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Racers in search of a rally find 'The Turtle Rally'

by The Log/Sail-World Cruising on 9 May 2014
Two Harbors, destination of the Turtle Rally SW
If you can only spare a weekend, not a few weeks or months, does that mean the only option is that you MUST race your boat? Some Californian sailors are finding an answer: No, it's possible to have a weekend rally and are introducing just that to the local yacht club. New idea? Maybe not, but it will introduce participants to the finer points of cruising, and from there, who knows?

My guess is it will be a winner and there'll be many more short rallies to come. Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club’s inaugural Turtle Rally will take place on June 20-22.

The open event is geared toward any boater with a vessel big enough to accommodate the crew for an overnight stay.

Paul DeCapua, race committee chairman for Bahia Corinthian YC, initially proposed the idea after he and fellow club members realized planned activities for sailing racers were scarce.

'We have a cruising group that goes off on cruises and a racing group that does races, but had nothing planned for sailors who don’t race,' he told The Log.

After listening to fellow club members discuss how much they enjoyed races such as the Baja Ha Ha, which takes participants from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, DeCapua spearheaded plans for the Turtle Rally.

'There are a lot of people interested in sailing together and having fun but there aren’t a lot of short team events where people could do this,' he said.

Bahia YC looks to fill that void by designing a sailing rally that consists of one day of sailing as opposed to seven or eight days. Although a rally and not a race, the event’s official start line is off the Huntington Beach Pier. From there, the group will sail to Two Harbors where they will drop anchor and prepare for a day of planned activities.

DeCapua will be shadowing the group on the club’s 34-foot committee boat.

Once everyone is situated, a mixer and cocktail hour will take place at the Isthmus Yacht Club where guests can get to know one another. DeCapua will also provide the schedule for Saturday.

'People can spend that evening barbequing on their boats or eat at a restaurant on the island,' he said.

On Saturday morning, Bahia Corinthian YC will provide a wakeup call complete with Bloody Marys and a pancake breakfast. Sailors will then have the option of staying on their boat or joining in a hike of the island or participating in a scavenger hunt, Frisbee golf and other activities held at the bandstand. Live music, a talent competition and other fun games will also be provided. A barbeque burn your own dinner is scheduled for later in the evening.

Sunday morning will mark the end of the rally as sailors pack up and prepare to leave the island at their leisure.

DeCapua believes the Turtle Rally will be well received by sailors. He anticipates 50 boaters signing up for the cruise.

'It should be a lot of fun,' he said. 'So far people are saying they’ve wanted to do something like this but as a group as opposed to on their own.

'I hope this will take off,' he added.

For anyone within sailing distance, for more information or to register for the Turtle Rally, visit bcyc.org.

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