The Cabo San Lucas Race last week saw Viggo Torbensen’s J/125 TIMESHAVER post-up an awesome performance (like a 9.1 kts average boatspeed over 810nm!) despite a few self-imposed “handicaps” along the way. Keith Magnussen from Ullman Sails Newport Beach provided this report on their experience:
“The NHYC Cabo San Lucas Race concluded last week and thanks to a big swell I have spent my time surfing and not sailing or writing. My arms are like jelly and I am finally back in the USA. By now most people have heard the stories from many boats. Perhaps we have all moved on to the next big thing, but hey! I have not told our story yet.
J/125 genoa staysail trimOnce again the boat is the J-125 Timeshaver and once again I have the pleasure of sailing with good friends Viggo Torbensen, Blake Hamilton, Jack Maranto and Charlie Underwood. Also in the mix was a hired hand from the Netherlands, land of the Orange, Amsterdam and the wonderful Dutch personality. Jochem came on board as the electronic, expedition expert and navigator. How would he like the Timeshaver way of doing things? Always fun to have new people on board.
Day one: Race starts in light air, we are a small mast and have a tough time getting away. Horizon with USNB employee Erik Shampain hoisted the new headsail at the start and absolutely sailed away from the fleet. There was some forward thinking in this design and it transferred through the gears with power and speed. For a 50 foot boat offshore this is the way to go. We managed good speed with our own 155% genoa and new genoa staysail. This combo kept us in the game and when we put the 1A up it got even better.
Night one: Simple to explain, light air and typical Southern California conditions. Outside won for Lucky Duck but we managed good things with the new 1A and passed some boats. All is well.
J/125 sailing fast on Cabo raceDay two: This is where it gets good! I am sleeping on my off shift and we are pleasantly moving along when it happens. The starting battery has been drained and we are no longer able to charge. We are off Ensenada so time to make a decision. We have power stored for running lights, VHF and a handheld GPS that is perfect for hiking in Laguna. You know what Captain Ron says, “The only instrument Columbus had to get him to the New World was his compass!”
So we go and decide to send it. No instruments, no boat speed, no Expedition (I don’t mind that), no compass light and no mast head light for night. No worries I know how to sail this boat and keep the dirt on the left. We are near Flaca at this point and as the wind comes up we start to motor away. In the space of the afternoon we put them on the horizon with the Horizon (SC-50) and my buddy’s the Hippie and his son Erik Shampain. Good.
Wind builds and builds. We go 4A to 3A to reefed main to fully submerged submarine in the middle of the night. Sending it boys! No crashing, full control, but scary shit. Some of the most legendary sailing I have done. Were doing somewhere in the mid 20’s all night, no lights! Real soul sailing. I asked someone if he wanted to drive and he said he could not see anything. What did he think I was looking at?
Here is the lesson: Learn how to sail your boat with no instruments, no wind angles, no wind speed and no lights blinding you. It is an amazing feeling especially when you nail it. You know… Just Go And Sail people!
J/125 sailing fast on Cabo RaceDay Three: A little less wind but still we are ramped up. 4A up and we are still feeling good, just not knowing how we are doing. We have Lucky Duck in our view and are pulling away. They are deeper but we are faster. Check out the tracker off Mag Bay. We finally fire up the computer and get a report. 1st in Class 2nd overall. Lucky Duck is second. We do our best to stick close but eventually they slip through our grasp.
The end: Yes the end was rapidly approaching. Shift change and a different philosophy come into play. We decide to split away and because we are not running any navigation we are in the dark. This really gave us a huge handicap.
In the end our effort fell a bit short and we ended up second. Great job by Lucky Duck and nice to finish in front of my close friend on the SC50!
Man of the match: Bowman Jack Maranto for his good attitude, exceptional effort and putting up with everything that is thrown at him. My favorite moment was wrangling in the 4A in 30kts of wind to put up the 5A. Bow is gnarly at night with no lights, I will stick to the back of the boat please.
There is so much more to say at this point that was left out, but you will have to buy the book, or find me on the streets and ask me, that seems to be a popular thing to do these days.” K-Mag out.