After spotting the Performance Handicap Racing Fleet C and D boats a 24-hour head start, the A and B ratings got off to a breezy start Saturday in the Long Beach to Cabo San Lucas race, giving promise that they might overhaul the smaller boats before reaching Cedros Island, the halfway point in the race.
The brisk 12-15 knot northwesterly wind was made to order for the big "downwind sleds" in the International Offshore Rule (IOR) and PHRF divisions as they close-reached across Long Beach Harbor at speeds in excess of 10 knots. First yacht across the line was Paul Simonsen's Santa Cruz-70 Mongoose with Tom Blackaller of St. Francis Yacht Club at the helm, closely followed by Roy Disney's Nelson-Marek 70 Pyewacket, Los Angeles Yacht Club, and Jake Wood's Mull-82 Sorcery, Pacific Mariners Yacht Club.
The 72-foot yawl Kialoa II, under charter to Kevin McGrath, was the only casualty of the start. She dropped out of the race within minutes with a broken backstay. McGrath said he would re-enter the race after having the backstay repaired.