Author Topic: 2008 West Coast Offshore Mini Race  (Read 32633 times)

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Offline Mr Hollywood

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2008 West Coast Offshore Mini Race
« on: July 20, 2007, 02:36:03 AM »
North American Mini 6.5 Skippers and Fellow Mini Enthusiasts -

On behalf of myself, Duncan Gladman and Adrian Blunt, we would like to submit for your consideration a proposal for a major West Coast Mini race in 2008, organized and managed by Mini Class West Coast, in partnership with Mini Class U.S. and run according to Classe Mini rules.

The event we are proposing is a race from Victoria, British Columbia to San Diego, California, divided into two legs:

   July 5, 2008 - Victoria, BC to San Francisco, CA (~750nm)
   July 19, 2008 - San Francisco, CA to San Diego, CA (~500nm)

The race would be open to all monohulls complying with the Mini Class Rules, Special Rules for Events and Mini Rules for 2008.  The Race committee reserves the right, in consultation with all registered competitors, to make allowances for boats that may not be in strict compliance with certain Classe Mini rules.

The race would feature both singlehanded and doublehanded divisions, with scoring and awards for Protos, Series and Overall finishing positions, for the respective divisions.

WHY NOT RACE TO HAWAII?

Some of you may wonder why we are not proposing a race to Hawaii, either in conjunction with the Singlehanded Sailing Society's 2008 Singlehanded Transpac Race (SHTP) or independently.  After considerable discussion over more the past several years, including conversations with East Coast Mini owners and with SSS officials, we believe that a race to Hawaii would present significant financial and logistical challenges to all but a very few Mini owners, and our goal is to attract that maximum number of competitors to a West Coast event.

With respect to racing as a class in the SHTP, the general consensus is that Hanalei Bay, Kauai, Hawaii is not an optimal destination for Minis, for the following reasons:

 1.  No dock facilities.  Competitors must anchor out in the bay and make their own way to shore.
 2.  No marine or chandlery facilities in Hanalei Bay.  Nearest facilities 65 miles around the south side of the island.
 3.  No or limited hoist facilities on Kauai for hauling boats.
 4.  135 miles downwind from Honolulu, Hawaii where principal Matson terminal is located.
 5.  Limited - if any - value for sponsors or potential sponsors.
 6.  Expensive for friends and family to get there.

An alternate Hawaii course terminating in Honolulu makes more sense logistically and for sponsors.  However, shipping costs remain high - as much as $5,000 to $6,000 per boat - and shipping boats back to Seattle, Oakland or Los Angeles would leave owners subject to Matson schedules.  For these and other reasons we think that a long-distance, offshore coastal event makes the most sense.

WHY THIS COURSE?

A good deal of thought went into determining an optimal course.  While starting in San Francisco seemed an obvious choice, we decided that a Pacific Northwest start better reflects our goal to have a truly representative Mini Class West Coast event and organization.  In order to reduce the amount of time and effort needed to get to the Pacific Ocean, we decided to start the race in Victoria, rather than Vancouver or Seattle.

Approximately 60 miles from the entrance to Juan de Fuca Strait, Victoria is located on the south end of Vancouver Island within easy reach by ferry frommainland British Columbia.  There are excellent marine facilities nearby, including moorage, full-service boatyards, lifts, dry storage, chandlery, and other amenities.  We also anticipate the encouragement and support of the Royal Victoria YC and other local yacht clubs.  Finally, we expect that there will be 5 boats in the PNW (3 Series and 2 Protos) by this time next year.

The decision to finish the race in San Diego is influenced by our goal to truly traverse the West Coast, provide competitors with maximum offshore miles, and allow participants to stay offshore in relatively stronger breeze and away from the comparatively lighter conditions that often prevail on the approach to the Los Angeles / Long Beach harbor area.

Splitting the race into two legs with a San Francisco pit stop is driven by several considerations:

1. The coastal waters of Washington and Oregon can present considerable challenges to sailors.  Stopping in San Francisco would allow for re-provisioning, rest and repairs, as needed.

2. Since one of the main goals of the event is to promote the Mini class on the West Coast, a San Francisco stop-over allows for greater exposure to the media and the sailing public, as well as good value for sponsors and potential sponsors.

