‘Maid of Kent’ claims Class C Fleet victory, while ‘Witchcraft’ wins Class B Fleet.
SAN DIEGO — Silver Gate Yacht Club hosted the 30th running of the America’s Schooner Cup as a showcase of Living History in San Diego, April 7. Twelve schooners met in San Diego Bay off Shelter Island to race a 10.9-nautical-mile schooner course. The charity regatta was held to benefit the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society (NMCRS).
The race was organized into three handicap classes, but all 12 boats competed for the overall prize, winning the annual title to the America’s Schooner Cup.
San Diego had enjoyed full sun and steady wind most of the week, but the April 7 southwest wind puffed meekly midday to match the overcast sky with little promise of sunshine. The sun marginally broke through during the race but the lack of good wind plagued the slower boats all day.
The unreliable wind continued to taunt the Race Committee, leading it to shorten the original 12.9- nautical-mile racecourse to a shortened to 10.9- nautical-mile racecourse as all 12 schooners converged on Buoy No. 3.
Once around the last outer mark the sleek racing schooners disappeared back into the Bay while the heavy-bodied schooners continued their arduous beat to the mark for a lengthy time before any of them could head back inside to finish.
Fresh breezes continued to favor the faster boats that were first to round Buoy No. 3 and head back for the finish line. The winds, however, would falter again to further slow the last schooners driving up the bay, past Ballast Point and on up to Shelter Island. Still all 12 vessels completed the race within 3.5 hours elapsed time.
The 2018 winner of schooner Class C Fleet is Maid of Kent. The 2018 winner of schooner Class B Fleet is Witchcraft, and she was also a short 45 seconds from winning the 2018 Schooner Cup Title.
The winning elapsed time of 1:48:58 earned both Class A Honors and the 2018 America’s Schooner Cup Title. In fact it is the winner of the first America’s Schooner Cup in 1987 that wins the 30th Schooner Cup Title in 2018 – the schooner Dauntless, with three generations of the Plotts family aboard.
While light winds were abysmal for schooner racing, still magically no schooner ever had to short-tack while sailing either in or out of the narrow bay channel off Point Loma. The course provided great public vantage of the boats from Shelter Island as shown in prerace photos taken from the beach. Best yet, the event also raised record level funds again for NMCRS.
For more info on these schooners and this event visit www.americasschoonercup.com.