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SBYC’s Hot Holiday Regatta

Kent Pierce and Eric Stokke’s Average White Boat handily won the Melges 24 class.

© Sharon Green

Santa Barbara typically has some of the most pleasant sailing in Southern California, but on days when it goes off, it really goes off. The Santa Barbara YC’s Holiday Regatta last weekend featured one of those super-big days, providing a rare occasion for the affirmative use of the phrase, "It’s never like this here…"

Ron Boehm’s SC27 California Zephyr was far from the only boat to record a 10.0 for a wipeout.

© Sharon Green

At 10 a.m. on Saturday morning, the breeze was 0-5 knots out of the southeast with the remnants of a light rain beginning to dissipate. An hour later, the breeze had shifted to the northwest and turned on, reaching 20 knots almost instantly.

Chris Gabriel’s J/70 Diversion smokes downwind en route to a class win.

© Sharon Green

With the rapidly building waves that accompanied that breeze, even the most intrepid sailors in the Harbor 20 fleet wisely decided to head back to the dock before the first race even started. They were followed by about half the boats from remaining fleets — J/70s, J/105s, Melges 24s, and two PHRF divisions.

Dirk Freeland’s Farr 40 Skian Dhu notched six bullets to take PHRF A.

© Sharon Green

But for those who stayed, the reward was edge-of-control planing conditions as the cold breeze built to the high-20s with puffs into the high-30s. Savage wipeouts afflicted just about everyone remaining on the racecourse, but fortunately every boat came back with the same number of crew they started with. Full results here.

Larry and Becky Harteck’s J/105 Repeat Offender scratching 20 knots of boat speed.

© Sharon Green

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