Over President's Day Weekend, Red Star Sailing Team member Charlie Welsh went out to California and participated in the 2018 Island's Race aboard the J124 Marisol. Leading up to the event Charlie was responsible for the preparing the navigation and weather systems aboard Marisol. Along with that he was responsible for preparing weather reports and running optimization routes for the race.
Charlie flew out on Wednesday night and made to the boat by mid afternoon on Thursday and began the nessecsary boat work. After a long and productive day of working on the boat the crew met up for one last briefing before heading home for the night.
The flowing morning the boat was brought up to Long Beach and the crew met her in Long Beach where we did the hour sail out to the start line. Once when we got out to the start line the crew realized it was going to start off as very slow race.
After a fantastic start the crew was chasing the boat Apprentice out to the West End of Catalina. Due to the constant discussion of wind and tactics the crew of Marisol were actually able to take advantage of the lightening breeze and condenses the gap on all the faster boats that had passed her on the upwind beat to the West end of Catalina.
Once when the team had finished rounding the West End of Catalina the crew were greeted with champagne sailing conditions that maintained for about halfway on our sprint to San Clemente Island. At about the halfway mark the wind began to shutoff and we began to slowly move towards our waypoint.
There was a constant discussion between the skipper and myself as we were sailing along the backside of Catalina about whether or not to gybe. We were constantly watching our headings along with our position and decided that if our bearing shifted to the point that we were no longer sailing an effective VMG we would then gybe.
Some time went by and as we slowly watched our VMG and wind angles shift the Skipper and I decided that it was an effective time to gybe. After about six hours we gybed several times and at one point it was rather funny because we decided to gybe after monitoring our position and after the gybe finished we established that we were only 25 feet away from the exclusion zone.
Throughout the slow night the team made steady progress towards San Diego and after making it bout three miles off of San Clemente the team was able to harness the land breeze and began making significant progress towards the finish line.
At around fifteen miles off shore the computer was able to begin accepting Cell service again and we were able to check Yellow Brick. The track on Yellow Brick established that we had an incredibly effective night and had managed to work ourselves into a well established first place lead.
This was an incredibly fun event that the team looks forward to participating in again next year. Thank you to the owner of Marisol Seth Hall for another great race.