Wetas were invited to the 2023 SBYC Skiff Festival May 13 and 14. Several days before the regatta weather forecasters were predicting that the May Gray would lift and it would be hot and sunny although light wind. Alas, May Gray opted to stick around for cool days (low to mid 60s F). The current active SoCal race fleet of Bruce Fleming, Tim Corcoran, Peter Karlsberg and yours truly opted to join John Dutton in his home waters of Santa Barbara to enjoy the often benign sailing conditions typical there. There was also a fleet of five International 14s and thirteen Laser Radials. The Laser Radial fleet was made up of tweens and teens with a few coach boats herding them.
Saturday the wind blew from the usual westerly direction at about 8 - 10 knots, occasionally getting up to 12 knots. We got in 6 races. The racing was quite fun because, Bruce and I were constantly close together, Tim and John were dueling it out, and Peter, who is new to racing, showed steady, significant improvement.
Saturday evening we enjoyed appetizers and drinks at SBYC, which is right on the beach and the second oldest yacht club in California, while watching the fog decrease visibility from 1/2 mile to 1/4 mile and envelope the entire area in a damp caress. We also discussed various tactical and tuning ideas having an especially spirited debate regarding batten tension. Anybody else would have found our topics dreadfully boring, but it kept us interested enough to enjoy a second beer.
Sunday was again mild and gray, but unfortunately the wind was predicted to be much lighter and out of the south. We paddled away from the launch ramp and then slow drifted out to the starting area at an agonizingly slow pace. The wind did pick up to about 5 - 8 knots for three races, but then glassed off and prevented us from sailing the planned 4th race. The race committee did a fantastic job and was prescient enough to make the W/L course much shorter on Sunday so we were able to at least get those three races in. After the 4th race was abandoned, we slowly drifted back into the harbor watching with envy as the Laser Radials got towed in by their coach boats.
The RC had pizza for us back at the launch ramp and at 4:00 pm did the awards presentation. The SBYC Skiff Festival was a well run and successful event. Next up: The Commodores Invitational at Huntington Lake, unless there is still too much snow left over from this record setting past winter covering the campsites.
Results can be found here: https://theclubspot.com/regatta/KjBYjxc3kg/results