Tag Archives: Southern California Sailing

Marina Del Rey to Catalina Regatta

Yacht Racing

Date: June 12-13, 2021

When ’Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ racing yachts off of the Southern California Shore is just the ticket and this regatta to Catalina Island and back is super fun.

The regatta, hosted by Del Rey YC, starts just off of Marina Del Rey and proceeds, as the famous 1958 hit by the band the Four Preps suggests, ‘26 Miles (Santa Catalina Song)’ across the sea. However, that mileage approximation would be from the closest point of land to Catalina. In this case it is more like 35 miles between MDR and the island, and besides that the race is to Cat Harbor which is on the backside of Catalina so it is a pretty good distance to be sailing for the day.

Funny thing is Southern California pretty much has more yachts than anywhere in the world and other than running up and down the coast there is no where to go except Catalina Island. The Island is a favorite for tourist and boaters alike. The main tourist section is Avalon with cute boutique hotels, quaint restaurants and fun bars, but our racing was at the opposite, more kick back, West End.

Aboard ‘Javelin’, a J125, carbon 41’ sailboat, life is good as Owner and Main Helmsman Dan Murphy keeps everyone smiling with his charm and wit attracting a talented and fun group of sailors.

The Team Captain Rob Dekker is a Dutch National Champion and has been sailing and racing big boats his whole life. He keeps everyone concentrating on the task at hand and sailing on an even keel… or else.

I am sorry, but even Rob has not competed as many times as my Hobie National Champion friend or I. Tom recruited me to this fine group of sailors, and it has been a blast.

Tom and I have competed against each other and sailed with each other as a team in big National and World Championships. We even switched off on the helm at one event. We are both Hobie 14 National Champions. Mine was a Canadian Nationals and his a US. But I trump Tom with a US Sailing Alter Cup Title, which is a Champion of Champions event. Admittedly I was crewing with my friend, Pete Melvin famed multihull designer, with multiple World Titles, an Olympian, and has more National Titles then he can remember. So I don’t know maybe that makes it a push between Tom Materna and I.

Julia Briggs is a young, brilliant Bow person, whom also happens to be a yachting professional, and a doll besides. She will never-ever complain about anything she takes everything in stride and just loves the challenge.

Rounding out our core group is another talented, fit, young woman Tanika Roy, a former Marine, now in Avionics for Virgin Orbit. Tanika balances out her grit and determination with a Zen like Buddhist quality. She can pretty much handle anything on the boat, and she bakes crazy good chocolate chip cookies.

‘Javelin’ also rotates in multiple other sailors all contributing to the fun and success of this team. All thanks to Dan Murphy and his love of life, the sea, competition, and more than anything a good time.

Now back to the regatta. There were many fine sailboats in the regatta. We had light winds and we had good winds. We had steady winds we had some shifty winds. All which add to the fun and challenge. You need to checkout the video as we came upon a very large pod of dolphins which was so darn cool! By the time we reached the backside of Catalina there were still half a dozen boats in the hunt for line honors. When it came down to it, as we drew near the finish, it was between us and the professional crew of the yacht ‘Sapphire Knight’, who’s recent refurbish had cost far more than the purchase price of our boat. Sapphire Knight’s professional crew should have spanked us, but the difference came down to we read the wind better, and deployed the proper sail quicker, and took line honors.

The team celebrated big time with a fine meal at the Del Rey YC’s Base Compound at Cat Harbor. Super food, super drink, super fun group. Maybe a little too much of the super fun drink… as a few members of the crew stumbled off down the gang plank, singing into the night arm in arm after we ventured into the bar/restaurant at Two Harbors for some sweet, but potent ’Buffalo Milks’ to cap off the night.

Early the next morning I went on a ‘tough’ hike before we headed off for the start. A couple member’s of the crew had a ’tough’ time even lifting their head up as we experienced heavy swell action. One member whom will remain unnamed completely grossed out the competition at the start with her butt in the air, feeding the fish off the bow, almost spewing on the nearby crew of about a dozen on the rail of the boat next to us. She has sworn off Margaritas followed by Buffalo Milks for good, or so she professed at the time.

Once again we had some light wind and some good wind. Probably a little less of the shifty tricky stuff such that the yacht we duked it out with the day before was sailing more on her lines, so no overall upset. We had a second across the line finish and corrected out second for the race. But one thing is for sure we had a best time ’Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ Sailing.

‘Javelin’ First Boat at the Finish at Cat Harbor!

Night at Two Harbors

That is ’Javelin’ in the background on the left, and the photo on the right Capt Rob steers a course for MDR.

PBTA YouTube Channel, click to watch
“Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be Pirates.” – Mark Twain

Thanks for joining Dan, Rob, Tom, Julia, Tanika, Karla, Jerry, Jen and I as we were ’Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ Sailing during the regatta from MDR to Catalina Island on ’Javelin’. We hope that you will hop aboard for more high seas adventure and you can do so by fulfilling the following crew chores: LIKE, FOLLOW, COMMENT, and SHARE. If you care to checkout the menu above you will see that ’Pursuing Balance Through Adventure’ embarks on other type of adventurous lifestyle activities. They are mostly broken down by area. Each location is a separate website and thus needs to be FOLLOWED independently. For PBTA Adventure Wear please see SHOP APPAREL. The gear is top quality and bears the PBTA logo and mantra because aren’t we all looking for a little balance to our otherwise hetic, repetitive, burdensome, mundane lives? Epic adventures in nature are the ticket to that balance, come along let’s set a course to Shangri-La.

Never Spit to Windward-

Roger Jenkins

Pursuing Balance Through Adventure