July 25th, 2019
This annual event is hosted by the Hobie Fleet and Santa Cruz Yacht Club who have generously welcomed the Wetas to join them for several years. This year three Wetas from the Bay area (Christophe, John, and Marc) were joined by three Wetas from Southern California (Bruce, Robert, and Tim). We shared the race courses with 6 Hobie 20s and 8 Hobie 16s.
The race venue is usually between a start line about a 1/2 mile from the harbor entrance and windward marks that are about a mile off the Santa Cruz Pier. With a first-class PRO and an efficient crew, we were in for a rapid-fire series of races - 9 races in the span of two days with only one race shortened to a single lap!
Wind and weather conditions in past years have varied from drifting in foggy haze and gentle waves to 25+ knot winds and 3~4 foot swells. This year we were treated with champagne sailing conditions, varying between 6 and 15 knots, waves less than 1 foot, and sunshine!
The rule-of-thumb in SC is that stronger winds are off-shore but the lifts and swells favor the inshore course. The conditions often split the fleet after the start but no clear advantages emerged as the fleet converged on the windward mark. So, skippers’ abilities to surf the swell downwind were tested!
At the end of the first 5 races on Saturday, the placings (and points) from first to sixth were Bruce (8), Robert (11), Marc (16T), Christophe (16T), John (26), and Tim (28).
By the last race on Sunday, Marc and Bruce were dog-fighting to the finish, which Marc took by less than 3 boat lengths.
The final point spread was very tight at the front : Marc (17), Bruce (18), Christophe (20T), Robert (20T). Tim (41) and John (42) had their own dog-fight to the end too!