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Huntington Lake 2010

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  • Huntington Lake 2010

    Huntington Lake is a reservoir in the Southern High Sierra’s, outside of Fresno, located at 7,000+ feet. One of two popular lakes on Rte 168 (Shaver being the other one), known for it’s consistent breeze, tactical race course, and all around family fun place (Skiing in the winter, fishing, camping, boating, hiking and warm springs in the summer).

    Every year the Fresno Yacht Club hosts small and large boats on consecutive weekends for the High Sierra Regatta, as well as teaming up with organizations like MHRA to host the Commodore’s Cup. This years Commodore’s Cup was chosen to host the 2010 Moore 24 PCC’s, with an added day on Friday. There were eight races scheduled for the championship and here’s a report from one of two PNW teams that made the trek down the coast and up the valley hill to race.

    Huntington Lake 2010
    Moore 24 PCC’s
    Commodores Cup

    The hill is as steep and as long as everyone says.

    16 Moore 24’s made it up the hill for the 2010 PCC’s. One barely made it in one piece... seems a truck pulled out of a driveway just after the tow vehicle passed the opening, hitting the trailer square - destroying the trailer but amazingly not even scratching the boat. 5 hours later after a ton of help from the fleet (read Joel Verutti) she was back on a trailer heading up the hill (and took 5th place...).

    All the advice say’s to start left, speed to the beach at the boy scout camp so you can tack across the starboard fleet and then work your way up the left side.... Which worked for the fleet the first race. Then from that point on it was play the shifts and avoid the pack for the rest of the weekend. At times the boats starting on the right side cleaned up but by the time the fleet got to the weather mark a boat from the left would dive in to the pack up front. All the advice got thrown out the window, leads changed, moments of glory followed by agonizing defeat (which always happens at the worst time).

    Friday finished with different boats at the top of each race, great warm weather and a bunch of breathless (7000ft) sore crew. No rest for the Moore fleet though, it was time for the trailer olympics. Push a trailer 30 ft, throw a floatation device to the damsel, throw the damsel a rope, pull the trailer back, then pound some beers and play flippy cup. 4 to 5 person teams competed with the top 5 teams finishing within 25 seconds. No blood but plenty of damsels with bruised legs. The trailer olympics where followed by a fleet potluck and a few cocktails at the Saloon!

    Saturday dawned without the wind realizing any of the advice given on the normal sailing conditions. Once again the side didn’t matter but clear air and speed did, “avoid the pack.” Placings started to settle down in the fleet with 118, 106, 124 &155 mere points away from taking the Olde Mugg (with the customary swim that is). The winds saturday where lighter, and had a ton of right shift, all the rules changed.

    After racing Saturday was the Moore 24 fleet dinners. With the Wabbits in attendance the fleet honored their long time member and class historian, Joel Verutti, by renaming their High Sierra Perpetual trophy after Joel. For those of you that know Joel and what he constantly does for the fleet knows that this is a humble acknowledgement for all he has done and continues to do. No award could ever acknowledge Joel’s efforts, help, knowledge and ability. Thank you Joel!

    Sunday dawned and it was time for someone to step up and want to win this thing. Winds where still light and had a bit of right in them, but not as much as Saturday. #155, ‘Flying Tiger’ stepped up to the challenge and walked away from the fleet to get their name on the Olde Mugg, our perpetual Pacific Coast Champion trophy, along with the customary swim off the dock after the awards. Congratulations to #155 and to everyone that made the trip up that hill to compete in the 2010 Moore 24 PCC’s

