The 2017 Midwinter Around Catalina Island Race will begin on Feb 4 in San Pedro, and will be hosted by the Los Angeles Yacht Club. The participants of the race will start near Angel’s Gate, race to Catalina Island west end to port, to Catalina Island east end to port, and will finish near the starting point at Angel’s Gate. This means that the participants in the race will sail around the complete island and the course will be 70.5 nautical miles. Furthermore, the race will be a non-stop one, unless any of the boat sinks.
The last time a boat sank during the race was back in 1969 and the race was called Whitney/Times/Bogart Series at the time. According to Damon Guizot, who was studying at USC’s Santa Catalina Marine Biological Laboratory at the time, “A Coast Guard helicopter delivered a crew of five sailors to the Isthmus, after rescuing them from their Trimaran, which capsized and later sank on the back side of the island.
“The existing elapsed time record for a fixed ballast monohull was set in 2014 by Margaritaville, an Andrews 52. The circumnavigation took 8:18:01,” Guizot adds.
In 2015, a Wyoming sailing crew went for a different approach by sailing up the cost before going to Catalina, but were stalled without any wind. The crew finished the race thinking that they lost the race and returned to Marina del Rey without stopping their boat at the Los Angeles Yacht Club, but later found that they actually won the Division A of the boat race 2.5 hours ahead of all the other boats who took part in the race.
Last year, Robert Lane’s Medicine Man, won the coveted Mayor Norris Poulson Trophy and PHRF Overall. Damon Guizot’s Zephyrus elapsed time was 9:39:29 for fixed ballast monohull. Both Zephyrus and Medicine Man are planning to take part in this year’s race. There are also two other boats that are registered to compete in the PHRF this year.
It is mandatory for the participating yachts to have a current Southern California PHRF handicap. Yet as of Jan 6, only one boat has registered in the Cruising Class.
The yacht must have a completed Cruising Class Rating Worksheet and a valid PHRF rating to take part in Cruising Class races. Additionally, a minimum of four entries is needed to conduct a Cruising Class race. The authorities told that the registration for the race should be completed by 6 p.m. on Feb 2, and the fee to take part in the race would be eighty dollars.