Jen and I were on the road to Monterey, a drive of 2.5 hours, at 4:30 AM to insure being rigged and ready
by the 8:00 AM check-in time. Along the way we passed Steve Potter
twice. The first time, just before Gilroy where we pulled off the
interstate to drive through town in a fruitless search for a good cup
of coffee. The second time, back on highway 1, coming in to Monterey.
parked in the Monterey Marina lot, Jen set out to find coffee, while I
set to rigging Lazy Ka. After a break for breakfast at Lou lou's on
Warf #2, we were rigged and registered just after 8:00 AM, and
launched by 8:30. Then it was off to the Monterey Bay Yacht Club to
get registered for the day's festivities and the skipper's meeting
scheduled for 10:00 AM.
had absolutely no idea what I would be doing. I really don't know the
least little bit about how a sailing race was run. But I signed up to
race, paid my fees, and settled in for the Skippers meeting to see if
I could glean enough to carry this off without being a total
embarrassment to Jennifer.
listening intently during the meeting, and getting a bit of
clarification from Mitch Carnes, I felt that I didn't know all that
much more than when I sat down at the beginning of the meeting. Jen
and I walked back to Lazy Ka which I had left tied up at a dock just
behind Lou Lou's. We were about to cast off when Jen put her hand on
the bulkhead where a wasp had landed; the administration of first aid
for the painful sting she received delayed our departure another 15
away, it was out of the marina past Old Fisherman's Wharf, and out
into Monterey Bay to join up with all who had left ahead of us. We
motored until we were well clear of the wharfs, then raised the main
into light winds. The winds at Monterey characteristically don't come
up until late morning, and today was no different. We continued to
motor-sail in order to catch up with the others already set in the
vicinity of the Race Committee boat that would be signaling the start
of the races.
the way we picked up a most playful sea lion who danced first behind
Lazy Ka, then to the starboard. The aggressiveness of the critter was
a concern to Jen who feared that we would have company in the already
cramped confines of Lazy Ka's cockpit. The whole encounter seemed to
last for a couple of minutes, but was likely no more that 30
excitement filled seconds.
1: Now remember, I still wasn't too sure of what I was doing; I
wasn't clear on how the races would start and be run. But with Jen's
help rereading the instructions issued at the skippers meeting, and
watching the start of the first two races, I got a pretty good idea of
how to start. I even developed something that resembled a race
I managed to be one of the first boats to cross the starting line, a
feat that we would replicate for the second and third races as well.
theory that Potters sail best with weight forward, I sent Jen up onto
the foredeck for the duration of race. No sooner was she settled in,
than she jumped her buns up onto the cabin with her back against the
mast. "Are there sharks out here," she asked. "I saw a fin sticking
out of the water." I assured her that the sharks of Monterey Bay were
nothing to be concerned about. We settled in to make the first marker
buoy with only two changes in tack. We were in third or fourth place
as we rounded the mark, pretty good for a racing virgin like myself.
seconds after turning the marker, disaster struck. The main sheeting
mechanism decided to disassemble, leaving me to grab the sheets in
hand and try to sail with no way to secure the main sheet. But good
fortune was with us; the parts had all landed in the cockpit and were
available for reasonably quick assembly. Putting the assembly right
took some three or four minutes. The challenges of trying to maintain
some semblance of sail trim and the boat pointed in the right
direction slowed my progress. By the time I was under control again
and made the turn at the second marker, I has slipped another three or
Finishing the race was a fiasco of the first order. With several boats
all maneuvering to get across the line, the wind dies. A P-15 to my
starboard stalls, and turns into Lazy Ka. I manage to deflect the
collision with a hand to his bow pulpit. Seconds later, Mike Dolan on
my port side, turns into Lazy Ka to avoid a collision with a P-15.
Again I was able to prevent any potential for damage with a had to his
pulpit as well.
While waiting for the second race to start, we are sailing an orbiting
course that took us back and forth along the starting line. While on a
northward tack, Mitch Carnes calls out on the radio that he has sited
pod of "Dolphin" north of the Race Committee boat. Jen and I could see
them breaking the surface of the water some 100 yards off our bow. The
sight was breathtaking. A dozen or more, churning the water as they
would leap out of the water; it was imposable to get an accurate
count, and no one had the presence of mind to take pictures.
conversations speculated that the pod may have been Pilot Whales, and
I concluded that these were the "sharks" Jen had spotted during the
start for the second race came off better that the first. With a
replay of a situation that we experienced at the first mark. It seems
that for unknown reasons, the winds became somewhat shifty at the
mark, even letting up from time to time. This made it difficult for
all as we approached. We'd set a good course guaranteed to make the
mark, only to find that we'd fall of the line within the last 50
yards. This is one of those strategic calls on the part of the
skipper. Some skippers chose to sail longer leg, higher above the mark
before making the final tack to the buoy. This resulted in less
frustration on the approach to
mark, but seemed to give little advantage
as most of us who chose
the shorter course close to the
mark were able to make the
needed correction at little expense.
