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Thread: PSSA Guadalupe Island Race - ANyone ?

  1. #1
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    Default PSSA Guadalupe Island Race - ANyone ?

    Hello All,

    Has anyone ever participated in the So Cal (PSSA) Guadalupe race that they use as a qualifier to the Long Pac ? I am wondering about typical weather conditions and opinions on the course. Weather that time of year looks like it could be pretty light.

    Thanks for any input.

    Brian
    Redsky

  2. #2
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    Jan 2008
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    King Harbor, Redondo Beach CA
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    Default

    Brian,

    I'm the PSSA race chair... yet again in 2010. I haven't done the race myself, but I know the area well. The Guadalupe Island race has been used by several PSSA members in the past as a qualifier for the Singlehanded Transpac.

    Typically the winds will be light the first night until you clear Catalina and San Clemente Islands. Once clear of the effects of Point Conception, it's usually another couple hundred miles of down-wind in 15 - 25 kts of wind with large following seas. After rounding the island, it's another couple hundred miles beating back up into the same. The winds typically lighten as you approach the finish at Catalina.

    The weather can be quite unpredictable at that time of the year. There is a decent probability of a gale blowing through. Some years there have been periods of very light wind. You will be in the open ocean for 4 or 5 days and must be prepared to deal with whatever problems or weather you encounter. There is no easy harbor to duck into if you decide you donít want to race anymore.

    PM me. I'm happy to give you more information or put you in touch with someone who has done, or is planning to do, the race. I'll be putting some more info on the Guadalupe Island race up on the PSSA website (www.pssala.com) over the next few weeks.

    - Mark

  3. #3
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    Smile Guadalupe Is Qualifier

    In 2002 I needed to qualify and was docked in San Diego so I missed the Longpac. I figured I would avoid all the cold nastiness up there and just close reach from Pt Loma 200nm west past Bishop Rock and broad reach back. I thought it would be a 3 day venture. The wind was NW but after about 50 miles it was more west and getting to 30 kn. I kept going more south than SW and ended up at Guadalupe Is in the pitch dark with gusts to 35 and no charts below Ensenada. Once I found Guadalupe on the radar I jibed over and headed for Baja. It was still pretty rough and fortunately I had a copy of Charlies Charts to use on the coast. That covered about 350 nm. It was light when I reached the Baja coast and tacked the last 50 nm back to the NW. At mile 401 I rolled up the jib and motored back to San Diego.

    The reason for this story is to plug the PSSA Guadalupe Is Race as a qualifier for the SHTP especially if you are in SoCal. You really do not have to finish the race from LA; just get to Guadalupe and and then the Baja coast. That's the 400 nm and you will have some company too.

    Lou
    Seabird

  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by seabird51 View Post
    In 2002 I needed to qualify and was docked in San Diego so I missed the Longpac. [snip] At mile 401 I rolled up the jib and motored back to San Diego.
    Interesting, Lou. Although I regard you as eminently qualified and I realize you've done a TransPac, that doesn't sound like a qualifier to me.

    My understanding of the qualifying rules was that one needs to complete a passage of at least 400 miles entirely under sail. To me, a passage finishes in a harbor, not at some arbitrary point in the ocean. On the other hand, a reductio ad absurdum would require that one sail in and out of the slip at the start and end of the passage, and I suspect most of us didn't do that for the LongPac.

    Can the TPac co-chairs or any rules wonks comment?

    Max

  5. #5
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    Default

    First off, here's the operative text:

    "9.01 Within 24 months of the Race’s starting date, the entrant shall have completed a qualifying cruise in the entered yacht. The qualifying cruise shall not be less than 400 miles and shall be made entirely under sail, non-stop and singlehanded. The qualifying cruise may be between two ports or may start and finish at the same port, provided that one turning point is at least 100 miles offshore. As evidence of the qualifying cruise, the entrant must submit a log on the form provided by the Race Committee."

    It seems the term in question is "port." I understand Max's point but I've always read that sentence to mean the qualifier can either be "point-to-point" or "out and back." When I sailed my qualifier in 2005, I sailed the LongPac course but not the race. I started counting miles when I sailed under the Golden Gate (at high Noon to disco music), and I sailed a total of 420 miles. I'm sure I motored from my "port" of Alameda out into the Bay, and motored back up the Estuary after I returned, as I normally do.

