AYC Has a Strong Showing at 2023 Around Catalina Race

By David Newland

Hosted by Cabrillo and Dana Point Yacht Clubs, the 2023 Around Catalina Race took place over Memorial Day Weekend.  The start is near CBYC in San Pedro, and the finish is at DPYC, with a port rounding of Catalina Island. 

Over the past 40 years, I’ve sailed to Catalina more times than I can count.  Yet, I’ve never sailed the backside.  This is a fantastic 74-mile race that takes you out of L.A. Harbor, typically in a “May Grey” morning cloud cover.  Then, the sky clears up as you approach Catalina Island in 14 knots of breeze.   As you get around the island, it’s a straight shot to Dana Point.  What a great track!

1st Place Division B:  AYC Member Dennis Swift with crew Ken Cooper, Jeff Brinkley, Jeff Bunce, and Salen Stuart on board Geronimo’s Cadillac, a Farr 30M.  They blistered the course with an overall 3rd place finish that included two serious kelp back-downs while under spin on the back side of Catalina. 

1st Place Division C: AYC members Sean and Brianna Brown, with crew and co-owner Frank “Boomer” Brown, Joel Hurley and David Newland on board Heron, a classic 1967 Hinckley Pilot 35.  What she lacks in speed is made up for with style and grace.  No other boat in the race received a welcome home greeting like Heron!  Good tactics with a primary focus on proper boat position at night time played well to their success.

Heron Crew post-race with the sled in the background. L to R: Sean and Brianna Brown, David Newland, Joe Hurley, and Frank Brown.