Jan 12, 2012, 5:04 PM
Post #1 of 2
With the holiday decorations tucked away, Southern California racers gathered in Marina del Rey last weekend for the start of the 2012 season - the annual 22nm race along the Los Angeles coastline to Malibu and return.
RANDOM LEG VERSUS SAUSAGE RACES
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The popularity of this race - often the biggest regatta of the year on the Santa Monica Bay - has little to do with Malibu's history of Hollywood stars and surfing legends. What it does offer is the opportunity for a crew of average joes to enjoy an adventurous race and not be required to do a litany of highly skilled crew maneuvers.
Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck reflects on growing up in Marina del Rey. "The buoy races are now a blur, but I fondly remember racing to Malibu. It wasn't always a thrill, often a close reach both ways, but it was different. Subtle tactical strategy, lots of hours tweaking sail shapes, and the time hanging out with the crew formed bonds."
With participation in random leg racing on the increase in the SM Bay, and sausage regattas on the decline, the new Pacific Cup Deepwater Series is being launched in 2012 by California Yacht Club to tap into this market demand. With a three hour target time, each unique race will explore a different section of the Santa Monica Bay for boats rated under PHRF, Cruising Class and ORCA.
"I can see how putting a crew together for a random leg race is way easier than a buoy race, plus they take away some of the advantage from the highly trained teams," noted Leweck. "If you combine fewer turns with wider racing lanes, I suspect the racing remains closer, and the less experienced teams can stay in the hunt."
Is your area seeing this trend? Comments welcome.