The (Long) Point Is—

Why let a sailboat race stand in the way of a party? This question has been asked many times, sometimes seriously, other times at an exaggerated angle of heel. But I assure you that the question has never been answered more boldly than at Long Point Race Week, which is hosted by the Balboa and Newport Harbor yacht clubs. For three days in August (26-28th) many of the best sailors in Southern
Author:
Publish date:
longpoint1

Why let a sailboat race stand in the way of a party? This question has been asked many times, sometimes seriously, other times at an exaggerated angle of heel. But I assure you that the question has never been answered more boldly than at Long Point Race Week, which is hosted by the Balboa and Newport Harbor yacht clubs. For three days in August (26-28th) many of the best sailors in Southern California convene at their special rendezvous, Catalina Island, to celebrate life, sailing, and of course, the sailing life.

Forget about deliveries. Friday’s race gets you to the island. Saturday’s racing is about sailing for the sheer pleasure of the thing. And Sunday’s race returns you to the mainland. Long Point changes, year by year, but what’s working at the moment is worth thinking about, wherever you sail.

“People take their competitive attitude and dial it down a notch,” says Brad Avery, director of the Orange Coast College School of Sailing and Seamanship and skipper for last year’s race aboard the canting-keel 80-footer Magnitude 80. “You’re on an island, so your weekend routine changes. You’re away from your wallet and car keys. You can’t rush home after the race. You’re not going to anybody’s soccer game. You have time to just unwind. In fact, you don’t have much choice.”

longpoint2

Each race is different. Racing out to the island on Friday, you are likely to start on port tack in a light southerly, but an informed tactician will be betting on the mainland to pull in a sea breeze as the day warms, which means there will be a transition—and during the transition there will be no wind at all.

Saturday’s race, which starts late enough in the day to allow time for socializing and a morning swim, includes a 7-mile beat past the island’s rugged cliffs to Ship Rock and then a spinnaker run home. According to America’s Cup veteran Andy Rose, “The Saturday race along the face of Catalina can be one of the most spectacular anywhere. It’s worth the price of admission in itself.”

Assuming someone wakes you up by Sunday afternoon, there is the race back. This is the sad part, watching the island fall astern: Catalina, with its mountains, hiking trails and clear waters, a paradise just miles from the metropolis, but apparently, just…far…enough.

Related

emSelf-tacking-jib

Ask Sail: Are Self-trackers Worth It?

Q: I’m seeing more and more self-tacking jibs out on the water (and in the pages of SAIL) these days. I can’t help thinking these boats are all hopelessly underpowered, especially off the wind, when compared to boats with even slightly overlapping headsails. But I could be ...read more

01-LEAD-hose-leak-CREDIT-BoatUS

Know how: Is Your Bilge Pump up to the Job?

Without much reflection, I recently replaced my broken bilge pump with a slightly larger model. After all, I thought, surely an 800 gallon-per-hour (gph) pump will outperform the previous 500gph unit? Well, yes, but that’s no reason to feel much safer, as I soon discovered. The ...read more

190314-viddy

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta: A Source of Hope

The tagline for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is "serious sailing, serious fun." However, for the inhabitants of St. Maarten, the event is more than just a festival of great music and some of the best sailing around. Local blogger Angie Soeffker explains the impact the race ...read more

SPOTX-1500x1500_front

Gear: SPOT-X Satellite

Hits the SPOT The SPOT-X two-way satellite messenger is an economical way of staying connected to the outside world via text or e-mail when you’re at sea. As well as the messaging service, it has a distress function that not only alerts authorities if you’re in trouble, but lets ...read more

_8105684

A Kid’s Take on the Northwest Passage

Going North—and West Crack! Crunch! I woke with a start to the sound of ice scraping the hull of our 60ft sailboat, Dogbark. In a drowsy daze, I hobbled out of the small cabin I was sharing with my little sister. As I emerged into the cockpit, I swiveled my head, searching for ...read more

Nathan-Bates-San-Diego,-CA

SAIL 2018: Reader's Photographs

Are you out there sailing, cruising and living the sailing life? If so, we’d love to see it. Send your sailing photos to sailmail@sailmagazine.com And don’t forget to sign up for our free eNewsletter. Check back for updates! We set sail from Chicago on a crossing to Saugatuck, ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Let her breathe When the wind’s so light your cigar smoke goes straight up (or it used to, before having fun was banned) any well-designed yacht with a clean bottom will somehow keep on sailing if you ...read more