AYC Sailors Splash at Mission Bay

In August, four AYC sailors packed their Lasers off to Mission Bay Yacht Club for one-design races in the Pacific. David Newland describes what happened.

By David Newland

David Newland on the big water of the Pacific. Photo: Lori Lorenz

When AYC hosted the Laser District race in March, five members from San Diego’s Mission Bay Yacht Club came to join the fun… and they’re not even in our District!

We talked about supporting each other’s future races, and I take those conversations seriously as traveling to different venues is a great opportunity to race, learn and meet new people in our sport.

I got with Mark Young, MBYC’s Laser Fleet Captain, soon after our event to review MBYC’s calendar. MBYC OD in August. Yup! No brainer. Ocean course, too. That was about the length of our conversation, so I shot out an interest-sparking email to the AYC Laser Fleet.

Rob Gibbs, Paul Miachika, Paul Wojtczak and I made the trek west, with only Paul Miachika having solid ocean experience (just this summer he attended the Masters US Nationals at Monterey Peninsula YC and the Masters PCC’s at Cascade Locks, Oregon).

Rob handled logistics by getting a triple-Laser trailer rigged and fueled up the RV. He, Paul Wojtczak and I made camp at Campland on the Bay in Mission Beach. Campland is a very clean and well managed facility, and even I held to their strict nighttime no-noise rules.

MBYC, founded in 1927, has prime real estate right on Mission Bay, including a nice stretch of beach and grass that made for easy launching for some 15 Lasers and a handful of multihulls. The Laser Fleet hosted a BBQ Friday night. And Saturday night we cleaned up for a full-spread Luau with a fabulous buffet, a live band and hula dancers! Both nights took place right on their private beach.

MBYC managed our racing well, knowing that some Laser racers are actually 2020 Olympic hopefuls. Rob was able to lock a third-place finish on race three, which put a nice smile on his face! Paul Miachika had some strong finishes as well but got held up by kelp on race seven.

Paul Wojtczak and I kept at it, trying to gain some ocean racing insight with each race. Or, maybe we were distracted by the dolphin and seals that liked messing around our course. We learned much about ocean racing but know we’re just scratching the surface.

Thank you, MBYC, for being gracious hosts! Did I mention this race was free? Thanks for that, too! What a solid and grounded group of sailors with a fantastic, good vibe YC! We’ll be back.

A cluster of Lasers at the Mission Bay One Design races. Photo: Lori Lorenz