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.