Please select your home edition
Edition
Allen Brothers

3 Big Dogs top Santa Barbara Yacht Club Holiday Regatta

by J/Boats 16 Jan 2018 07:21 PST 2-3 December 2017
2017 SBYC Holiday Regatta © Santa Barbara Yacht Club

Just before Christmas, the Santa Barbara YC in Santa Barbara, California hosts their annual SBYC Holiday Regatta. The sailors have a wonderful time, often dress up in Christmas themes (like Santa, elves, etc.), and look forward to an awesome holiday party at the club on Saturday evening. The turn-out for the event this year was higher than previous years with a very competitive J/70 fleet in attendance.

The regatta took place on December 2nd and 3rd. Those were happy times. Pat Toole's 3 Big Dogs crew finally got their "mojo" going and won two races in the four races sailed, but only won by one point! With a winning tally of 1-2-2 after three races, all Scott and Leslie Deardorff's crew on Cake had to do was sail in the same waters as the "big doggers" and win the regatta. However, that didn't happen, with the Cake crew "eating crow" instead, posting a 5th in the final race to disappointingly drop to second for the regatta with 10 pts total. Third for the event was Tom Tunberg's Namaste with a 4-1-3-6 record for 14 pts. The J/70 sailors celebrated the fun weekend of racing and the awards afterwards on the beautiful deck of Santa Barbara YC overlooking the Pacific Ocean sunset. Those celebrations were short-lived.

What no one ever anticipated, of course, was that only one day later- December 4th, the so-called "Thomas Fire" would start and end up blazing out of control due to powerful "Santa Ana" winds that blow hot, dry air offshore. The Thomas Fire would end up burning 273,400 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, causing traffic disruptions, school closures, hazardous air conditions, and power outages. As 2018 started, California firefighters were still fighting the Thomas Fire, the single largest wildfire in California history.

Then, this past week, a massive "pineapple express" weather scenario descended upon the region, not a good thing. An enormous Pacific depression swept south from the Aleutian Islands off Alaska, pulling in huge amounts of moisture from as far away as Hawaii (e.g. the pineapple express source), creating a deluge of rain, falling in massive amounts in a few short hours as it hit the coasts.

Exacerbating the scenario were the high (up to 4,000 ft) mountain ranges along the Southern California coastline northwest of Los Angeles, the tall peaks creating a "compression" that simply squeezes more rain out of the systems.

The net result was that mountainsides de-nuded of any brush or trees from the wildfires simply produced landslides and huge mudslides that swept down valleys and to the ocean, creating walls of mud up to 4 feet high (1.25 meters) racing downhill, crushing anything in its path- houses, fences, trees, cars, boats, bridges, and sadly people, too. Over ten miles of Route 101 highway along the Pacific Coast were closed from Ventura west to the Santa Barbara; some parts of the highway are under 10 feet of mud and debris.

Incredibly, Scott and Leslie Deardorff's J/70 Cake survived one of those massive mudslides, but one of their buildings didn't, nor did a car, but thankfully their family is OK and so is their main house. The photos here don't do it justice, nor indicate how frightening it was. According to Scott, "it sounded like a freight train coming down the hill at us".

More information on Santa Barbara Yacht Club's J/70 fleet can be found here.

Related Articles

Fiesta Cup Regatta at Santa Barbara Yacht Club
Successful, fun-loving fleet was greeted by great sailing conditions In the face of every obstacle known to man, the Santa Barbara YC hosted their 14th annual Fiesta Cup Regatta off the beautiful harbor of Santa Barbara, California. Posted on 26 Jul
Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race
J/Teams win silver According to the winning skipper of the Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race, "It was a great race, good breeze in the high teens, low 20's, nice little waves to jump on, finishing the 81 mile race in a tad over 9 hours... Posted on 4 Aug 2019
J/70 and J/111 Fiesta Cup at Santa Barbara
Four races in challenging, kelp-laden, conditions In the end, Jeff Janov led family members Jay, Ryan, Grant and Jordan, plus a local World Champion sailor (David Ullman, no less), to a trio of bullets and a second to win with five points. Posted on 29 Jul 2019
2019 SoCal 300 and CA 500 Wrap Up
Many Southern California boats use the race as a Transpac Race qualifier The Santa Cruz 50/52 class has been a mainstay in the CA Offshore Race Week since the beginning. Dave MacEwen's Lucky Duck and Bill Helvestine's Deception have raced all four of the series since it began in 2016. Posted on 4 Jun 2019
Fast Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race
The race became a near textbook scenario, a slow build in the morning for sure NOAA's weather forecasts were for no wind all day, holes everywhere, but maybe filling in from the south late in the day. However, as usual, the NOAA models were somehow 100% wrong, again. Posted on 3 Aug 2018
J/70 Youth Championship overall
Santa Barbara YC win free use of a J70 for a year! The inaugural U.S. J/70 Youth Championship had its fair share of drama after two days of sailing. Tight racing. Teams pushing the envelope tactically all weekend long. Posted on 14 Aug 2017
California Offshore Race Week returns
Tour from Northern California to Southern California The California Offshore Race Week will return for its second year featuring the combined efforts of Encinal Yacht Club, San Francisco Yacht Club, Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club, Santa Barbara Yacht Club and San Diego Yacht Club. Posted on 6 May 2017
Introducing California Offshore Race Week
Encompasses Spinnaker Cup, Coastal Cup and SoCal 300 New for this year, the 2016 California Offshore Race Week will feature the combined efforts of Encinal Yacht Club, San Francisco Yacht Club, Monterey Peninsula Yacht Club, Santa Barbara Yacht Club and San Diego Yacht Club. Posted on 7 Apr 2016
Rolex Farr 40 North Americans overall
Helmut Jahn is crowned champion As if on cue, the scenic backdrop of the Santa Ynez Mountains was revealed for the final day of racing at the Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship. Posted on 23 Aug 2015
Rolex Farr 40 North Americans day 3
15 Shades of Grey Like the history behind the Rolex timepiece that will be presented to the winner of 17th edition of the Rolex Farr 40 North American Championship, event host Santa Barbara Yacht Club has a long and celebrated history. Posted on 22 Aug 2015
Zhik 2020 AnneMarieRindom FOOTERDoyle Sails 2020 - Redefining Boundaries 728x90 BOTTOMUpffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTER