Tuesday, December 15, 2015

J/105s Sweep Hot Rum Series Class 3

San Diego Hot Rum Series fleet off Point Loma
J/70s & J/100 In 3-Way Tiebreak for Class 4!
(San Diego, CA)- In the fall of 1957, Herbert Sinnhoffer decided to start a race for the purpose of tuning up BUTCHER BOY II for the upcoming offshore race to Acapulco, Mexico.  The first race brought 18-20 boats. DOLPHIN sailed into first place giving Gerald R. Bill the honor of filling the silver Samovar with hot rum for the remainder of the fleet. Today, the Hot Rum Race draws over 130 boats, but the spirit of the race is the same. Mr. Sinnhoffer was remembered for saying that the point of the Hot Rum race is to be "a fun race, (and) to be able to meet afterwards and make friends."

Green Flash beer- J/70 sponsor at San Diego Hot Rum seriesThe 2015 Hot Rum Series kicked off on November 7th with a picture perfect San Diego day; sunny skies and winds around 7-10 knots with gusts up to 15. A Southeast breeze called for spinnakers at the start. Kites started off small with a Catalina 30s and J/22s and grew to very large with a Kernan 70 and J/65. All 140 boats eventually crossed the start line and head out to Point Loma to the first mark.

The wind conditions increased as the racers dropped their chutes conservatively and rounded to head back to the bay. Coronado Brewing Company and Mount Gay Rum greeted sailors with open arms back at the party at SDYC, and everyone said how fortunate they were to be out racing on such a beautiful day.

Little did they know, the second Hot Rum race, held on November 21st, would be just as pristine. The race started with lighter winds in the bay as all the boats waited their turn to start. Most racers decided to go kite up at the start as they had done before. After the majority of smaller boats had rounded the first mark there was a wind gap that left some of the bigger boats stuck momentarily. As they crept along the wind picked back up in time for the large kites to come down, with winds gusting around 12-14 kts.

J/125 Resolute sailed by Tim FullerThe final race in the series took the sailors by surprise with winds forecasted to be light. The boats were instead greeted in the starting area by a steady 12-knot breeze as they awaited to begin the last race in the series. Smaller boats were able to use the wind for their start but by the time the bigger boats got going, they found themselves in a hole off Ballast Point and the little boats shot ahead. The fleet sailed into big gusts off Point Loma as they headed back toward the finish. Blessed with three perfect Saturday’s, 2015 Hot Rum Series will go down in history as one of the greatest!

Back on shore, sailors from all across Southern California regrouped in the pavilion near the SDYC pool for the awards party that featured live music from The Lifted Tack featuring SDYC’s Junior Sailing Director John Fretwell on the mic.

Starting with Class 1, the J/125s had a go of it with Tim Fuller’s RESOLUTE taking fourth place and Mark Surber’s DERIVATIVE finishing seventh.  Sailing very consistently in mid-fleet was the magnificent J/65 MAITRI sailed by Tom Barker.

J/120s sailing San Diego Hot Rum SeriesClass 2 is usually the province of J/120s, having won or swept the class for so many years that everyone has lost count.  While sailing fast and taking most of the top spots, it was the first time in years a J/120 hadn’t won the class.  Instead, they took three of the top five, with Mike Hatch’s J-ALMIGHTY in 3rd, followed by Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER in fourth and John Laun’s CAPER in fifth.

Dennis Case and his team aboard the J/105 WINGS was the Class 3 Winner and took 3rd Overall.  According to Case, “this Hot Rum series was really one of the best I can remember in some time. You could not ask for better sunny weather with the wind in the 9 to 18 kts range for all three races. The PHRF time on distance rating system general favors the big fast boats when the wind is light and when it’s stronger it favors the smaller slower boats. This year the wind was just right. I think everybody had a good fun time on the water. For us on the J/105 Wings it has to be on the last race, when we were close spinnaker reaching to the second mark with the wind gusting to 18 kts and big swells rolling underneath. Close to J/105 Sanity sailed by Rick Goebel- San Diego Hot Rum seriesbroaching we would surf the waves doing 14 kts boat speed. Raving Madness and Wani Racing were the top two boats overall and sailed great races and deserve to be congratulated. I only once got close to them. It was never close. But next time if the wind is around 20kts --- watch out for Wings!"

J/105s took 5 of the top 7 spots in Class 3.  In second was Rick Goebel’s SANITY (also 4th overall), fourth was Dag Fish’s VIGGEN, sixth was Steve & Lucy Howell’s BLINK! and seventh was Ed Sanford’s CREATIVE.

J/100 sailing San Diego Hot Rum seriesLike their colleagues in Class 3, the two J/70s and a J/100 all ended up tied on 10 pts each after the three races!  Taking the win on the tiebreaker due to most 1sts was the J/100 JASWINDER sailed by Tom Reilly with an 8-1-1 record.  Second was the J/70 SOGGY DOLLAR skippered by Dave Vieregg with a 1-3-6 scoreline.  And, third was yet another J/70, Steve Wyman’s NUNUHUNU with a 2-5-3 tally!!  Fun and games for sure in that fleet!

Thank to sponsors First National Bullion, SD Boatworks, Mount Gay Rum and Coronado Brewing Company for their support of SDYC’s annual Hot Rum Series.  Sailing photo credits- Bronny Daniels/ JOYSAILING.com  For more San Diego YC Hot Rum series sailing information