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A Relatively Quick Spinnaker Cup And Cal 500 Kick Of CORW 2023


  • A Relatively Quick Spinnaker Cup And Cal 500 Kick Of CORW 2023

    37 boats participated in the 2023 California Offshore Race Week in the initial phase.

    2 of which were the Mod 70's, Orion under the command of Justin Shaffer and Jason Carrol's Argo which engaged in the 2nd edition of the California 500, the San Francisco San Diego with the Farallones and Cortez Bank as turning marks. There were 3 boats registered , but Frank Slootman's Snowflake pulled out before the 10:00 start off the St Francis, reason for which remains a mystery.

    Also on tap were 35 boats in 5 divisions working the San Francisco and San Mateo County shoreline in search of steady breeze, a product of a late season weather system that brush the NorCal area with southwesterlys and flat seas.

    Catapult guided by pelicans passes Seal Rocks

    With a forecasted 2.3 knot ebb (plus snowmelt runoff) occurring at 10:30 AM and wind in the mid teens, the fleet made quick work exiting the Bay and the Golden Gate Strait before turning left and heading south. The flat seas provided a mellow jaunt along Ocean Beach where the most direct route lay, without the concern for rogue waves which are known to break without mercy for boats wandering too close to the shoreline.

    Artemis making great time across the Golden Gate Strait

    As it turns out, hugging the shoreline proved to be the favored route, even after Point San Pedro where the cliffs of Montara often create a wind buffer, but this year, with the wind direction yield from a more southerly direction than usual, proximity to the shoreline was rewarded in spades. The major drawback being the spinnakers remained in their turtles much longer than most would like.

    Orion And Argo near Land End before heading out to the Farallones

    The Mod 70's exited early and headed offshore in rapid fashion, as their 1st turning mark was 27 NM offshore. From there the 2 trimaran engaged in an old fashion match race some 20-30 miles offshore, as Charlie Ogletree, boat captain for Argo posted on the Team Argo FB page:

    "We had a great time in San Francisco racing against our sister ship MOD’s Snowflake and Orion. Two days of day racing in the bay preceded the CA 500, a 500-miler down the coast to San Diego. After Snowflake withdrew it became a closely fought match race between Argo and Orion. We played the light air leg out to the Farallones nicely and managed to lead at the turn south. Orion and Argo were glued together on the fast VMG run south and enjoyed atypical flat seas which allowed for a full-gas night of downwind sailing. A slim lead at the turning mark into San Diego faded away to almost nothing as the two teams tried to negotiate fluky and shifty winds around San Clemente. We found the right lane into the finish to squeak in 8 minutes/2 miles ahead in a shade over 30 hours elapsed. Chapeau to Justin and his squad on Orion for a beautifully sailed race. Argo is now in Long Beach getting prepped for the July 1st start of the Transpac. Maserati will join the party and we’re excited for a 3 boat MOD battle to Hawaii!"

    Orion with the early lead

    Mod 70s And The California 500

    Elapsed Time Argo: 1:06:08:47 Corrected Time Argo: 2:04:09:12
    Elapsed Time Orion: 1:06:16:40 Corrected Time Orion: 2:04:51:54

    Meanwhile, the 35 monohulls were marching southward lead by a trio of Santa Cruz 70's, Edward Marez's Buona Sera, Joel Ronnings Catapult and Stuart Dahlgren's Westerly plus Raymond Paul's Botin 65' Artemis.

    While not exactly record setting conditions this year, Artemis's time of 0:09:21:55 elapsed was a good solid ride, Thomas Akin's 2013 monohull record of 0:06:43:33 for his SC52 Meanie remains safely intact. The battle of the day was between Catapult and Buona Sera with a down to the wire 0:09:49:46 to 0:09:49:58 elapsed time victory for Catapult, yet yielding 1st to Buona Serra on corrected. 0:10:53:45 to 0:10:45:04 with Artemis in 3rd at 0:11:05:59

    image courtesy MPYC

    The two J-125's Rufless and Velvet Hammer were not for off the pace of the sleds, and enjoyed their own match race down the coast, with Rufless taking PHRF D, 0:10:30:46 elapsed 0:10:15:23 corrected vs VH's 0:10:33:32 elapsed and 0:10:23:09 corrected!
    Other notables:
    PHRF E was won by Kevin Wilkinson's J-112 Jubilant, correcting out well ahead of Dave MacEwen's J-90 Lucky Duck which finished nearly 1 hour before!
    Andy Swchenky Dank sail his Express 37 Spindrift IV to a 1st place in Division PHRF-F edging out two other E-37's, Loca Motion and Elan, and more importantly overall fleet victory, with Loca Motion 2nd in division and fleet!
    In PHRF G Bob Walden's Cal 39 Sea Star sailed the race of their lives, outpacing much lighter and theoretically faster boat's, Rebecca Hinden's E-27 Bombora and Marc-Andrea Klimaschewski Dogpatch 26' Moonshine!

    Early On

    Mid Race

    Spinnaker Cup Results:
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