March 5 & 6: Mustang Open Regatta
The weekend of March 5th and 6th, the UC San Diego Sailing Team went to Morro Bay over by San Luis Obispo to compete in the Mustang Open Regatta. This was the second annual Mustang Open that was hosted by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay Yacht Club. As with last year, hospitality at the club and by the hosts was great, though sailing was a bit different from what our team is used to.
Saturday started off rainy and cold with very little wind. The team expected high winds to build later in the day due to wind reports, but thankfully, the wind never built to the level that was projected. Morro Bay usually has a very strong current and this weekend was no different, with the tide going out until the afternoon. With a low level of wind to start out with, boats fought against the current to make it around the course, but as the day went on the tide started to come back in and the current weakened. At the lowest tide, sailors had to avoid the sand bar that was exposed near the windward mark. Throughout the day there were many wind shifts and the race committee was forced to move the course by about 90 degrees a few times as the storm system progressed. In addition, as the day went on it began get windier and rainier. Overall, the wind was not too strong, but it did get very gusty at times. Thankfully not many people capsized on Saturday, though by the end of the racing everyone was wet enough from the rain that capsizing would not have changed much. Saturday night, the Cal Poly sailing team and some yacht club members hosted a spaghetti dinner to fundraise for the Cal Poly team.
Sunday brought sunny skies and more constant wind. Racing was done at the south end of the bay once again, where the current was still very strong. Each fleet had several general recalls as they struggled to fight against the current at the start. The race committee brought out the I-flag, and when that failed to prevent boats from starting over-early, the race committee brought out the Z-flag (they did not have a black flag on the race committee boat, otherwise they probably would have used that too). Race committee had to postpone for a little while right before the last two races in order to move the course to fit both the wind and the water available for sailing since the course we had been racing on had shrunk as the tide went out.
At the end of the weekend, the UC San Diego Sailing Team had a good weekend and enjoyed competing in Morro Bay, even though it was a challenge at times. Tritons 1 ended up in 4th place overall out of 19 boats, with a first place finish in A division! Tritons 2 were 11th, and Tritons 3 were 18th. A big thank you to Cal Poly SLO and Morro Bay Yacht Club for hosting the regatta, and to Katie of the Cal Poly SLO team and Joe and Dawn Huntsinger for housing our sailors. We look forward to returning next year, when it will hopefully not be raining again.