    The key to me is the log. If it shows a skipper sailed solo continuously for 400 miles (without motoring) and reached a point at least 100 miles offshore, that would be sufficient. If I'm missing something in this interpretation, please let me know as I'll need to start reviewing qualifier logs in the Spring. By the way, I'll want to see each log form fully completed (with notations about wind speed, sea state, etc.) and a chart with the logged positions plotted.

    Just to clarify, if you finished either of the last two SHTP's or LongPacs (solo), you have satisfied the qualifier requirement and don't need to submit a log.

    Finally, if your LongPac experience was largely a drifter, you should consider getting back out there and thrashing around for 2-3 days to make sure you know what you're getting yourself into. At the end of the day, that's what the qualifier is all about.
    Last edited by BobJ; 12-29-2009 at 04:09 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default A Qualifier ??

    Max
    It was a passage. I just ended up somewhere besides San Diego. I elected not to anchor behind Sacramento Reef and just get home. I did sail solo for over 400 nasty NMs and unearthed most of my weak points as well as the boat's.

    My only human contact was a VHF exchange with a USCG cutter that wanted to board me near Guadalupe Is. The XO felt that anyone out there in those winter conditions had to be up to no good. A CWO on the bridge had a sailboat in San Diego and talked the XO out of that idea. He also agreed to call my wife when they got to SD in the morning.

    Also it was two SHTP's plus one from LA in 1991.

    Bob
    Thanks for the clarification

  7. #7
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    Default PSSA Guadalupe

    Lou,

    Thanks for the comments on your experience on the Guadalupe course, interesting. The Guadalupe event fascinates me and I am attempting to get my boat to LA to give it a shot, single or double handed.

    Brian

  8. #8
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    Default

    Brian
    You are welcome. I have only done 3 Bashes but I would end the race at Guadalupe or somewhere down there. The leg north has to be miserably rough or pathetically slow.
    Lou

  9. #9
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    Default Between two ports

    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    It seems the term in question is "port."
    Actually the operative phrase, for the first option, is "between two ports." Which implies pretty clearly that you don't have to start or stop in a port. And that would be consistent with what you noted next, Bob.

    Quote Originally Posted by BobJ View Post
    The key to me is the log. If it shows a skipper sailed solo continuously for 400 miles (without motoring) and reached a point at least 100 miles offshore, that would be sufficient.
    Besides, it shouldn't matter whether one starts or finishes in a port... we've all done that hundreds of times. What matters is demonstrating that we're up to the task of long-distance ocean sailing, solo, nonstop. Right?

    Paul
    Culebra

  10. #10
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    Default

    Interesting conversation. I've never actually sailed from a port to a port for a transpac qualifier - I've always motored part way out and part way in.

    My take on the qualifier is that you follow the notes:

    1. sail singlehanded (no motoring!) on the boat you'll take on the race
    2. travel at least 400 miles (through the water or over the ground? - in 1992 GPS was prohibitvely expensive and the idea of SOG and COG didn't really enter my vocabulary, everything was through the water)
    3. get at least 100 miles offshore at some part of the trip

    pretty simple, eh?

    First qualifier attempt was an abortive shot out to 100 miles, return to Farallones, go back out, return, anchor out at Drakes Bay - I didn't have the money to pay to enter the LongPac. I got hit by a 55 knot 'upper air disturbance' and broke a lot of stuff on the boat. Didn't finish the qualifier.

    Second qualifier attempt went better the next year, sailed from SF to Santa Barbara - lost the engine offshore, broke off the boom vang, but at least sailed 400 miles non-stop singlehanded and got 160 miles offshore doing it. Great sail. Hard to get the boat home. Did TransPac.

    Third qualifier (on new bigger beetle) was motoring out of Kanaeohe Bay after dropping off the Pacific Cup crew, turning off the engine outside the reef, and realized that the furthest I had ever singlehanded Big Beetle was to Vallejo all the way from Richmond on a Vallejo 1-2. I looked out at the Pacific and thought to myself, "Hmm... Wonder how this is going to go?" 18 days later I was in San Francisco - super trip. And did TransPac 4 years later. My qualifier was longer than the race.

    So I do not hold with the port to port, and instead stick with the numbered points above. The key to the LongPac is that it forces you to singlehand long enough that you must sleep while the boat is sailing - if you can handle that, then you've demonstrated that you can handle sailing to Hawaii. Everything else is bolting gear to the boat and breaking as much stuff as you can in order to replace it with something that doesn't break during your race.

    - rob/beetle
    Last edited by tiger beetle; 01-02-2010 at 02:40 PM.

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