Pensacola FL, June 22: The Notice of Race for the Pensacola Yacht Club’s 2nd
annual Bushwhacker Cup has been posted and entries are now open. The regatta, which serves as the Atlantic & Gulf Coast Regional Championships, is scheduled for November 13-15, 2020. It is also the final event of the 2020 U.S. Melges 24 National Ranking Series.
The 2020 NOR and regatta entry are now available at Yachtscoring
. Race news and results will be there as well. All the Bushwhacker Cup news will also be posted on the event website pycbushwhackercup.com
, Facebook on PYCBushwhackerCup
, and twitter at BushwhackerCup
As usual, Friday is registration, practice and clinic day, However, sailors are invited to bring their boats to the club pre-regatta for early practice or storage. Boats may also be stored at the club after the regatta before the long haul down to Miami for the Bacardi Winter Series.
Tom Pace, Jr, Vice Commodore of Pensacola YC and once again chairman for this regatta, said, “In 2019 we had a fantastic Bushwhacker party and a great regatta broke out. 28 boats raced the inaugural event including two potential America’s Cup skippers, some other pros, but also a big contingent of Corinthian sailors. Our hope this year is to attract 35 boats or more. Ask the Melges24 sailors who raced last year about the quality of racing and the fun. Ya’ll Come, race with us at the ‘South’s Finest’ yacht club.”
The inaugural 2019 event saw a fleet of 28 boats on the bay. The fleet sailed five 45-minute races on Saturday, but the sailors saw no wind and no races on Sunday. That’s a rare happening on Pensacola Bay in November. PRO Hal Smith and his committee did a masterful job with the cards mother nature dealt.
Bruce Ayres’ Monsoon
[USA 825] from Newport Harbor CA with crew Brian Porter, George Peet, Chelsea Simms and America’s Cup challenger Stars+Stripes’ CEO/Skipper Mike Buckley finished in first place with scores of 2-1-2-5-1 for 11 points. Monsoon was the winner of the inaugural Melges24 Bushwhacker Cup.
Bora Gulari [USA820] with his crew of Kyle Navin, Norman Berge, Ian Liberty and America’s Cup Challenger American Magic
’s Skipper Terry Hutchinson stood three points back in second with a 4-5-1-2-2 record and 14 points. Gulari, a former Melges24 US National Champion, spent the winter months of 2018-19-20 sailing American Magic’s Mule
and AC75 Defiant
on Pensacola Bay. That almost makes him a local, certainly he has local knowledge.
The regatta served as the official championships for the Melges24 Atlantic & the Gulf Coast regions. Taking first place in the Southeast was Kelly Shannon’s Shaka
. Zane Yoder’s FNG
took the Gulf Coast Championship.
Corinthian sailors are Integral to the Melges24 class. Steve Suddath in Up for Debate
was top corinthian in the Atlantic/SE region. Glen Tonguis in Kryptonite
was top Gulf Coast Corinthian and the Ratliff’s Decorum
was the best corinthian for all the other regions.
By all measures the First Annual PYC Melges24 Bushwhacker Cup was a success on and off the water. Burgers for lunch and 43 gallons of free Bushwhackers were served as the final treat. Melges24 owners and sailors choosing to charter are all invited to Pensacola and Pensacola YC for another fantastic regatta.
Sailing on Pensacola Bay
Pensacola Bay and Santa Rosa Sound are naturally protected by Santa Rosa Island to the south. The pass to the Gulf of Mexico is located to the southwest, across from the Naval Air Station Pensacola and divides the Gulf Islands National Seashore on Santa Rosa Island from the western park on Perdido Key.
The racing area is a matter of minutes from the Bayou Chico channel and the Pensacola YC marina. That’s close racing… more racing and less transit time.
In summer months, sailors find a daily sea breeze that builds from a mid-day southeasterly to the afternoon 12-15 knot southwesterly they love. In other seasons, the winds are determined by frontal passages, temperature variables, sunshine and other factors. Tides are minimal, about one foot to one and a half feet.
Pensacola Bay is naturally deep with a white sand bottom. The water is clean, seasonally warm and just choppy in a breeze, but not often rough. The east-west shoreline in downtown Pensacola to the north is perfect for stadium regatta spectating.
All sailors— race or cruise— are invited to come sail on Pensacola Bay. Organizers of both amateur regional, national or international sailing championships and professional sailing events should contact Pensacola Yacht Club to discuss racing on beautiful Pensacola Bay. http://www.pensacolayachtclub.org
The NYYC America's Cup team, American Magic
, chose to train in the 'Mule' on Pensacola Bay in the fall and winter of 2018-19. They returned to Pensacola train in the AC75 'Defiant' in 2019-20 before heading to New Zealand after the first Prada Cup race series in Sardinia was cancelled.
Pensacola Yacht Club, the South's Finest—
Pensacola Yacht Club is a championship sailing venue on approximately 22 acres at the mouth of Bayou Chico just west of downtown Pensacola, Florida. Part of that area is approximately 250 feet of sparkling white beachfront property on Pensacola Bay adjacent to the club marina in Bayou Chico.
PYC has been the site of numerous one design and handicap championships over the years. These include the 2000 USODA Nationals, and the inaugural Gulf Coast Championships in 2010 and the highly successful 2013 USODA Southeast Optimist Championships and the 2015 USODA Optimist National Championships which drew 320 sailors from 12 foreign countries and the USA to the competition. The 2018 Optimist Nationals, just completed, drew 301 sailors and featured an opening ceremony keynote presentation by the team from the AC36 NYYC American Magic Challenge.
PYC hosts the Junior Olympic Sailing Festival every year near the Fourth of July. PYC hosted the US Sailing Single Handed Championships in 2010. The club hosted several Flying Tiger East Coast Championships, and the Flying Tiger Nationals were held at PYC in 2011. The club hosted the Ultimate 20 Nationals in 2012, and the Thistle Nationals in 2011. In 2009, PYC hosted both the Corsair Nationals and the Snipe Nationals. Also in 2009, PYC hosted the Junior Lipton Championship, the Gulf Yachting Association’s Junior Championship.
In 2019 PYC hosted the Thistle Class Southeast Championship in April, the 2019 Junior Olympic Sailing Festival presented by BBVA Compass in June, the Flying Scot North American Championship in July and will host the Melges 24 Bushwhacker Cup — the Atlantic and Gulf Coast Championship— in November. PYC stages local regattas throughout the year and offers a youth Summer Sailing Camp in the summer.
See Pensacola Yacht Club
For More Information
Tom Pace, Jr. — PYC Vice Commodore and Regatta Chairman
Hal Smith— PRO
Talbot Wilson— Regatta Marketing & Publicity