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Marine Resources 2019 - Leaderboard

10th Annual Islands Race at San Diego Yacht Club: Preview

by J/Boats 14 Feb 2019 06:30 PST 15-16 February 2019
2018 Islands Race © Bronny Daniels

The San Diego Yacht Club and Newport Harbor Yacht Club are celebrating the 10th annual Islands Race on February 15-16, 2019. The decade old, 134.0nm race is a signature SDYC offshore regatta co-hosted with Newport Harbor Yacht Club.

An expected 25+ boats will start from Long Beach Harbor, make way around Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands and finish in Point Loma.

As the first race of the 2019 Southern California Offshore Racing Calendar, many competitors will be using this event to prepare for the NHYC Cabo Race later in the Spring. The NHYC Cabo Race is an 800.0nm, 3-4 day, intense offshore competition. The Islands Race, involving only a single overnight at sea with various offshore wind and sea conditions, is a good opportunity for sailors to get ocean experience while still remaining relatively coastal.

Competitors in the Islands Race will head offshore in west to northwest trade-winds that flow southward down the coast. Boats will typically encounter better sailing winds in the evening as they get further into the trades, and round Catalina and San Clemente islands. However, as they pass to windward of these islands, they are exposing themselves to larger swells and wind waves that are not blocked by the islands.

SDYC Waterfront Director Jeff Johnson explains the challenges with these offshore winds. "As the winds flow down the coast, they continue south even as the coastal shoreline recedes to the east. This creates a gap between those trade winds and the coastline, over most of Southern California. During the day, the thermal effect pulls those offshore winds into the coast. But, at night, coastal waters are largely calm. However, the trade winds continue to flow, just further out to sea. The Islands Race course places competitors among those night-time winds and gives them valuable night-time offshore sailing experience.

Taking up that challenge in the ORR 1 Class are Seth Hall's famous navy blue J/124 Marisol, with crew from Newport Beach, CA. In addition, Viggo Torbensen's race-winning J/125 Timeshaver from Dana Point YC will be hoping to set the pace offshore and overcome notorious competitors like the SC 52 Horizon.

In the ORR EZ5 Class, Paul Stemler's pretty J/44 Patriot from Newport Harbor YC will be taking on all comers with speed, grace, comfort, and elegance.

For more Islands Race sailing information, visit islandsrace.com.

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