Hosted by Royal Victoria Yacht Club
The second annual Pacific Coast Championship was held in Cadboro Bay, Victoria, BC. Competitors included Jeff Reinhold, Seattle, John Edwards (guest skipper RVYC), combined with local 2.4mR sailors; unfortunately, our prairie colleagues could not attend this year. On Friday, half the fleet headed out to the mouth of Cadboro Bay for an afternoon practice session. In a 4-8 kt S wind, we did speed tuning and practiced our starts followed by mini-races. While we sailed downwind towards the dock, a lone orca surfaced about six times right beside our group of five boats, blowing on each slow roll. The cetacean was matching our speed, possibly trying to identify these ‘strange creatures’ with two white downward-facing fins. After Rod Mack exclaimed his amazement at the sight, the orca turned towards us, surfaced and blew one more time, took a closer look at us, then dived under our 2.4s and cruised out of the Bay. What a wildlife encounter!
Oh, yes. The racing.
Saturday morning a 5 kt SE wind was blowing straight into the Bay. Early in the day, the left side of the course paid upwind, so a start with clear air near the port end of the line paid off. Bruce Millar and Louise Anstey played the conditions well, finishing 1st and 2nd respectively in Races 1 and 2. By midday, the pressure on the right improved followed by a small starboard lift when approaching the weather mark. Louise Anstey (who returned after an OCS) and Doug Lee saw the opportunity and turned it into a winner, finishing 1 and 2 in Race 3. In the next couple of races, the traffic forced Bruce into the lighter air on the left, and, on another occasion, he caught seaweed that was so prevalent due to the extreme tides in mid-June. The right generally paid upwind in Races 5 and 6, however, the occasional shift or puff in the centre of the course created opportunities. Downwind legs were equally interesting. After Bruce and Brian Robinson capitalized on pressure and a bit of favourable current on the east side of the course, the fleet spread across the course on subsequent downwinds. By end of day Louise was leading, followed by Bruce and Doug Bell.
On Sunday morning the wind was SE again, however very soft with the occasional patchy spot. Trying to make the most of the wind, the RC backed the course deep into the bay. The start line was within a stone’s throw of the beach. In Race 7, with the lightest wind of the series, Stacey Louttit led wire to wire, Bruce 2nd; Louise struggled with a 6th. In Race 8 and 9, Bruce and Louise shared the 1sts. Brian enjoyed the light patchy conditions posting two 2nd place finishes; this moved him up from 5th position after Saturday.
Final results: 1st Louise Anstey, 2nd Bruce Millar, 3rd Brian Robinson winning a tie breaker with Doug. See full results here. The competitors wish to thank Ron Jewula and his race committee/safety boat crew and Mike Turner and his fellow jurors for giving up their weekends to make this regatta a success.
To all those 2.4 sailors ‘from away’, do keep the PCCs in mind when you plan your 2020 summer racing season. The Pacific Coast is a beautiful place to sail: clear water, snow-capped mountains as the backdrop for the race course, and maybe, just maybe, a unique wildlife experiencing included with the regatta.