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RACING SHEET

PITCH Perfect Words: Doug Hansen // Photos: Jan Anderson The one-and-only Pacific International Ton Championship, known as PITCH (September 1 to 2 this year), is two days of short-course buoy racing in Bellingham Bay, Washington, hosted by none other than Bellingham Yacht Club. The origins of this event

date back to the days of International Offshore Rule (IOR), with its aluminum boats and mustached tacticians. These days, the fleet is a strong mix of sport boats, racer/cruisers, as well as some purebred racing machines mixing it up. Setting the bar high for host clubs, Friday night got things kicked off

with a skippers’ meeting with beer and hamburgers provided by Bellingham Yacht Club’s now infamous Dead Pirates Society. With crews from the 25-boat fleet in attendance, it was standing room only at the bar and a fantastic atmosphere as friends reconnected over dark ‘n stormy drinks as only sailors can.

Left to right: Stephanie Schwenk continues her defense of the top spot, landing first place in PHRF 5 aboard Wild Rumpus; Crews were tested with shifting breezes, keeping boats powered up in the light spots and on their feet in the puffs was crucial to staying competitive throughout the weekend.

82 NORTHWEST YACHTING || OCTOBER 2018

S a t u r d a y m o r n i n g we l comed racers with a stiff breeze at the dock. Blade jibs went up and boats began tacking upwind in the flat water of the bay. The wind held in the high teens for most of the morning, making for some high-intensity starts as boats got settled into some wind after a summer of light air racing. Towards the end of the day, the race committee sent PHRF 1 on a long-distance course around Eliza Island at the entrance to Bellingham Bay. The three-boat fleet left the other racers behind and headed for the island, only to be greeted by a light, fading wind around the back side. The race became a game of connect the dots from puff to puff. While Eliza Island is beautiful, it was a challenge to stay focused while struggling to keep moving along the rocky

Profile for Northwest Yachting

NW Yachting October 2018  

The latest on power and sail boating in the Northwest, featuring Wendy Hinman's tips for Cruising Hawaii; a preview of Hewescraft's newest p...

NW Yachting October 2018  

The latest on power and sail boating in the Northwest, featuring Wendy Hinman's tips for Cruising Hawaii; a preview of Hewescraft's newest p...