Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 2021 - LEADERBOARD

A Q&A with Brian Malone on the Davis Island Yacht Club's 2023 Commodore's Cup

by David Schmidt 12 Jan 08:00 PST January 12, 2023

If you love keelboat racing and you live in the northern hemisphere, January likely isn't your favorite month (mea culpa: I'm right there with you). The good news, however, is that there are pockets of gloriously warm saline where sailboat racing is still unfurling. One of these lucky areas is Tampa, Florida, where the Davis Island Yacht Club is hosting their 2023 Commodore's Cup from January 14-15, 2023.

The event is dedicated to honor of all past Davis Island Yacht Club (DIYC) commodores, and is designed to kick off the new year in style.

The 2023 Commodore's Cup is open to all boats with a valid West Florida PHRF certificate (or a temporary rating provided by the DIYC's official measurer). Event organizers expect to score three spinnaker classes, a racer-cruiser class, and a cruising class. Conditions depending, the regatta plans to run one long (up to 25 nautical miles) race per day, giving crews an opportunity to air-out their sail inventory.

I checked in with Brian Malone, who serves as the DIYC's fleet captain, via email, to learn more about this mid-January keelboat regatta.

Can you please tell us a bit about the regatta, its history and culture, and the kinds of sailors one might expect to encounter at this regatta?

The Commodore's Cup has been a mainstay of the DIYC and Suncoast calendars for as long as I can remember. It is the premier closed course race for the racing classes and has more recently offered navigational distance courses for cruising classes.

You will see a broad-spectrum of sailors [here]. The racing classes race PHRF around the buoys and range from 19' - 40' [LOA], with a few One Designs mixed in with the handicap fleet. The Cruisers and Racer/Cruisers range from plastic fantastics from the 1960s all the way up to modern performance cruisers.

How many boats are you expecting on the starting line?

We have been seeing great turnouts lately for these events, I would expect somewhere around forty boats.

How would you describe competition levels at the Commodore's Cup?

This event is a part of both the DIYC BOTY Series and the Suncoast BOTY Series, so it is as competitive as any event on this coast. The top boats in each class, and certainly the OD boats, race competitively nationally and internationally.

What kind of courses does the regatta employ? For example, do you select islands or marks that provide reaching legs, or does the regatta tend to create long windward-leeward courses? Also, how does the local geography play into course selection?

The closed course racing consists of fairly basic W/L courses within Hillsborough Bay. The legs are short so there is quite a premium on starting and boat handling. We usually run three or more races a day so the focus is definitely on action.

The distance courses will usually sail down Hillsborough Bay and in to Tampa Bay then return, some are over twenty miles. The geography, and especially local wind and tide conditions are a measurable factor, knowledge pays off.

Weather-wise, what kind conditions can sailors expect to encounter off of Tampa in mid-January? Also, what are the best-case and worst-case weather scenarios?

The winter cycle in Tampa is frontal. The fronts work down through the area and the cycle repeats. Pre-front there are building southerlies, which create stiff chop in the shallow bay, then the front will come through with whatever storms or rain are in it.

We then get northerlies that mean strong wind and flat water. The wind will clock and fade over a period of time until it dies in the southeast and the whole cycle then starts again. Racing in the bay in a dying northeasterly can be a real challenge as the pressure is left and the shift is right.

Best case is a strong north/northwesterly wind with flat water. We sail right up to the club and set kites to run down.

The worst case is no wind whatsoever, the period between the front moving past and the next one bringing the southerlies in.

If you could offer one piece of advice to visiting and local sailors, what would be it?

Be patient, watch the tides and weather patterns. Know which way the water is moving, and where you are in the frontal cycle.

Can you tell us about any recent steps that the regatta has taken to reduce its environmental footprint or otherwise "green-up"?

DIYC has been with the Clean Marina Program for many years. We encourage reusable water bottles and provide recycling for the rest.

Is there anything else that you'd like to add, for the record?

I race all over the country and around the world, I would put the hospitality and race management at DIYC up against anywhere I have been. The whole area is great, and when the wind doesn't blow, we have more fun than anyone.

diyc.org/racing-news/commodores-cup-regatta-january-14-15-2022

Related Articles

Continuing to #BackTheBid
A bitter blow when it was announced Para Sailing would not be included in the LA28 Paralympics It was a bitter blow for sailing last week when the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) announced that Para Sailing would not be included in the LA28 Paralympic Games. Posted on 7 Feb
2023 Sarasota Sunshine Sunfish Clinic and Regatta
We talk with Mary Ellen Brown about the 2023 Sarasota Sunshine Sunfish Clinic and Regatta Sail-World checked in with Mary Ellen Brown, Regatta and Clinic chair of the 2023 Sarasota Sunshine Sunfish Clinic and Regatta, via email, to learn more about this mid-winter One Design racing and learning event. Posted on 7 Feb
Book review: Flotsam and Jetsam
A collection of amusing tales from Bob Ross' gossip column I'm not Australian, and yet this collection of bar stories still amused me to read through in my spare moments. To be fair, the local colour was balanced fairly often with tales from international offshore racing and the America's/Admiral's Cups. Posted on 5 Feb
The armchair navigator - imagining life at sea
What does it feel like during The Ocean Race? As the 2023 edition of The Ocean Race fleets tears up the offshore miles separating Cabo Verde from Cape Town, I'll admit that I often find myself daydreaming about what it would be like to foil (or semi-foil) across a wide swath of big blue. Posted on 31 Jan
New Allen blocks at boot Düsseldorf 2023
We speak to Ben Harden about the latest in the range, including the mighty TiiTAN We speak to Ben Harden at boot Düsseldorf 2023 about the new products from Allen, including the redesigned 40mm range, the deck organiser range, the High Roller block range, and the mighty TiiTAN. Posted on 31 Jan
All vessels great and small
January is a great time 'Down Under': Loads of annual regattas for coveted titles January is such a great time 'Down Under': A load of annual regattas for coveted Australian Championships, with many very much steeped in a grand history, and often a World title or two are in there, as well. Posted on 29 Jan
First look at boot: Peacoq foiling doublehander
Video interview with Patrick Billot, the CEO and Founer of Foily Mark Jardine, Managing Editor of Sail-World.com and YachtsandYachting.com, talks to Patrick Billot, the CEO and Founer of Foily, about the foiling Peacoq dinghy at boot Düsseldorf 2023. Posted on 26 Jan
First look at boot: The Tiwal 3R
We speak to Emmanuel Bertrand about the revolutionary inflatable dinghy Inflatables and their use in watersports have come a long way, with inflatable stand up paddle boards and canoes now commonplace. The rigidity though for a performance dinghy has though been a challenge, but the Tiwal 3R addresses that. Posted on 26 Jan
What have we learned from The Ocean Race Leg 1?
How the latest generation of IMOCAs stack up against each other As I outlined a fortnight ago, I was concerned about The Ocean Race, and whether - 50 years on from the first Whitbread - a fully crewed, multi-stopover round the world race in the latest cutting-edge foiling machines was relevant. Posted on 23 Jan
TOR begins, SailGP update, RORC Transatlantic Race
David Schmidt looks at the racing reports relevant to North America Sustained atmospheric rivers may have been pounding the U.S. West Coast for weeks, but things were considerably drier and sunnier this weekend in Alicante, Spain, where the first offshore legs of the 2023 edition of The Ocean Race began on Sunday. Posted on 17 Jan
Armstrong-A-Wing-728x90 gif BOTTOMUpffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTERJ Composites 2022 - J99 FOOTER