“Sail a spring regatta in Santa Barbara” I said. “It will be fun,” I said. Well, we sailed a spring regatta in Santa Barbara and it was … “fun”? April 25 and 26 UCSB Alumni FJs, Lasers and 7 Lidos rigged up on a balmy spring morning, strong cool breeze and a light drizzle greeted the fleet for rigging and skippers meeting. Looking out of the harbor there were already steady white caps and puffs to 20knts. While conventional wisdom would have suggested Lidos stay ashore, the course was to be tucked behind the Santa Barbara Pier; all 7 teams donned foul weather gear and left the dock. While the pier did provide some relief it caused for more dramatic shifts and puffs which were well over 20knts
Race 1 saw all the boats start. Shortly after the start John Gresham and Mandi Smith’s forestay came off the mast do to a late night aluminum/stainless rivet mix up. Though John still feels it was a great 28 seconds of sailing. John/Mandi returned to the dock to harass Salvador at the local sailing center about borrowing a rivet gun in order to get back out for more racing.
Moments before the start of race 2 a spreader failure for Jon and Lauren Bell caused the rig to bend, kink and come down over the side of the boat. By the weather mark half of the remaining fleet decided that with the waves bigger than the boat it was time to join the Johns at the dock and call it a day. 3 teams completed race 2.
Prior to race 3 as the spreaders somehow fell out of the mast of Son/Father team of Lucas and Kent Pierce and they managed to get the sails down before the rig failed. Due to gear failure and good judgment all the remaining Lidos called it a day and returned to the dock.
Saturday night UCSB Sailing team hosted a party where stories were shared about how fun the day was and how great Gresham’s 28 seconds of sailing was. The Lido fleet closed down the party.
After assessing the collateral from day one, 5 of the boats were able to leave to dock for day 2. Sea conditions were similar to day 1 with a little more sun. There would only be one Lido race on Sunday before the wind was again too much, but not before Sam Bell and Amanda Wayne separated a forestay.
Lucas/Kent and Dan Gilboa/Serena Zahler were the only teams able to complete all 3 races. While alphabet soup and breakdowns plagued the score sheet everyone had a good time sailing in conditions usually reserved for 505s. Bruce Wasson seemed to show the best judgment successfully bringing his boat back to the dock 2 days in a row without incident.
After 2 days with an ear-to-ear grin, thrashing about and watching Lidos plane the only major damage was the sacrifice of the Bell mast.
I expect the regatta report for Semana Nautica in June to be much less dramatic as June is a more appropriate time to sail Lidos in the American Riviera.