Ben Wells - President
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2022 Southwest Regional Recap
We want to thank our friends at Murrays for writing this! You can see the original post here. While visiting their website, take some time to look around and support their business, as they are supporters of the FWC and Wave racing.
Recap: A few short months ago, 78 Hobie waves gathered in Texas for the US Sailing Alter Cup championships. Last weekend we had ten boats turn out for our regional championships in the South Bay of San Diego. The Formula Wave class has been growing again recently with the resurgence in outdoor activities and simplicity of the boat. The event was hosted largely by the crew of the Bill of Rights, a 129′ schooner based in Chula Vista. Don Johnson and crew hosted the racers each morning in the galley of the ship with fresh eggs, bacon, pancakes, coffee and more. Racers would gather each morning to rig and launch their boats from Bayside park, and sail a few miles out to the race course in the waters south of the Coronado Bridge and the US Naval Vessels along the water front.
The event consisted of three days of racing, starting on Friday Feb 25th and ending Sunday Feb 27th. The previous week had been quite cold, and the weekend was calling for much warmer temperatures. The cold held on for that first day of racing though. The light breeze and sun had us all questioning how much to bundle up… and by the end of the day I think we all figured we had underestimated the cold. With a modest slog out the the course and a mild forecast, we were prepared for some technical and light wind racing. As the day moved on, and the white caps rolled in, we found ourselves cooking right along! The top sailors clearly set themselves apart as they battled for the top three spots. Jim Sadjak, Teri McKenna and Jane Sherrod. Steve Murray did manage to swipe a third on the third race. The wind dictated that the gate be setup right next to the channel, so some sailors made good use of the incoming tide to get a boost when hugging the left side of the coarse out of the gate. I found myself missing my trapeze lines as the day went on, but the spread of the sailors was pretty tight. The leaders were clearly at the front, and others settled into their positions in the fleet, but it was difficult to gain significant distance on anyone. Until Saturday
Day two started largely like day one, but with slightly warmer conditions. Racing was set to start a bit earlier and pretty close to the slack tide. The breeze began frustratingly light as we chased Jim around the course. Four of us broke out into a nice lead and headed left at the gate to milk the current of the outgoing tide. The rest of the fleet went right, to hug the left side of the course, and found a fantastic wind shift and boost. Chayne Lesley had been in the right spot to see the header coming down and tack early. From the right side of the course we could see one boat screaming towards the weather mark followed loosely by five more. Chayne’s boat didn’t have a tiller, as we got closer to the boat on their way to the finish, I saw Chayne in full superman stretched out pose, steering with his feet with at least 6 boat lengths of room between him and his followers. We heard the nice beep of Chayne’s bullet as the four of us were rounding the weather mark. DOH! The race committee squeezed in four more races on Saturday, with a pretty good spread of finishes. The breeze was a bit stronger after that first race, and with the slack/ incoming tide that followed, the water stayed pretty flat. Richard had to head in early with some rudder issues and was followed shortly after by Steve when the course needed some adjusting.
The final day of racing started with warm air and a glassy bay. Race committee put up a postponement right off the bat. A few of us pushed off with an angel breath worth of breeze to bait the wind into coming out to play with us. After some capsize drill conversation and 2mph hull flying, I decided that it was a great time to practice a dry capsize on a Wave! Chayne was in a great spot to capture some photos and the rest of the fleet pushed off the beach to drift out to the course. The wind filled in slowly at around the same time it’d filled in the days before. The final day of racing didn’t see any significantly strong breeze, but provided some nice consistent breeze for the last day of the event. After another few races we flowed back to the beach in a nice little wave parade.
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