On Saturday, October 22, Del Rey Yacht Club ran their annual (except for COVID-related 2020) Halloween Race.
Local meteorologists had been predicting rain, wind gusts of 50-60 knots in the nearby Antelope Valley, cold temps and all manner of strange things emanating from the storm forming off Baja. More than one cruise ship abandoned Puerto Vallarta and points south to get back to the safe harbor at L.A./San Pedro.
The Halloween Race is DRYC’s annual end-of-season informal, whimsical event in which boats can sail in either direction across the starting line and round the marks in any order.
The 8.75-mile inverted (pursuit) start course has drawn criticism for the “any way you decide to go” practice until most competitors grin from ear to ear (wind permitting) and say how much fun they’ve had.
The 2019 event saw most boats, including famous all-female circumnavigating Maiden, drop out due to lack of wind.
None of the extreme weather showed up. Winds early in the morning topped 12 knots and diminished to about 8 knots by the 1 p.m. first start. Gray clouds were the order of the day; the sun finally peeked out for an occasional glimpse after about 3 p.m.
All 22 starters finished by 4 p.m. An abundance of hot racing machines sported new working canvas and gigantic code zeroes, although the little guys and cruisers did well too.
Lee Lewis won his class in Sandbox, a Martin 242, starting as the “pooch” boat. Cruiser Class winner Gary Schaffel and Odyssey sailed the course in a bit over 2 hours, 7 minutes.
The sailors enjoyed an all-you-can-eat taco bar and super-cool Halloween decorations. Many participated in a costume contest.
Prizes were carved box-shaped wooden pumpkins courtesy of talented woodworker and racing rules guru Tucker Strasser.
See complete results at www.dryc.org/racing.