I have been very fortunate to enter the world of sailboat racing since moving to Los Angeles. I’ve only been in two different regattas, but I’ve learned so much both times I went!
“It is not that life ashore is distasteful to me. But life at sea is better.” — Sir Francis Drake, Sea Captain
It all started when Jesse and his buddy Max hung out by the Marina in Marina Del Rey. They were lucky to meet a wide variety of welcoming boat owners and operators over the course of a couple of months, some that have even grown into friends. Often times, crews are looking for additional bodies during races, sometimes for specific jobs and other times for the extra weight. Jesse has been in numerous races as result and started to really dive deep into his sailing knowledge.
My first sailing experience was a Saturday morning race with an amazing couple with a passion for being out on the water. They were kind enough to not only let us on the boat, but share with us a wealth of knowledge and trust us with important tasks that could make or break the race. I helped man the spinnaker when changing wind directions. I learned more that day than I did during the few hour sailing lesson we took. We came out in second for our class that race!
This recent sail was two days after New Years Eve, the perfect way to start the new year! We had a large crew this time of very experienced sailors, so my main duties were act as weight and take photos throughout the race, a job I also welcomed as it gave me a chance to kick back and enjoy the gorgeous view. It was a race over 20 miles from Marina Del Rey to Malibu and back. We got to Malibu and winds got down to zero, leading us drop out of race after barely moving an inch in over an hour. We flipped the power on, headed back to the harbor, and cracked open some beer.
Being on the water is such a calming yet exhilarating feeling all in one. You feel connected to the ocean and wind, and it’s a nice break from the hustle of the city. One of my favorite parts though is the diverse people you meet with a variety of inspiring stories. People that race come from all backgrounds, financial standings, job titles, cities, and even countries. Following the race, all the various captains and their crews will gather at the Yacht Club to share in food, drinks, and story telling. I am so appreciative for the people that have welcomed me into these seemingly exclusive networks with open arms.
One of our crew members spoke with us on her journey to finding sailboat racing. Her advice for anyone looking to get involved is to join a club. The California Yacht Club is one of the most widely spoken of club among the circle we have come to be a part of. Club membership can be a bit pricey, but you only need a paddleboard we’re told to qualify as having a vessel in order to join. Joining will help you get introduced to others with similar passions and potentially help you in becoming a crew member in future races as needed. Also, keep your eye out for deals on Groupon and Living Social. Jesse and I took our first sailing lesson together thanks to a Groupon for $100 for 2 to take an intro lesson.
Sharing this experience with Jesse has been an amazing form of bonding, and if you haven’t had a chance to enjoy the wind and water yet, stop what you are doing and head to the Marina.
Information on the California Yacht Club can be found here.