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post #63 of Old 05-29-2013
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Location: Alameda, San Francisco Bay
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Re: Cheap Classic Plastic smokes the fleet in 2013 Down the Bay Race

Ah, classic plastic… As you may know, I race on a Cal 40 that was built back in the sixties. We were San Francisco YRA (HDA) season champions last year, been third in the Rolex Big Boat Series, 3rd in the Pac Cup and have amassed numerous other victories. Old girls can still rock! It still takes a lot of money to race competitively. You can find used Cal 40s for a low as $50k, but expect to put in another $100k to make that boat race-ready. It is still a lot cheaper than a J120 or Elan however.

Competitive sailing is a much different sport here than in Europe. Here it is much more Corinthian than a spectator sport. With sponsors out of the equation, and the owner footing all the bills, racing over here (at least in California) is much more democratic and you see a lot more classic plastic than the latest design. Interestingly, in May’s Sailing World there is a nice article about affordable (classic plastic) racers. In addition to the Cal 40, there are the Express 27 & 37s, Santa Cruz 27s, Moore 24s amongst others. Oh, by the way, the blue boat on the two page photo spread is us and yours truly is the guy sitting in the back of the boat.

What is the name of the hobbie and J24? I’ve sailed on a friend’s Hobbie 33 a few times and it is a lot of fun though a little Spartan with a porta potti, igloo ice chest, and no standing room down below. It is a trailer sailor after all. A “modern” equivalent would be a Melges 32. Once you have thrown the gauntlet down, you need to track them throughout the season and let us know their standings at the end of the year. One race does not make a trend. If it did, my lowly C34 out rates a Santa Cruz 50 because on one DH race I beat one boat-for-boat.

George B
2000 Catalina 34 MkII
Alameda, Ca.
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