Home SailingSailboat Racing Heads Roll (or at least bounce) at PITCH Regatta

Heads Roll (or at least bounce) at PITCH Regatta

by Kurt Hoehne
The Cal 20 One Night Stand showing the megayacht A how to have fun. And have a better boat name.
Cal 20s charging the staring line at PITCH
A Cal 20 at PITCH.
The PHRF class P2 charging the line.
The rail birds of Absolutely, which placed third in class.
Shinaqua helping Wild Rumpus to three bullets and a class win.
Jim Gibson's G1 giving the Russians a show.
San Juan 24s rafted up.
One of three VX One sportboats, Maverick enjoying sunshine a cloudy day.
The multihull class, which ended in a tie for first, on the start line;.
Every boat needs a garage.
Not quite sure what this is, but it surely came from A.

The venerable PITCH regatta had a day of carnage, another good day of racing and a title sponsor in KarMart. And one more “little” thing, the 394′ megayacht A. This has always been a fun regatta, back to the days of the IOR “Ton” classes that provided the “T” the the PITCH acronym. This year there was actually a “ton” class in that the San Juan 24s were quarter tonners back in the day. The Cal 20s, enjoying their District Champs, had a nice fleet and great racing. Worth noting that the two one-design fleets on hand were, shall we say, not the latest sport boats.

Here are some of the more memorable first-hand moments from a super regatta. If you have any to add, please do so in the comments below.

And, as always, visit Jan Anderson’s gallery.

From Neil Bennett, who did duty as a mark-boat driver:

•Square course/lines-never had to reset a mark 

•Long start line, but still many OCS 

•Boats trying Port starts…almost 

•Tight roundings, both at the windward and leeward marks

•Competitive but respectful racing, with turns being the prevailing exoneration tactic – still, 3 protests 

•Cal 20’s 

•Great Food

•Pink Boat Regatta Beer flowing 

 And from Stephanie Schwenk from onboard class winner Wild Rumpus:

•PITCH 2014 was a roller derby of a regatta, actually a little more like the destruction derby of regattas. The favored tack to the Happy Valley breeze on the shore, coupled with an outgoing tide, made for many port tack overstanders barging in to the windward mark, clearing a swath of destruction for everyone rounding. There were instruments ripped off the top of masts, a hole in a boat the size of your head and torn sails. Carnage was the name of the game. Port Tack Outlaws ruled PITCH this year.

•Friday night crooners… the entertainment at PITCH was ear-piercing… they were collecting donations in a jar, and we were hoping to pay them to go away. (Ed. Note: Interesting fund raising tactic.)

•Pink Boat Regatta:  there were mammo-grahams, pink beer and lots of pink clothing in preparation for the regatta this coming weekend.  Fun!

•Shaniqua, the dismembered head: PITCH also included some Game of Thrones moments. The mannequin head was thrown between boats on Sunday morning until we taped her to the Rumpus bow.  She stared down the competition and gave us three bullets, but when she inverted and was giving us the evil eye we got a deep finish.  Bad Shaniqua.  We are silly, but that was just funny, all day long.

•Multi million dollar Russian mega yacht:  what the heck?  Anchored between the finish line and the start line, right in the middle of the course on Sunday. Of course we all sailed as close as possible to check it out without the security guards firing at us. When it was time for them to depart, they just blew their horn a bunch of times for racers to get out of their way. Very James Bond-ish.

•Race schedule:  We got in 9 races over two days. 9 races!!  That is a lot. I think they overestimated our energy level. RC worked hard to pull that off. The courses and wind were steady, and they did a good job making a boat favored line to compensate for everyone wanting the pin end, to get to the beach first.

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