James Goldberg and the crew of the J/109 Junkyard Dog experienced the full spectrum of fun sailing and challenging conditions during the 2017 CA Offshore Race Week. Read from James about the differences in the three races, and how they supported the boat Snafu while the Coast Guard arrived on scene of their dismasting.
"More than anything the experience with Snafu just reinforced the seriousness of offshore racing and why it's so attractive. Offshore racing always has the chance to become extreme quite quickly and I think all of the competitors know this and are here to push themselves, their crew and boats a little further.
But along with that comes the understanding that we could very well find ourselves in some extreme weather, conditions and situations where a close port or help may not be nearby. So first and foremost it's up to each person and boat to be ready and capable to take care of themselves as best they can in whatever situation they may find themselves in and beyond that there's an understanding that we also need to help other competitors whenever possible if the situation requires it.
In the case of Snafu I think all of theses elements aligned which is probably why it ended so well. The guys on Snafu did an amazing job taking care of themselves and their boat in some very difficult conditions and situations. Both our boat as well as the guys on Azure were also able to remain on standby near Snafu in case they needed more help.
My offshore experience includes the spinnaker cup last year, a couple 333 mile races (Chicago to Mackinac) as well as a good handful of longer offshore day races outside of San Francisco. A desire to gain more experience and push ourselves a little further was the reason we chose to race in this years CORW. It's also a great format with the opportunity to stop along the way in some fantastic and absolute classic California coastal towns.
The race week gave us everything we were looking for and even more. This year the Spinnaker cup was a fun and enjoyable ride down to Monterey without too many surprises. The wild ride down the central coast for the Coastal Cup was some of the more challenging conditions our team and boat have seen. Being able to not only get through it safely but remain relatively competitive in the process is something we as a team have greatly benefited and grown from.
The Coastal Cup will definitely be one of the more memorable races of the year but I think the winners of the SoCal 300 may represent the best all around sailors and teams. This years race had it all. From the near perfect post card beautiful hero conditions at the start in Santa Barbara which gave us mild to moderate winds to the breezy second leg with sustained winds in the high 20's to mid 30's ending with the very challenging near drifting conditions of the 3rd leg. You couldn't just be a good full tilt heavy weather sailor to win this race, you also had to know how to apply light air tactics which requires an enormous amount of tenacity, patience and attention to detail to keep the boat moving until the winds filled in again."