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The Harbor Report: Sailing in paradise

September 02, 2010
  • Sunday return to Newport Harbor.
Sunday return to Newport Harbor. (Len Bose, Daily…)

Newport Harbor's 2010 summer sailing season is starting to set into a red sky. When waking up Saturday morning, the sunrise looked red through my eyes as I stumbled, moaned and groaned. While looking for my Excedrin migraine pain reliever, 7UP and sunglasses — in that order — I realized that I had survived one of the most vicious rum squalls since around this time last year. That's correct, it was Long Point Race Week 2010, and "I am on a boat, hawwwa." Next, I had to step down, with only one eye open, into a very skinny shore boat and make my way to breakfast at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club's (NHYC) outstation at Moonstone on Catalina Island.

Now everyone and their brother in the Southern California sailing world was doing their best impression of a zombie while waiting in line for breakfast and coffee. About the only response I got from anyone was a very low-pitched "hey." I sat down with my crew, and took a couple bites of my breakfast and downed about half of my coffee when both of my eyes opened, and, with two deep breaths of air, I thanked God that I was alive and in one of this world's most beautiful places.

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One of my crew members started to laugh as we recalled the antics of the previous night and life started returning to our bodies.

About this time my mind went back into race mode and I started to wonder about the mistakes I had made on the racecourse the day before. I then noticed I was sitting next to the crew of the Bolt. I asked the owner's son, Carson Reynolds, if he had tacked over to starboard when the westerly breezed finally filled in, or did he sail into it for a little while?

"We tacked as soon as the new breeze reached us," he replied. "We noticed that the larger boats were tacking over to starboard and felt like we might have gone over to starboard a little early, but then, 10 minutes later, we were lifted and going straight to the finish line. What did you do, Len?"

I sailed into the new breeze and then decided to wait for a sister ship to tack so we could cover their breeze.

"Did it work?" Carson asked.

"No, we lost further ground on the whole fleet," I replied. "How did it work for you, Carson?"

"Oh, we won," he said.

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