    Complete results can be found at:RESULTS

    All photos by Moore Uff Da Racing LLC

  • #2
    friday dawned like any other huntington lake morning…sun shining, temps warming, and no breeze on the lake. a fresh bowl of fruit, some corn flakes, and completely unlike years past no hangover, it was time to head to the skipper’s meeting then tune and rig. the breeze started to fill as the skippers meeting concluded, beer went into the cooler with ice, sunscreen applied and the first warning went off.
    anyone who has sailed the lake more than a couple times knows ‘local knowledge’ dictates the first boat to the boy scout camp on the west side usually controls the race. so we opted for a pin end start and ended up not winning it with the bandito’s crew legging out underneath us. the boats who started to weather looked good at the beginning (they always do) but only two could make it pay by the time they hit the beach. playing the shifts up the left side threw many position changes and at the finish it was us in fourth. ok start, lots of racing left…
    after watching bandito’s commanding ‘textbook’ win, we figured let’s do it again from the pin. only this time the middle road knock didn’t materialize until much further up the lake. we ended up in bad air, tacked out early for a clear, and when we hit the beach we were in a familiar spot (4th). we played the next few shifts and gained a couple of places to round the weather mark in second. by the bottom mark we had let one boat slip by but knew it was still an open ball game with two legs left. going for our ‘money spot’ on the left, we missed two important shifts, found ourselves out of phase, and rounded the top mark in 10th. ouch! hard working the downhill and beat to the finish we ended up 8th and claimed at the time (sometimes wishes do come true) our ‘throwout’.
    the third race started the same, us on pin headed slightly, boats higher up the line looking good for a bit until they didn’t and us gradually sailing higher and higher. we tacked out just before the camp, ducked one starboard tacker and found ourselves in 3rd when we tacked back. one shift appeared and we took it, then another, then another, all the while noticing the lead two boast missed that last two. suddenly it was time to cross the lake and get to the weather mark and a look below saw the fleet behind by a good distance…alright! we rounded the weather mark first by about 40 seconds and sailed in clear breeze, performing our ‘lessons learned from years past’ loose cover. crossing the line we were happy for our first pcc bullet in the last two years and overall fairly satisfied with our 4, 8, 1 performance. at the conclusion of the first day, it was bandito’s clearly in front with a 5 pt lead on us, numa boa and topper 2 1 pt out of second, and double trouble 4 pts out.
    back to the rv site for some much needed ice and ibu, steak dinner and beers and whoops…we missed the trailer olympics (we lost our crown last year on the flip cup addition). word is one of our crew teamed up with some of the multi sailors and represented us, but we all know those multi guys are fast on the water and slow on the hard. once the ice and meds kicked in it was time to head to the lakeshore lodge for some serious ‘team building’ (aka drinking copious amounts of booze). i was ready fro sack time by 10, but our driver and a fresno resident and former moore owner had other ideas. i think (key word) it was 3 am by the time we passed out…

    saturday dawned identical to friday, with the exception of clouds over the ski resort. pop some more ibu, try and force some food into the body to mix with the booze, and off to skips meeting #2. race time the breeze was slightly lighter than the previous day. we once again hit the left end hard, but what, what, what?...the middle road was paying HUGE. the boy scout camp hosed quite a few and cowbell and numa boa took pressure and height straight up the middle of the lake. well damn, now we have to fight it out. rounding the weather mark in 8th we were able to pass one by the leeward mark even with the driver exclaiming “i think i’m going to puke”, and then a foul in front of us and a tacking duel with bandito’s brought us up to 5th by the finish. one thing in this fleet is consistency pays, and we weren’t completely disappointed as we knew we still had a lot of races left.
    the breeze had built enough by race two that we switched down to the #2, we choose middle left of the line and tried to punch out. while our start was a good one, the breeze (as always) was not as strong at the top end and we struggled under the two to maintain enough speed to get out in front. rounding in 5th and changing back up to the #1 on the run, we passed one boat and that is where we would stay until the finish. once again, consistent with a 4th, but cowbell and numa boa again had a good race as well.
    by race 3 we finally realized (i.e. shaked the hangover cobwebs) that the huntington norm was not happening on this day and we lined up with all our competition for a shore end start. we took some bad air off the line and had to clear away early (usually death on this lake), but fought hard to work up the lake and round the weather mark around 6th or 7th. the pressure started to go away down near the start line, and the zig zag course they chose would end up helping us. as the leaders went around the jib reach mark, the pressure all but went away. we rounded the reach mark with two boats right on our transom (absinthe and our good friends bandito’s) and went high as we saw pressure on the launch ramp. absinthe went low, bandito’s high with us, and we were able to sneak by and round in 4th for the beat to the finish. bandito’s went deep to shore, we stayed out and at the line it was a ‘doot, doot’ with both of us not knowing who took the 4th and who took the 5th (we honestly believed they nipped us). but back on shore we find out that we did in fact clip them with our head to wind finish.
    off to the traditional fleet tri-tip dinner at the dance hall and no combined results have been posted. food, drink, a touching tribute/recognition to the fleet historian (and the man responsible for my introduction to the joy that is moore sailing), and then it’s a mad scramble on the back of a placemat to see where we all stand. the drop came into play after race five, ok carry the one, deduct the 8….holy sheepsh*t, cowbell had a great day with a 2, 3, 1! well, second is no longer ours with the drop in effect. the leader board now looks like bandito’s with 14 pts, moore cowbell with 16 pts, numa boa with 17 pts, and us with 18… consistent sailing yes, but not consistent enough. by now, i had recovered from the night before and decided a nightcap or two with the uff da and cowbell gang is in order. my cmantra for the night of ‘all we need is two bullets’ was met by laughter and agreement that they would like the same. many attempts were made to get the female persons in the saddle above the bar, but those lakeshore folks are sticklers for their rules and none of the ladies felt the desire to go topless to complete the mission they were given. in the rack by midnight, and the driver was already snoring…tomorrow dawns a new day.

