The Extreme Sailing Series is the most looked forward to event by teams as well as supporters. The Act 5 of the racing has taken off at St. Petersburg in style and it is a high octane clash. The Russian leg of the world tour has just picked up from where it was left over in Hamburg.
This is the third time that St. Petersburg is getting to host the Extreme Sailing Series. It all started with a debut in 2014 and it has continued in 2016 also. The flying boats and the picturesque location, add more fun and merriment to the race.
The Pacific Cup is a biennial event. There were about 64 participants this time which was a course covering 2070 nautical miles. It spanned a course to Hawaii from San Francisco. The fleet started from San Francisco and was staggered into four starts from July 11th to 15th. About 59 of the total 64 teams are underway. The race offices took in reports of the boats that were halfway to reach Hawaii.
Many of the racers reached the halfway point overnight but there is not much to celebrate about as yet as there has been a big breeze that has helped them maintain top speeds. The weather forecast is however strong and the fleet is expected to reach with wind speeds staying in the teens or mid-twenties.
A teenagers team took part in the Islands Race on 11th March, a course that would take the young and inexperienced crew offshore toward Channel Islands as they raced from the San Pedro to San Diego in California. But with storms in forecast, the lessons they came to know is purely magnificent.
With wind conditions omened to be 30+ knots, and gusting higher to the west of Catalina as well as San Clemente Islands, the Organizing Authority of Islands Race opted to alter 130 nautical mile offshore course to run inside the islands for an 80 nautical mile trek down the coast to San Diego.
Newport Sea Base Youth Sailing Team, sailing aboard Apprentice, and IMX-38, motored up to Long Beach the morning of the race. They even practicing reefing the mainsail ahead of the start, even with wind speeds little more than 5 knots. Cells of inclement weather were forecast to overtake the fleet.
The race started with a southerly flow, triggering the fleet to sail upwind from the beginning. The storm front arrived soon after and the team replied with a headsail change, a reefed main, and then another headsail altered to their #3 jib.
16 year old helmswoman, Catherine Reynolds, was steady on the helm even as the wind and rain strained voices to be heard. Though she has sailed in the 2015 Islands Race and several other long point-to-point races, this was her 1st time sailing the IMX in such weather.