Brisk breeze and gusty puffs promise two things for the Delta Ditch Run: a fast race with early finish times, and carnage along the 65-mile course.
Those were the conditions for the 31st running of the race from Richmond to Stockton this past Saturday, June 11. Although no records were broken, they were at least trembling nervously. (The monohull and multihull records were set way back in 1998, by the Santa Cruz 50 Octavia and the D-Class cat Rocket 88, respectively.)
In addition to gear failure minor and catastrophic — and sunstroke in 100-degree heat — running aground is among the pitfalls of this tricky course. Several keels found mud or rocks, some just a touch-and-go, others with more stick.
The bulk of the fleet arrived plenty early to enjoy the hospitality of Stockton Sailing Club — all outdoors due to COVID. The weather was perfect for a late afternoon/evening of lounging around the vast lawn along the river, chowing down on BBQ, sipping a Mount Gay rum slushie — or laboring to haul out, lower the rig, and pack up.
One boat didn’t have to wait for the end of the race to take the mast down — the spinnaker pole did that for them near Little Venice Island around 6 p.m. Richard vonEhrenkrook’s Cal 20 Can O’Whoopass had a good chance at first place overall on corrected time when an ill wind ended their race. We’ll have more on that subplot and more photos from the race in the July issue of Latitude 38, when we’ll also hear from the small boat that did win overall — Scott Sellers’ and Harrison Turner’s J/70 1FA.
In the meantime, see results at https://www.regattanetwork.com/event/24093#_newsroom.