3. In the interests of close racing and keeping things interesting, the San Francisco stop allows skippers a chance to get back into the race in the second leg if they have not done as well in the first leg.

4. Competitors with personal time constraints may opt to sail only one of the two legs, so crew members can step on or step off in San Francisco, as they desire.

5. We anticipate that there will be 3 boats in San Francisco and 1 boat in Arizona by this time next year.

WHY THIS START DATE?

The July 5, 2008 start date is being dictated by the following:

1.  Optimal tidal window for exiting the Juan de Fuca Strait with the least delay.

2.  Typically favorably weather conditions in the PNW - good breeze, warmer temperatures, less fog.

3.  The Victoria-Maui Race starts two weeks prior so we would not be interfering with / distracting from that event, and would be better able to leverage the assistance of local Victoria yacht clubs.

4.  Doesn't interfere with the SSS Singlehanded Transpac event.

Having said this, we are looking at an alternate start window in early August in case the July 5 date doesn't work for too many competitors.

MANY QUESTION REMAIN TO BE ANSWERED

All of you will no doubt have many questions about the proposed 2008 West Coast Offshore Mini Race.  These may include:

  "Who and what is the Mini Class West Coast group?"
  "Who will organize and manage the event?"
  "Will there be any sponsorship money available to help defray competitor expenses?"
  "Which yacht clubs will be involved in the race?"
  "What are conditions like offshore in the Pacific Northwest and the California coast?"
  "Will I need a liferaft?"
  "What is the entry fee?"
  "When will the NOR, Sailing Instructions and Safety Requirements be posted and where?"
  "Will the miles accumulated in this race count towards Transat qualification?"
  "Where is your website?"
  "Will Pamela Anderson be the official Race Mascot and can we get some 'personal' time with her?"

Over the next several days we will put together a "Frequently Asked Questions" page and post it to the Web, containing more details.  Please feel free to send your questions and comments to me, Duncan or Adrian and we will do our best to answer them.

We very much hope that as many of you as possible will be able to find your  way out to the West Coast for what promises to be an outstanding Mini event.  We look forward to hearing from you regarding your interest, as well as any recommendations or input you might have that will help us make this a memorable race.

Best Regards

Guy Rittger, San Francisco, CA
Duncan Gladman, Victoria, BC
Adrian Blunt, Victoria, BC




Offline r.finn

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Re: 2008 West Coast Offshore Mini Race
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2007, 10:59:41 AM »
Guys,  I know that you do not want to hear this, but here we go.  I just did a delivery back from Hawaii and well, I was kind of bitten by the Solo Transpac bug again.  My plan is to participate in the 2008 event in Myrna Minkoff if there is a mini class.  I'm sorry, but the delivery back gave me a fresh perspective on the Transpac problem, and I just want to go at it again.  It would be fun, and its a good long race.  How many of you would like to come out for that?

-Ryan

Offline CAN415

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Re: 2008 West Coast Offshore Mini Race
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2007, 16:53:38 PM »
Guys,  I know that you do not want to hear this, but here we go.  I just did a delivery back from Hawaii and well, I was kind of bitten by the Solo Transpac bug again.  My plan is to participate in the 2008 event in Myrna Minkoff if there is a mini class.  I'm sorry, but the delivery back gave me a fresh perspective on the Transpac problem, and I just want to go at it again.  It would be fun, and its a good long race.  How many of you would like to come out for that?

-Ryan

Ryan

Guy had some very good discussions with the SHTP people and with possible Mini entrants and the conclusion was there wasn't enough Minis wanting to do the SHTP at this time due to cost, time and as you and I discussed before the finish. I would like to point out that the issue of having to deal with the Finish logistics and then the subsequent sail back Oahu for shipping could be more of an issue than most realize which is something you and I discussed before as a real draw back for a Mini. 

Having said that, I am sure that Dave C and Sam could be persuaded to do the SHTP and not the West Coast Race but from the responses I have had from potential West Coast entries vs SHTP entries that might be it but who knows?

I am for doing whatever will get the most boats out on the water for a Mini Class Race on the West Coast.

