Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Challenging Numbers

Labor Day weekend has been home to the PITCH Regatta in Bellingham for over 40 years. Historically this regatta was three day regatta but after several gear buster Friday nights it has now been shortened to just two. PITCH is an acronym for Pacific International Ton Championship. What? Well back in the day before PHRF yachts raced under a system called the IOR. (International Offshore Rule) This system broke out fleets in 1/4 , 1/2, 3/4, 1 ton and two ton divisions.
For example 1/4 ton boats like San Juan 24's, 1/2 ton were like Thunderbirds, 3/4 ton were Yamaha 33's, 1 tons really varied but the Ranger 37's used to battle Yankee 38's regularly Pangaea would have likely just squeezed in, Chuck Tidrington's old boat White Lightning was a fine example of a classic 2 tonner. Why tons? I have no idea, nothing to do with boat weight, simply a formula that resulted in a solution exploited by yacht designers like Doug Peterson and Gary Mull.
Let's cut to the chase here, PITCH offers a welcoming crew as you enter the harbor, free moorage, live music Saturday night, fun food trucks, fine racing, charity raffles for juniors, 3 boat teams and the Kelly O'neil trophy. The last part is where were in a jam. In order to compete for the O'neill trophy we need 3 boats, currently just 2 AYC boats are registered. Come on now people BYC has sent 9 different boats to our regattas this year. Let's rally our racer types and support our neighbors to the North:)