    sunday morning arrived with warmer temps and later arrival of the breeze. a quick bowl of cereal, breakdown camp, and i was the first one to the boat to collect my thoughts, watch the breeze and the first starts. the decision of the day was ‘where to start’ and my instinct was telling me pin end as the prior day had to be an anomaly. boss man on the helm wanted a little more conservative up the line, but i pleaded my case and we won the pin handily. at the first tack out from the scout camp, we ducked two boats and found ourselves in third. sobriety the night before was our friend and definitely sharpened the spidey sense, as the next four shifts we saw early, went for before anyone else had the chance, and legged out to a minute plus delta over second at the weather mark. while the delta shrunk slightly on the downwind, it never fell below a minute and we took the gun at the finish in nice fashion and much to our liking, the entire group of boats leading us in the standings all had boats behind us but in front of them…one down, one to go!
    marking finish orders on our placemat, figuring out who and where, what part of the line we want, eat something, try and calm down. it was discussed how they’d all be coming for us and would cover every chance they got. pre start, bandito’s and us doing match race circles, we go upper mid line and are 10 seconds late, buried to weather, being pinched to leeward. we tack away for a clean lane and expletives come from behind me. paying as little attention to the colorful language or the dreary positioning, the focus was the next shift and the one after that. two-thirds of the way up the lake, the fleet split hard left and hard right, we went left with a shift, then we went right, and found ourselves going right around the fleet and into third behind mooretician and gruntled. ‘ok guys, this is where we stay’ and then a shift, a tack, another shift a tack, holy s*** we’re rounding the weather mark in front again. after the set, a quick look back and a reminder to all of us that we needn’t win, just keep 118, 124, and 106 behind us. some downhill pressure searching left us slow and we zebra’d over gruntled only to gybe back and find mooretician and gruntled both in equal pressure and in front. no worries, just set up for a smart last upwind. rounding the leeward mark, bust out right with the boys, see a shift, break left, and continue to play it and he we are two tacks from the weather mark crossing gruntled for the lead again. two legs left, just loose cover and it’s ours. down the lake with gruntled on our outside, equal speed, and something is said by gruntled about varnishing the box…oh no, kiss of death, it aint over til it’s over. but the boats we need to keep behind are all battling the fleet pack and we round the leeward mark first in clear air and provide a loose cover to the line.

    they say the sun don’t shine on the dog’s ass but once in a while and that day it sure did. we hadn’t seen a day go that well, be that clear cut, that ability to manipulate the course and conditions since the gorge nationals. it is truly a great feeling to say you need to do something and then proceed to go do it. in the end, the victory was as much the fleet helping us when we needed it, but we will always take whatever we’re given.


    • #3
      many attempts were made to get the female persons in the saddle above the bar, but those lakeshore folks are sticklers for their rules and none of the ladies felt the desire to go topless to complete the mission they were given.

      These rules need to be discussed in more detail, and photos.

      We need photos.


      • #4
        On the road with the ever traveling Moore 24 fleet

        When it comes to travelling, the Moore 24 fleet ranks with the best of them for its members' commitment to hitching up the trailers and getting the show on the road. Sixteen Moores carried on that tradition last weekend at Huntington Lake for the class's PCCs. One of those, Gilles Combrisson and Mark English's Numa Boa, had a more challenging journey than the rest. Combrisson, the Pt. Richmond-based rigger picks up the story:

        Full Story
        " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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