DG

DG

Offline r.finn

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Re: 2008 West Coast Offshore Mini Race
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2007, 18:15:37 PM »
The real attraction to me is that I want to do a longer race where I can get into a real rhythem as opposed to a sprint like the Bermuda 1-2.  I spoke with Brian Caldwell in Hawaii and he sounds interested in doing the solo Transpac in his super proto (the boat that won the 2005 MT).  While your coastal race sounds like lots of fun, it will be a surprisingly short race.  Is it possible to do both?

-R

Offline CAN415

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Re: 2008 West Coast Offshore Mini Race
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2007, 19:42:48 PM »
The real attraction to me is that I want to do a longer race where I can get into a real rhythem as opposed to a sprint like the Bermuda 1-2.  I spoke with Brian Caldwell in Hawaii and he sounds interested in doing the solo Transpac in his super proto (the boat that won the 2005 MT).  While your coastal race sounds like lots of fun, it will be a surprisingly short race.  Is it possible to do both?

-R

Ryan

The timing won't work at this end due to factors of Moorage, tides, etc. Agree regarding the short 5-6 day legs but that was the desire of the potential participants who were looking at a number factors, like the chance to do it double-handed, shipping costs and not getting into a race where they are not comfortable.

Ideal race would be S.F. to Oahu which could be organized if there was enough serious interest it would certainly cut down on the logistic issues and we have people willing and able to help at each end.

DG

Offline Mr Hollywood

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Re: 2008 West Coast Offshore Mini Race
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2007, 04:55:03 AM »
Ryan - I defer to everything Duncan said, above.  He and I have been scheming about a Mini race to Hawaii in one form or another for several years, but the logistics seem to be a stumbling block to most potential participants.

Obviously, one alternative would be to remove the SF stop-over and go straight from Victoria to San Diego, with one or more "gates" to take participants further offshore, perhaps.  That race would, I think, meet your requirements for a longer period at sea.

On the other hand, if a solution to the shipping issue could be worked out, a SF - Oahu race is not out of the question.  However, if it is 2008 the destination will have to be Honolulu because the Pacific Cup terminates in Kanehoe.  And you have no doubt read recent reports about the conditions at the Ala Wai Marina - appalling, according to my friend Matt S., who was over there a few weeks ago following the Transpac.  I'm not recommending Maui because, while it is closer than Kauai to Honolulu, the upwind slog through the Molokai Channel could be unpleasant in the extreme.

So, basically, it really comes down to what the greatest number of people want to do.  If everyone wants to go to Hawaii, we can try to make it work.  But that's not the buzz we've been hearing from folks.

Best Regards,

Mr. Hollywood

Offline r.finn

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Re: 2008 West Coast Offshore Mini Race
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2007, 18:55:01 PM »
I was just at Ala Wai Marina, and while they might be considered offensive to Roy Disney and other's with proper yachts, they would be just fine for minis.  They are fully functional for our purposes, just not very attractive, that's all.   After an offshore passage on a mini you wouldn't even notice :)

Offline CAN415

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Re: 2008 West Coast Offshore Mini Race
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2007, 23:18:14 PM »
I was just at Ala Wai Marina, and while they might be considered offensive to Roy Disney and other's with proper yachts, they would be just fine for minis.  They are fully functional for our purposes, just not very attractive, that's all.   After an offshore passage on a mini you wouldn't even notice :)

So then the questions are how many boats would ACUTALLY show up for the West Coast Race, how many would ACYUALLY show up for a Hawaii race? If there was enough Minis for a Hawaii race would you want to be part of the SHTP and finish in Kaui or finish Oahu as part of mini class race?


Offline r.finn

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Re: 2008 West Coast Offshore Mini Race
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2007, 07:23:50 AM »
Well I just read the September article in Sailing World stating that my boat "Myrna Kirnoff" is for sale.  The article is ominously named "Is it One and Done for U.S. Mini Class?"  So I agree with you that we should do something as a group.  Despite my boat being for sale, if there is a Mini race to Hawaii I will show up with Mrs. Minkoff.  The reason being it's a shorter drive than to Victoria for a longer race.  Sorry, but I just want to do a long race, especially for the drive.  Jan sounded like he's 30% capable of pulling off a transpac with his current schedule.  I have not spoken on the phone to anyone else yet.

