Sail MORE! How to do an “Away Regatta”

Heather McClain poses overlooking the 11 Catalina 37 sailboats that LBYC charters for LBRW. AYC teams chartered two of the boats this year.

Team Cactus League—a group of Arizona Yacht Club members—chartered one of 11 Long Beach Yacht Club Catalina 37s for Long Beach Race Week, June 22-24.

We all had a great time and it wasn’t even that expensive to do. We all made more sailing friends and opened up more sailing opportunities around the country for ourselves.

We weren’t the only ones there, either. There was another C37 team from Arizona, headed up by John Riddell. Mike Hester brought his Viper, Joel Hurley and John Mayall from Phoenix and his daughter Sarah from Austin. Mike and Jo Grijalva were there with their boat Shockwave in the Random Leg Racing with an all-AZ crew. Mike and Maryellen Ferring and David Newland were there too, representing Arizona in the J/70 Fleet.

I want to talk a little about what our experience was, do some rough numbers, and maybe lower your anxiety level about traveling with your boat to other regattas.

LOGISTICS

Everybody but the afterguard on the Cactus League C37.

We have 10 people on the C37, and some “shore crew” (people who don’t race), so for our team, coordinating to get everyone to the dock and ready to race—all at the designated time—can be a bit challenging. With a crew of two-to-four people, this is obviously a bit easier. Everyone was responsible for their own travel to Long Beach, but we gave them the opportunity to car pool if they wanted.

We rented a house that (barely) held all of our crew and was pretty close to Long Beach Yacht Club. Depending on your preference, you could get a hotel or even camp, if that’s your thing. The house was nice because everyone came back and hung out in the hot tub and the kitchen. It also made coordinating everyone easier. I posted the regatta schedule in the kitchen with a note every morning about what time everyone had to be on the boat and ready to depart.

Because we were all in the same house, we made breakfast for the team. The regatta coordinated with a local grocery for a sandwich menu that we used for lunches on the boat. And there was food every night at the post-racing parties. We also had some beer, booze, soda and salty snacks at the house.

MONEY

Every year we create a “magic spreadsheet” to track expenses and payments. For the entire weekend the cost per person for a three-day boat charter, the race entry, the three-night stay at the house, and the food was right at $450/person. We personally spent about $120 in gas to get there and back, but that was for two people. Also, shore crew were spared boat expenses and paid just a portion of the house and food.

SAIL MORE!

Hopefully this lays out some of the details on how to have a successful “away” regatta.

I would encourage anyone who wants to get a group together to take boats out to a regatta to put it out there to the club. It was really fun to see our friends at an event and have us known as the “Arizona Yacht Club Group!” Many of our sailors go to the national and regional events for their fleets. Check your fleet’s website for information on those.

More on LBRW, including photos.

Here are some annual and upcoming opportunities in the region:

Colorado Governor’s Cup
Mission Bay One Design Regatta
San Diego NOOD
Marina Del Rey to San Diego (Hosted by Santa Monica Windjammers YC and Southwestern YC)
Newport to Ensanada
Fiesta Regatta (Colorado Sail and Yacht Club)

The crew of AYC’s Cactus League Catalina 37. From left: Dave and Stacey Haggart, Emory Heisler, New Jersey import Dave Rawstrom, Heather McClain, Toby Ambrose, Mike Parker (sitting), Josh McClain, Rob Gibbs, and Cindy Pillote.

 

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