The Harbor Report: Time to support local racers, races

The well-known question of "how to stimulate our local racing fleets" was brought back to the table for more discussion during this week's race council meeting at the Balboa Yacht Club. How could BYC raise activity within the 66 series and the Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF) in Newport Harbor?

I have never been one to reinvent the wheel — just dress it up a little and sell it with a passion. How many of you knew there was the Newport Harbor PHRF High-Point Series? Does anyone remember who the last two winners were?

I know you still care because you would not be reading my column and have your racing calendar already filled out for 2011. I just want to convince you to sail in more Newport Harbor events.

A big ingredient to improving activity is for the local press to report the race results and place the winners' photos in the paper. So, that's what I intend to do this year.

I plan on following Newport Harbor's High-Point Series and plaster as much information as possible into this year's column. I will even create a "Newport Harbor PHRF High-Point Series" burgee that the winner can fly on his or her boat next year.

Let me now start from the beginning of the series. Back in the 1990s, the Assn. of Orange Coast Yacht Clubs (AOCYC) started a high-point series in Newport Harbor. Chuck Holland and his Capo 26 Amorous was the boat to beat in 1990 and '91. In fact, there is a tie between Dennis Rosene and David Gray as the two top-winning skippers with three wins each.

The Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club skippers have won the event 11 times and the Balboa Yacht Club skippers have won it six times. South Shore, UC Irvine and the American Legion yacht clubs have won the event once.

Strange … is a yacht club missing from this list?

Last year's winner was John Salazy and his crew aboard his Peterson 34 "PussyCat. John has been around this harbor for so long that he can show you photos of the last time when the Army Corps of Engineers dredged the harbor. Just kidding.

He has not been around that long, although I remember sailing against John in 1980s in his San Juan 28 with the same name and much of the same crew. Odds are always good that, if you beat PussyCat, you have won the race.

By this point I hope you are saying, "I want that burgee, and I will be the first person from my club to win this event, or what do I have to do to beat PussyCat?"

That's easy. All you have to do is go sailing and make sure you attend the American Legion Midwinter's Feb 19-20, BYC 66 Series No. 1 on March 12 (which is historically the windiest race), NHYC Ahmanson Cup Regatta May 14-15, BCYC Angleman Series No. 1 June 18 and the NOSA Argosy Regatta Sept. 17-18.

The winners of this year's series will not only win a Custom Nikki's Burgee, they will get a full writeup in my column and their crew photo in the paper. Let's give priority to our local Newport Harbor events this season and stimulate our local racing fleets from within.

Sea ya!

LEN BOSE is an experienced boater, yacht broker and boating columnist.

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