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Round Catalina Double-Race produces J/Silver at South Shore Yacht Club

by South Shore Yacht Club 1 Aug 13:05 PDT 18-19 July 2020
Round Catalina Double-Race 2020 © South Shore Yacht Club

Thirty-six boats sailed in South Shore Yacht Club's annual 90.0 nm Round Catalina Island Doublehanded Race. The annual event starts and finishes off the Balboa Pier in Newport Beach and only allows two sailors aboard. Club officials stated this was a record turnout!

Yachts ranging in size from 24 ft to 72 ft LOA entered this classic Southern California Handicap Race.

The J/124 Marisol skippered by NHYC member Tom Pollack and American Legion Yacht Club member Rick Hancock were the second boat to finish, third in class and third overall in the PHRF Fleet.

The race started in 7.0 knots of breeze building to 27 knots on the back side of Catalina near the island's east end where a local venturi effect from the 1000' tall sheer cliffs accelerates the normal 15 knot westerly breeze.

It was near here that Marisol caught up to larger boats and managed to exit the local windless parking lot in the lee of the island to find the westerly breeze on the other side. 22 miles later at the Balboa Pier, Marisol put her bow across the finish line just one second ahead of the Choate 48' Amante in a 15 knot westerly wind that refused to die down at 1:40 am local time.

"Our big yellow asymmetrical spinnaker attached to a retractable spinnaker pole that owner Seth Hall added a couple years ago has made Marisol a much better downwind ride than when she was built 16 years ago," added Skipper Tom Pollack. "All we did was keep it simple and not tack or gybe much, just letting the fast J/124 do the work! She rides on rails!"

The race started at 11:00 AM in a 7-8 knots building westerly breeze taking the fleet 15 miles north on a long port tack. As the breeze built to 20 knots, "We just kept sliding the genoa lead aft, sheeting tighter and pointing higher," said crew member Rick Hancock. "Hoping to use the smooth water in the harbor to change to a #3 jib."

Marisol purposefully navigated to enter the Long Beach Harbor entrance and exit the harbor at Los Angeles Angels Gate.

"What you take for granted on a fully crewed race boat, does not happen on a sailboat with only two crew" said Pollack. "It's how you plan ahead and manage that challenge that allows you to finish the race safely. With the Olympics in 2024 in Paris featuring sailboat racing with mixed crews of two people, it should be interesting to watch the video feed," noted Tom Pollack.

Taking first place in PHRF B Class and fourth overall was J/109 Blue Crush skippered by Bob Little and Dan Milefchik from Alamitos Bay Yacht Club.

J-109 Fuzzy Logic skippered by Jeff Shew and Bill Durant from Long Beach Yacht Club took second in PHRF B and sixth Overall.

So, if you find yourself in July of 2021 in Southern California and want to try something different, try SSYC's Crew of 2 race.

Find the complete results here.

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