During our trip north, we received as warm a welcome as possible during a pandemic from Santa Barbara Yacht Club. Dining at the club was understandably limited to members only, but we did order takeout from their kitchen to enjoy in our guest slip. We were also able to spectate from the breakwater for a sunny, warm Wet Wednesday race. There was no after-racing revelry, but there were plenty of good times for boats headed out of the harbor for a classic Santa Barbara evening.
The start line is right off the race deck of the club, with the windward mark typically to the west toward Point Conception. The challenging call is whether to head out toward the breeze or in toward the shore for current relief while avoiding the kelp. Courses and conditions vary, so racers scratch their heads as they consider covering their competitor, making a break for the beach, or just searching for clear air after the crowded start at the pin end. There were smiles in the harbor as they headed out to the start line and smiles when they all returned from the finish, so it must have gone well again.
We look forward to getting back to Santa Barbara when people can mix and mingle on land as well as on the water. Until then, it’s great to see people finding relief on the water and boats strutting their stuff off the sunny beach in Santa Barbara.