CABRILLO BEACH YACHT CLUB - After a long and successful five-regatta season, the Pacific Coast Interscholastic Sailing Association (PCISA) hosted the Silver Fleet Championships in Cabrillo Beach, CA on April 18th-19th. Twenty-four silver high school sailing teams from all over the California coast came to compete in this year’s event, which was sailed in the double-handed CFJ. Coach Will Petersen of Del Rey Yacht Club was there to support the Santa Monica High School Sailing Team (SAMO) as they battled it out in championship style.
The venue, known as Hurricane Gulch, is notorious for breezy conditions. On the morning of the first day, the Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club Race Organizers warned sailors of the venue’s potential for high winds. Contrary to their warning, the first four races were sailed in 0-5 knots of breeze. The SAMO team started off strong in the light winds with A-skipper Bennet Zemke and Crew Makeda Bullock-Floyd placing 8th in their first race.
As the day continued into the afternoon, the venue started to live up to its windy name with 15–22 knots. Conditions turned to survival mode as many teams struggled to keep their boats upright and dry. SAMO’s B skipper Jack Sadler and first time crew Weston Gray bravely battled the windy conditions. Eventually, the SAMO team, along with other teams, were blown over by the prevailing puffs and forced to withdraw from racing as they bailed water from their boats.
All the sailors returned safely with smiles and plenty of stories to share.
The following day, the sailors were met with similarly windy conditions. Despite the big breeze, the SAMO team was able to improve their overall score with the help of A-crew Lola Rice and B-crew Linus Reimer as they worked hard to keep the boats flat.
Overall, it was a successful event and a great experience for all the sailors who competed. A huge thanks goes out the Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club and all the race organizers involved. The Santa Monica Sailing Team completes yet another successful season and we all look forward to a strong team this coming fall.