CdM Sailing: SoCal Regatta #5


Tara Afshar, Journalist

The “fifth” and last SoCal of the year for the CDM Sailing team took place on March 23rd and 24th at the San Diego Yacht Club. CDM sailors got up bright and early to drive, or in some cases tow boats to San Diego. Upon arrival everyone immediately began to get the boats off the tow, and rigged as fast as possible. Making quick work of the rigging process, the group had a team meeting followed by a skippers meeting, which briefed all attendees on what to expect as far as the course on the water. After putting the boats in the water, sailors headed to the race course and were towed by their coaches. CDM made sure to check the favored side of the course and how much current would affect their races by partnering up with others in their fleet and performing a split tack.

In the gold fleet was Lucas Wood and Kennedy Leehealey, and Gordon Winthrow and Peter Barillo. The silver fleet had Pierce Hemphill and Tara Afshar, Sophia Pearce and Annabella Rivera, and Connor Chung and Dane Parsons. The first few races were a bit challenging on the starting line. As the current was going in, it pushed boats away from the line which created line sag, making it a struggle to get to the line. Thankfully as the day progressed, the current shifted and ebbed out, and made the pin end of the starting line busy and messy. In the later part of the day, the wind shifted making it easier to point directly at the windward mark, and offset mark instead of going from the sides.

Most unfortunately, choppy waves got the best of some of the CDM sailors, and three boats capsized. Lucas Wood and Kennedy Leehealey of CDM’s gold fleet capsized, and Wood re-injured his broken thumb: he could no longer race and his boat was disqualified. Leehealey was then paired with Connor Chung, and they later capsized in another race, and Sophia Pearce and Annabella Rivera soon followed when their boat death rolled on a downwind gibe. The grueling day of sailing came to an end with boats being quickly pulled up and out of the water and stored away.

The team went to Point Break for dinner, and headed back to the hotel for some gravely needed bed rest. The next day wind conditions and weather were about the same as the day before, and the team quickly got their boats in the water it wouldn’t be busy for them. Once again, after a team meeting the sailors were towed out on the water, and they checked the favored side of the course. Thankfully no one capsized but Tara Afshar fell out of the boat when missing the hiking straps, but they were quickly recovered and they raced on.

At the end of the two day regatta, Wood placed last due to his disqualification and Winthrow got second to last in the gold fleet. While in the silver fleet Hemphill almost got ranked in the top five, but due to a tie breaker got sixth. Additionally, eighth place went to Pearce and in twelfth place was Chung. The CDM sailors fought some choppy waters and had some misfortunes, but they had the best time bonding and creating memories.