Santa Barbara Hot Rum Round Up
Santa Barbara’s racing season starts very early in the year. The first race of the Hot Rum Series in January was moderate breeze while the second one was plagued with very thick fog. The starting order is determined by PHRF ratings with the highest rated boats starting first and the lowest starting last. Theoretically all the boats should finish at the same time. The 32 entrants range from Harbor 20s with a 230 rating to a RP 68 at a -69 rating. Three J/105s sailed in Class B with Larry Harteck’s Repeat Offender, Dan Durbeck’s Perfect Timing 2 and Mark Noble’s Escapade racing against 11 boats in their class. Saturday February 9 was the third and final race of the series. The wind was blowing 20-25 knots with some smaller boats electing not to go out. 19 boats finished the race but the most exciting part was the photo finish. Leading the race to the finish line was J/24 Bullet followed by J/105 Repeat Offender. Closing fast on the two J Boats was the Farr 40 Skian Dhu with the RP 68 Taxi Dancer looking to pass all three. What boat was going to out gut and out hike the smaller or bigger boat to lean for the finish tape for an amazing finish! The J/105 beat the J/24 by only 1 second and Taxi followed behind by another 4 seconds. The Farr 40, having been rolled by Taxi Dancer a couple minutes earlier, finished 21 seconds later. The series went to Taxi Dancer with 9 total points.