2019 John’s Pig Regatta

The end of the sailing season can sometimes be a time of reflection and other times it can be a time to try to forget it completely.

In either camp, at Privateer Yacht Club this time is always John’s Pig Regatta that is a fun filled weekend of cold late nights and brisk November days. The Pig is where everyone comes out with their best on display no matter how they fared over the season. There is deep tradition in the Pig Regatta at PYC with many memories of the racing, partying, and those key people that have carried on it’s excellence over the past 50 years.

This year, there was much to be celebrated since it was the 50th edition. That might explain the stellar turnout of twenty-three boats. Also, the weather was in full cooperation at 50 degrees, sunny, and a 5-8mph wind out of the south. The race started off with a bit of a lull for the scratch boat but building right on time for the mid pack boats. Word on the dock was there was another lull about the time the sport boats took off. The race course started at the PYC red nun and went to CG, FV until the two hour time limit expired.

On Team Impulse 26 the start was made in a lucky 10-12mph gust that kept them pointed high just along the edge of the channel in the center of the lake. This was instrumental in chasing down the mid pack boats before the first rounding of CG. Once around, there was another long lull that gave the earlier boats a good boost down the leg. Once the wind started to fill, the sport boats came charging hard with their asymmetrical spinnakers ominously heeled sideways on the hot angle of the new breeze. Coming into the FV mark there was plentiful boat traffic to contend with and another lull that was oscillating considerably.

With twenty minutes of race time left, everyone started counting the boats in front of them. For Team Impulse 26 there were two Catalina 22s and a J24. The rest of fleet was parked up half a leg behind in the proverbial desert parking garage where the wind had not arrived. Logically, an Impulse 26 should have no trouble with a Catalina 22 in light breeze, but twenty minutes is cutting it close on a well sailed J24. Once the Catalina’s were out of the picture it became a match race in which a tack onto starboard is “game over” and a lee shore that crept closer and closer. The J24 was high and fast but Team Impulse 26 was ghosting to leeward just waiting to break free of the bad air. Around Gold Point, the Impulse finally broke free into clear air with a series of courtesy lifts that put the J24 safely on the stern.

When the time ran down, Team Impulse 26 had pulled in front with a tight lead and a victory breeze to run back to PYC under spinnaker.

I can only remember one other time when I have been so proud of our team…..that was two years ago when we won our first Pig Regatta.

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