
and no highlights sprang to mind. The low light was certainly the hour it
took to get from Buoy #3 to Ballast Point. Dan and I floundered around
near Point Loma for a long time looking for wind and trying to stay out of
the ebb. We did scare a couple of fishermen at one point by gybing
straight into their lines. That was exciting for a few seconds. Eventually
we bailed out and just sailed straight across the channel to the North
Island side and finally caught some breeze there.
we watched Rob and Mark in 88th planet and Ben and Robert in
Tortuga getting closer and closer as they sailed into the bay with what
must have been a whole knot more wind than we had. A knot of wind velocity
at that point in time was a lot. We have learned over the years is that
Rob Waterman can never be too far behind. He has made some last minute
charges that were practically unbelievable.
So the conditions for the race were not stellar. And in spite of what I told a lot of people, this was in fact the slowest race of the five years we have sailed this course. But it was still a lot of fun, and the good news is that races in future years can only be better. Best of all, the party got started before the sun set in spite of the slow pace, and it was well attended by lots of cool people.
lot of people helped make the whole event run smoothly.
Geoff Nelson was a big help with the planning and organization. His
dad Jay drove all the party gear to the beach, claimed the fire ring, and
recorded finish times. Geoff’s friends Mike Stiles and Greg
Au got the race started
and started the timing watch. They followed in Greg’s
to make sure that no one was left behind out in the ocean. Bob Woodcock
and John and John Billings drove people back to MBYC in the morning after
dropping off the trailers. Alane and Steve Schnelker, Maria Jenkins, and
Denise Merino held the fire ring for the afternoon, and Maria and Steve
leied and photographed the teams as they arrived at the beach. John Henke
at Sailing Supply was kind enough to let us park our boats in their lot
over night while the party raged. Finally, Dan Merino took time from his
hectic schedule preparing for the PCCs to fashion the chic awards that
were passed out at the luau. I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone. Thanks a
lot to you all!
are available for anyone who would like to see them or print them out. I
have them on disk, and possibly they will eventually appear on the fleet
account of the race is a bit fuzzy. The effects of sun stroke after
bobbing around the kelp beds for hours on end is still affecting our
minds. Roger still thinks we beat Dan & Bill in the race as we were
able to beat them to the launch ramp.