Off the top of my head I think that without a sponsor we should just tag onto the Solo Transpac.  They are a really cool group of people, and I know everyone would get along beautifully.  The logistics of being in the Hanalei Bay are not that big a deal, and Oahu is only 100 miles away.

-Ryan
« Last Edit: September 06, 2007, 16:38:53 PM by r.finn »

Offline CAN415

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Re: 2008 West Coast Offshore Mini Race
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2007, 17:14:16 PM »
cool, well I hope there is enough of interest to get a good showing, at this time I can say that although I would love to do the race I will not be able to make it.

Offline Adrian

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Re: 2008 West Coast Offshore Mini Race
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2007, 23:02:56 PM »
Hi All,

As one of the people committed to supporting a west coast race by a) assisting with the planning,  b) sponsoring/chartering one entry through NAMT and c) buying my own boat to enter the race I want to say that the decision re the start & finish needs to be made soon and it must be the first decision for obvious reasons. 

My first choice was a Mini class in the SHTP '08.  My second choice based on the difficulties of the finish & returning boats from th SHTP, + the increased possibility of Classe Mini recognition for miles (a la UK Mini Fastnet), was to go it alone with a Mini only race &  to have a 2 leg W coast off-shore race.

Regardless of my preferences I will do all I can to enter & support a 2008 W coast race.

Maybe, the best way to resolve the course question is to publicly poll each prospective entry and rank the preferences.  Choice #1 being the proposal distributed by Guy, Duncan & myself; #2 being the separate Mini class in the SHTP '08 & choice #3, an amended version of #1 that would avoid the shipping lanes in the Juan de Fuca Stright and off San Francisco.

Might this help move us along to get the decision made?  If not what other means might we use - a ballot, Yes or No to each suggested course or ...

Guy & Duncan have had some private responses from individual skippers & crew members - should we now post the names of persons interested & request each to indicate their interest/commitment and preference?

Adrian

Offline r.finn

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Re: 2008 West Coast Offshore Mini Race
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2007, 23:34:45 PM »
Yes, we should take a vote.  It may be difficult for some who currently own boats to commit right now, but we should at least settle on which race to do.  Format the booth and I'll cast my votes.  Is anyone else reading this forum?

Duncan, how can we make it easier for you to do a race to Hawaii?  What are your obstacles, and don't say money!  That's a given.

-R

« Last Edit: September 06, 2007, 23:38:32 PM by r.finn »

Offline kokopelli

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Re: 2008 West Coast Offshore Mini Race
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2007, 01:00:49 AM »
I am checking in again.

I don't want to chime in because I seriously don't know if I can work it out to participate.  Time and $$ are the issue.  However, if I would have my choice I'd rather go to Hawaii....

Offline CAN415

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Re: 2008 West Coast Offshore Mini Race
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2007, 01:03:19 AM »
Yes, we should take a vote.  It may be difficult for some who currently own boats to commit right now, but we should at least settle on which race to do.  Format the booth and I'll cast my votes.  Is anyone else reading this forum?

Duncan, how can we make it easier for you to do a race to Hawaii?  What are your obstacles, and don't say money!  That's a given.

-R



Ryan et al

The biggest hurdles for me other than the nasty M word is the shipping issue, not really wanting to finish in Hanalei Bay, time and trying to balance the time away from the kids. The B 1-2 was very difficult in that regard and I had to rely on a LOT of people to cover the day to day to issues of having two kids so I am not sure that there is much people can do in that regard. Boat wise...well I have more work to do on the boat now than I did in preparing it for the B 1-2.

Adrian as far as the shipping lane issues...to me there is no issue that is not found anywhere else this has been gone over many times regarding the route for the West Coast Race, the route is pretty much established and there is a way point 1/2 way down the first leg to keep everyone offshore.

DG

Offline Adrian

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Re: 2008 West Coast Offshore Mini Race
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2007, 01:08:43 AM »
Hi Duncan

The traffic routes issue was raised in a phone conversation I had yesterday with one Mini owner.  I threw the option into the pool thinking he may want it there when it comes to a vote of some kind.  My preference is to sell everyone a Sea-Me and stay with the routes you, Guy and I have proposed.

Anyone want a Sea-Me?

Adrian