2012 Pac Cup Report – Feeling A Bit Lucky
Yes indeed. We here aboard J World’s Hula Girl in the 2012 Pacific Cup are feeling a bit lucky, and we aren’t even 24 hours into the race yet. We’re not sure how we sit in the standings, we aren’t sure this breeze will hold, we aren’t sure about much at all, in fact, except this one thing: we are sure that we were able to get away from the California coast a LOT less painfully than our brethren aboard the smaller boats that started before us! Pure luck of the drew, to be sure, but still we are happy we didn’t hit the hole they found. Some of those boats did a fantastic job punching thru it… nicely done… now we have to catch them.
It was a mild departure from SF Bay yesterday. Maybe 15 knots out the gate. Mostly flat water at the end of the flood. We started with a #3 and full main, and kept good company as we tacked out the channel and into the band of fog offshore. We were happy to still beholding good breeze, as we watched the ghostly shapes of the other racers alternately disappear, and then re-emerge from the patchy low clouds. Finally, we all punched out the other side and were in clearing skies with good visibility. Past the Pilot boat sitting out by the SF Buoy. Past the Farallone Islands. And into the blue Pacific.
Icon, the biggest boat in the race, punched out to an early lead. We won’t be seeing them again. The SC52 Medusa was straight in front of us, with the Swan 45 about even to the north, the other SC50 off our hip to the north, and Condor plus the two J125’s were drawing a line to the south. But I expect it all got shuffled last night.
The breeze went right (as expected) in the early evening, and about 11pm we awoke our new crew to their first middle-of-the-night-you-must-be-kidding-me sail change. Smooth as silk, and we were on our way with the Blast Reacher and Genoa Staysail. We carried that thru the night, but just a couple hours ago this morning, the breeze started to back down a bit so we shifted up to the Code 0 (with GS). All good now. Doing 9 knots or so pointed in a very good direction in about 10-11 knots of breeze. We expect this to be building into the afternoon, so hopefully we can get the Hula Girl back into the double digits boatspeeds.
Life aboard is great. It’s been mild, which lets our team acclimate to the new-to-them boat, and their new-to-them crew mates. We have run a couple full rotations, so everyone has had a bit of dance time with the Hula Girl. It’s always nice to get comfy before the spinnakers go up.
That’s all I got for now (less than 20 hours into it, after all!)…. but I’ll fire away with more details as we get deeper into the race.
All the best,
Wayne Zittel and the Hula Girl Team
* J World’s Hula Girl is the offshore training program for J World Performance Sailing School. We enter a number of grand-prix sailing events each year with a mix of our professional coaches and a crew of amateurs from around the world. To learn more, visit www.sailing-jworld.com.
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