By the time we started the third race, I was feeling pretty confident
at my newly acquired skills. I managed to finish mid field in both
races, saving myself any embarrassment. I had come to the conclusion
that races are won by strategy, how the skipper attacks the course,
and execution. It seems to boil down to
a winner who make fewer errors. I saw distances change between boats
when a skipper would fail to trim properly or recover efficient trim
after a tack change. I can admit being guilty
a time or two during the day.
fickle wind condition was still evident as we made the turn a the
first mark. On our approach we were doing all we could to sail a short
course; we had picked up Pat Brennan on our tail by about 30 feet. I
was managing to sail pretty close to the wind, but not close enough to
stay above the mark; another tack change was needed. Pat changed
first, then I, making the needed 10 or 15 yards to get above the buoy,
I tacked a last time. On passing the mark, I looked back for Pat. He
seemed to have stalled and now was some 50 feet behind . . . Tactics
the Committee boat, headed for the second marker, we hear a call from
the boat that this third race is two laps . . . we gotta go around
once more. By 3:00 we had finished the course and were headed back
into the marina to secure for the night.
at 3:30, Lazy Ka was tied up at her slip for the night.
schedule of evening activities included a social hour at the Monterey
Bay Yacht Club (4:00-5:00,) and presentation of acknowledgements
between 5:00 and 6:00. It was great time with lots of smiles all
around. It seemed everyone had a great time and is ready to go at it
again next year.
The overall results were:
1. Hank Benjamin, Marshall Sanderling 2. Justin Pipkorn,
1. Rick Clark, Catalina 16 2. Dave Kautz, O’Day 19 *3. Jerry
Barrilleaux, P19 4. Eric Zilbert, P19 5. Jim Cayan, Laguna
Balboa 16 6. Dick Herman, SunCat 17 7. Wes Harrison, P19 7. Mike
Swartz, P19 9. Ray Lazano, P19 10. Dan Rickert, Com Pac 19 11.
Greg Yu, P19 12. Bud Kerner, P19 13. John Choi, P19 14. Charlie
Davidson, P19 15. Dave White, P19
1. Dan Phy, Montgomery 15 2. Mike Trueman, Montgomery 15 *3.
Dave Bacon, P15 4. Steve Potter, P15 5. Rich McDevitt, P15 6.
Oscar Koechlin, P15 7. Mitch Carnes, P15 7. Harry Gordon, P14 9.
Jim Pettit, P15 10. Pat Brennan, P15 11. Jerry Kergan, P15 12.
Mike Dolan, P15 13. Dory Taylor, P15 14. Keith Hubbard, P14 15.
Rob Sampson, P14
Axle Grease Award: Richard Malone Guts and Glory Award: Ed
*International Marine Award for first P19 and P15
City of Monterey makes it very easy to travel back and forth between
the wharfs on the downtown water front and the shops and restaurants
Cannery Row. Jen and I had discovered the free shuttle last year, and
decided to take advantage of it again. Jen was in the mood for
Mexican, and I recall that there was an El Torrito Restaurant at
Cannery Row. So we jumped on the shuttle and were seated for dinner in
dinner we strolled along Cannery Row, finding our way into the
Ghirardelli Chocolate Store for some sweets for desert, then back to
the marina. While I rigged the boom-tent to keep the fog off of us
during the night. Monterey gets plenty of fog, and without the tent
the moisture condenses on everything, finding its way inside as well.
been spending every available minute with her nose buried in Harry
Potter #6; trying to get it finished so that she could start #7 on her
trip to Florida leaving on Tuesday. Jen turned in early, taking
advantage of the reading lights in Lazy Ka's cabin, and read for a
couple of hours. I slid into my bunk at about 9:00 PM, and was asleep
in no time. The tent did the job. With a couple of the companionway
boards in place to further ward off the elements, we both slept
morning, I was up before 7:00. I wandered over to Lou lou's for a cup
of coffee, and found several other early rising Potter Yachters ready
to relive Saturday's events. Then it was out to the parking lot where
other were hauling their boats out to hit the road early.
plans to get in some Sunday sailing were cancelled when I realized
that The San Jose Grand Prix was running in addition to the Garlic
Festival at Gilroy. Each of these events are along our path home, and
attract big crowds. If we didn't want to get caught in traffic, we'd
need to be past San Jose in the early afternoon . . . maybe 2 o'clock
at the latest.
out of bed at about 9:00, and Lazy Ka was on her trailer by 10:00.
With the distraction of a little more social time, We were pulling out
of Monterey for the trip home by Noon.