In the Northwest, the middle of October signifies the coming of fall, which usually entails bigger breezes and rapidly changing weather. This year was no exception during the staging of the PSSC Regatta on Puget Sound off Shilshole Marina.
Battling for season honors were 58 boats across nine classes, varying from TP52s to Northwest classic San Juan 24s.
The race committee, ably led by veteran PRO Charley Rathkopf, staged the first race on Saturday, October 9, in a shifty southeasterly (a highly unusual direction for Puget Sound) before pulling the plug and waiting for the forecast — and more normal — northerly to fill in across the course. And fill in it did. Saturday afternoon’s two races were held in breezy, lumpy conditions, with peak gusts in the low 30s. Some of the sportboats reported their best boat speeds in years, notably the J/80 and J/105 fleets.
Sunday dawned calmer, with two more races conducted over the course of the day, featuring flat water and consistent — and much lighter — northerlies.
The event was also the fleet championship for the fast-growing J/80 fleet. Congratulations go out to John Sezer on Reckless for their hard-earned win. Other winners included Bucky Rezaback skippering the J/105 Insubordination to a solid win in that always-competitive fleet, and Matt Macgregor winning the resurgent Melges 24 class on Good Enough. Find full results at http://racing.cycseattle.org/results/2021_specific/pssc.html.
Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle has been testing implementation of MarkSetBots for start/finish marks and weather marks. So far the jury is out on their utility (occasionally they do ‘go rogue’). But the club remains committed to innovation and continued testing, and use is highly likely.
The regatta signified one of the first (somewhat) post-COVID and larger social events in the newly renovated CYC Shilshole clubhouse. By all measures, this year’s PSSC was truly a celebration of fall, safe sailing in the Northwest, and the joy we all take from being with one another on the water.