First to finish, HL Enloe's Mighty Merloe ORMA 60 trimaran crossed the line after midnight on Saturday. The monohull competitors hit some light air in the final run to Point Loma and are looking at a mid morning to afternoon finishes.
The 2017 Islands Race was hosted by Newport Harbor Yacht Club and San Diego Yacht Club on February 24 & 25. This year’s event featured considerable visibility and scenery for those on board, yet disappointingly light winds for the last third of the race. Skies were clear enough at the start on Friday that competitors and Race Committee could see all the way to Catalina with startling clarity due to the stormy fronts that have been blowing through Southern California over the past few weeks. Most boats started in about 8 knots of wind out of the northwest and winds increased as boats moved around the course to San Clemente Island. The breeze peaked at about 14 knots at San Clemente and got progressively lighter and came from odd directions (east) as boats approached the finish. Only 14 of the 24 boats entered in this year’s race finished since many boats turned their engines on and confirmed their “did not finish” status.
Sailors all over Southern California are eagerly preparing for one of San Diego Yacht Club’s signature offshore races. The 130nm Islands Race begins on February 24, and is SDYC’s first offshore race of 2017. Following the Islands Race is the SoCal 300, the final event of California Offshore Race Week, in May and the Rum Runner race in October.
For the eighth year, San Diego Yacht Club will partner with Newport Harbor Yacht Club for the Islands Race. The popular course features genuine sea breezes and deep blue ocean swells. Competitors will depart from the Long Beach Harbor and head west of the Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands for some of Southern California’s best sailing before they finish the regatta in San Diego’s Point Loma.
After a whirlwind of speculation and decision making regarding the official course for the 2016 Islands race, the boats are safe in port, sailors are dry and fed and trophies have been awarded. All boats sailed through the finish line last night minus two who retired early in the competition due to gear failure.
The Newport Sea Base, a youth maritime center for the community operated by the Orange County Boy Scouts in Newport Beach, CA, is sending a team of teenagers to participate in the 2016 Islands Race on March 11-12. This 120-mile offshore race will be one of two lead-up races, the other the 68th Newport to Ensenada Race, ahead of the California Coastal Cup and their planned participation in the SoCal 300 Race.
The Southern California sailing spring calendar is officially in full bloom for the 2016 season. The 130nm Islands Race (www.islandsrace.com) takes off on March 11, and is SDYC’s first US based offshore race of the year; followed by the SoCal 300 in May and the Rum Runner race in October. This is the seventh year that San Diego Yacht Club will partner with Newport Harbor Yacht Club for the Islands Race. The race will showcase impeccable scenery alongside the California coast as competitors start in Long Beach Harbor, navigate around the Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands, before completing the race in Point Loma in San Diego.
Similar to 2015, the Islands Race will be SDYC’s first (US based) offshore regatta to be followed by the SoCal 300 in May and the Rum Runner regatta in October. Islands Race competitors will start in Long Beach Harbor and sail around Santa Catalina and San Clemente Islands prior to completing the race in Point Loma, San Diego. This event is consistently well-attended by over 30 boats ranging from 25-100 feet in length. I’m thrilled to be serving as chairman of this picturesque race again this year and am excited for another great event.
The 2015 Islands Race was unlike any other in the 6 year history of the event. With summer-like conditions on the west coast this March, all 34 boats finished (1 retiring after finish), and HL Enloe's Orma 60 trimaran demolished the course record by 3 hours, 19 minutes and 46 seconds.
Since its introduction in the late 1980s, the ORMA 60 trimaran has seduced the best sailors in the world, especially the solo-sailing cowboys from France. Capable of sustained speeds few powerboats can match, it’s not the sort of boat one would expect your average 78-year-old Texan to campaign, but then again, owner Howard Enloe isn’t your average Texan.