The Harbor Report: A column from the Caribbean

If you follow me on Facebook you already know I am in St. Maarten for the 34th Heineken Regatta.

The crew of Linstar has been invited to attend this year's event by the boat's owner, John Shulze.

Yeah, I know, it kind of sucks to be me, huh?

This regatta does not match up to a Trans Pac race to Hawaii, Sydney to Hobart, or Newport Beach to Cabo San Lucas.

This event is all about the party. The best way to describe it is to think of the Newport Harbor and Balboa Yacht clubs' Long Point race to Catalina — times 10.

The only physical demand: You have to wake up and participate in the sailing event before the next party.

The event has grown over the past decade to 210 boats this year and crews from Russia, Austria, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, France, Holland, Sweden, Norway, Uruguay and the United States. Then, blend in all the participants from the Caribbean, and the fun meter will be at full tilt — no pun intended.

On my return home, I will immediately have to start writing my next column, and I would suspect that it will be on the Heineken Regatta.

That does not mean things are quiet within Newport Harbor as spring approaches.

The Midwinter Regatta sailed back on Feb.15 and 16 and was the start of this year's Newport Beach High Point Series. Roy Jones' J/133 came out of the gate with a bone between its teeth and won.

In second place was Brian Dougherty in J/105 Legacy. Brian's team has been together for a long time and has decided to race out of Newport and compete for the High Point.

Third was Peter Bretschger's J/120 Adios, which also sailed well.

The next High Point race is the 66 series April 5 out of Balboa Yacht Club.

March 7 and 8 is the Newport Harbor and San Diego yacht clubs' Islands Race. I am almost bummed I am missing this race. I purchased new foul-weather gear but will not need it in the Caribbean (just kidding).

This event starts in Los Angeles Harbor and sails around Catalina and San Clemente islands before finishing in San Diego. Last year's race was some of the most challenging sailing I have ever participated in. This year most eyes will be on the two large trimarans — Orma 60 and Orion the MOD 70.

I count close to 40 boats entered, and it looks like the 70-footers will have a good race with six entrants. If I had to pick a winner, this far out, I would have to go with Pyewacket, the Andrews 70, which is owned by Roy Disney.

The Harbor 20 fleet season is well under way with the Midwinter and Schock regattas already completed.

The BCYC Lorin Weiss series will start March 16. I am sure you recall I just happened to win the Weiss series last year?

The Earl Corkett will be the next High Point event sailed out of Newport Harbor Yacht Club on March 23.

Just one last thing. I encourage you to attend the "Understanding the Racing Rules" seminar presented March 15 by Peter Haynes at the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. To register, visit

This is open to everyone, and I do not care how good a sailboat racer you think you are. You will learn something, and I can almost guarantee that you will improve your performance as much as if you took a little blue pill. Just remember to call a doctor if you win four races in a row.

I am thinking too much of Heineken-green bottles!

Sea ya.

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

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