Friday, July 25, 2014

SB-King Harbor Race Preview

(Santa Barbara, CA)- One of the most popular mid-summer offshore races in Southern California is the Santa Barbara to King Harbor race.  The race has been a tradition for 42 years and this year’s 94 boats is one of the largest in decades; a notable increase in the fleet size is attributable to the seventeen fun-loving J/Teams spanning three divisions (18% of the fleet).  It’s no wonder, the race is one of the premier distance races, its part of the Wilson Offshore Series, and the teams love the legendary hospitality of the co—hosts- Santa Barbara and King Harbor YC’s- famous for their pre-race party and the giant crab & beer awards luncheon.

The PHRF Sprit Division might as well be called the “J-Sprit” class, as 11 of 16 boats are all J/teams.  Amongst those participating are two J/133s- Joe Simpkins’s FORGIVENESS and Roy Jones’s TANGO.  Joining them are two J/111s, Bill Webster & Mike Moorhead’s JATO (2nd in class for 2013) and Glenn Griley’s STAMPEDE, both from King Harbor YC.  Giving those two a run-for-the-money is Tom & Terri Manok’s J/120 POLE DANCER.  The race will feature the debut of the J/88 CRAZY 88 sailed by Dr Laura Schlessinger from Santa Barbara YC.  A trio of J/109s will be tackling the course that includes Tom Brott’s well-known, Long Beach Race Week winning ELECTRA from Seal Beach YC, Jack Mayer’s ZEPHYR, and Bryce Benjamin’s PERSISTENCE from Cal YC.  Chasing them will be Tom Bollay’s J/105 ARMIDA from Santa Barbara YC as well as Brian Kerr’s J/92 DOUBLE DOWN also from SBYC.

The PHRF Sprit ULDB Class is loaded with many of the top California offshore speedsters and the top carbon-flyers from the J design team.  At the head of the J class is Carolyn Park’s J/145, the beautiful red RADIO FLYER from Santa Barbara.  She will have to contend with a duo of J/125s that include Viggo Torbensen’s Dana Point Offshore series winner TIMESHAVER as well as Mark Surber’s DERIVATIVE from Coronado YC.  One of the 125 teams, TIMESHAVER, was recently out testing some ideas, here’s commentary from Keith Magnussen on their progress: “We are continuing to improve our speed and understanding of the J-125 and part of our learning process is testing sails.  Here is a short video of what that looks like.  I know it seems like all we do is have fun but trust me we are working hard at almost 15kts (see ‘Rinsed Lifestyle’ sailing video-”

In the huge 34 boat PHRF Racing class, there are two J/33s sailing including Fred & Suzanne Cottrell’s TIGGER from King Harbor YC and Mark Weinberger’s PRIMA from San Diego’s Cortez Racing Association.  They will be up against Shawn Ivie’s J/30 FRICTION LOSS from the Santa Barbara Yacht Racing Club.  For more Santa Barbara-King Harbor Race sailing information