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J/80 Catnip wins Hardway Race at Santa Barbara Sailing Club

by J-Boats 25 May 16:40 PDT
Hardway Race © J-Boats

This past weekend, the Santa Barbara Sailing Club hosted their annual Hardway Race, an event that starts off Santa Barbara and runs around Santa Cruz Island down the backside and then to Ventura (67.0 nm) for the A fleet boats. Scheduling the race on Mother's Day weekend made it difficult for the fast A fleet boats to put together full crews.

For the smaller boats, there is the Coast-Wise Spinnaker course, which goes around Anacapa Island (47.0 nm) and then to Ventura. For many teams, that was more appealing and had more entries.

As it turned out, the light southeast winds at the start filled in to 10-12 kts from the southwest for the first leg. Then, shifting again south-southwest for the leg behind Anacapa Island. And then, shifting again northwesterly after rounding the east end of Anacapa Island.

The key to this race is getting around the west end and down to the east end of Anacapa Island in a good position before the wind dies. Those who had a solid strategy, local knowledge, and some good luck did very well.

PHRF A Division

The nine-boat division saw George Brown's J/100 get around the 47.0nm "coast-wise" track in 8 hours elapsed to win by 6+ minutes on PHRF handicap time. Taking second was Steve McMillan's J/99 MERLIN ahead of the Santa Cruz 52 HEROIC HEART.

PHRF B Division

This six-boat division saw Lander Nicolait's J/80 CATNIP zip around the same race track in just over 8 hrs 16 mins elapsed to handily win the division by 22 minutes corrected handicap time. As a result, for the 47.0nm coast-wise course, the J/80 CATNIP was the overall winner!

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