• Line Honors Without Breaking A Sweat: Good Calls Most Excellent Shakedown

    Good Call on her way the line honors. image © Will Suto

    “It wasn’t what we were thinking was going to happen” Jeff Brown, boat captain and helmsman for Tom Barkers Swan 60FD Good Call says “We literally were thinking of the race as a shakedown to get the boat ready for the Transpac, and we got really, really lucky.”

    Good Calls clean layout

    Watermaker with lots of capacity means plenty of fresh water to go around!

    The Swan 60FD is a racer cruiser or a fast cruiser depending on who you ask. It doesn’t lack creature comforts and Good Call is a comfortable ride. Water maker,, air conditioning, generator and push button winches make sailing her a pleasure, and not a chore. She is the 4th yacht Tom Barker has owned, A J-124, a J-145 and a J65 all named Good Call preceded her. They came prepared. To be pampered.

    le menu

    The crew of 9 were in for a treat, no freeze-dried meals on this tour. Nightly wine pairings with main courses of Salmon and Sauvignon Blanc, Spaghetti with meatballs and Argiano Super Tuscan, Lasagna with a Fritz Pinot Noir. Breakfast of Bacon and eggs, pancakes or croissant. Nightly pupus. Homemade Ice Cream on the last night. It was rough.

    The crew before the start

    The crew of nine, David Oliver, Jeff Brown, Tom Barker, John Gladstone, Tom Parry, Patrick Murray, Erik Rogers, Javier Quiroz, and Will Suto would start with 6 other boats in ORR 3 on Friday, along with 4 SC 50/52’s. Her rating 0f 1.1378 was the highest of all boats in the division but she is not light and would need the optimal conditions to live up to the appointed number. She had just been outfitted with a new deeper keel and racing boom to upgrade from cruising mode to offshore race mode, a new quiver of sails delivered just days before the March 15th start. A kelp cutter and massive running rigging tune up and electronics upgrade in the weeks leading up to the race.

    “We had only few hours of sailing before the race” Jeff notes “But the crew was up to the task. Great group, great camaraderie, easy going event, and with the AC and powered winches, I don’t think anyone broke a sweat”

    The Friday start was the best of all, and ORR 3 had wind the entire trip. Mostly in the 8-12 knot range. Dropping to 5 knots for just a short spell. “We started with #2 then 2A, Code Zero then to 3A thereafter between 1A 2A and 2.5 never took the kites down till finish” Jeff recalls. The 54’10” waterline really loving the wind range and the seas stayed well behaved the whole way. While the Saturday and boats suffered light air sections, the Friday starters were blessed from start to finish. Thursdays ORR 5 fleet had respectable returns in smile per mile and for a while, it appeared that the line honors would emerge from within that group.

    Good Call would jump to the front of the Friday fleet by the San Diego/Mexico border and stay well on the outside of the rhumbline until just south of Bahia Tortugas and then bounce in and out just west of it the remainder of the race. She reeled in Onde Amo early on Sunday morning and finally passed Aloha west of Puta Abreojos and was even with the 3 lead boats by Puerto Magdalena. She passed remained outside of them the rest of the way. With John Gladstone and David Oliver calling the tactical shots, and the crew performing gybes and trim with near perfection, Good Call was now on a mission.

    “We could see Brown Eye Girl, Marisol and Chubasco on the AIS, sailing in lockstep down the course, and it was really fun too watch, but we kept our concentration and focus on the new objective, this shakedown is turning out better than we could have ever imagined!” Jeff gleams “We were about 6 hours out when we realized it was our race to win or lose, and losing wasn’t an option we wanted.”

    They put the hammer down and leveraging some hot angles working on the final approach, crossed the finish line at 20:05, nearly 3 hours ahead of the next boat, Bob Pethick’s Rogers 46 Bretwalda3 to claim line honors. “ We are really happy for owner Tom Barker, her is really a great guy to sail with, and this just being the 2nd Cabo Race for him after a bad accident in his 1st one years ago, not to mention the surprise victory that none of us ever imagined”

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    Prepping Good Call For Offshore Racing:

    In addition to superior service by North Sails Patrick Murray, Fontenay Yacht Repair to get the water maker up to snuff
    and electrical and instrument work by Artie Means, our friends at SD Boatworks labored tirelessly to get Good Call in
    primo operating condition:

    "SD Boatworks was honored to be one of the companies chosen to carry out the modifications, upgrades and commissioning of the Swan 60 “Good Call”. During this process the yacht was put into racing trim, and prepared for offshore racing, something it had never done before. The complexities of a yacht of this caliber come from the integrated systems, that when set up properly allow the yacht to function with fingertip control, but every one of these functions needs to be serviced, tuned and adjusted with very little margin for error. Among other tasks, SD Boatworks refined and tuned the onboard sailing systems including the powered winch system, push button hydraulics system, the running rigging and soft attachments. No detail was ignored and every system was tested rigorously both at the dock and under sail during sea trials where the SD Boatworks team worked side by side with the sailors to ensure that the functionality and reliability were up to the standards required for the race. The results of these efforts are a boat that is not only fast, but also very enjoyable to sail with precision systems that put every control at the fingertips of the crew."

    "SD Boatworks is a San Diego based Rigging Shop that specializes in both racing and cruising sailboats. Along with their local service business, SD Boatworks is also the West Coast distributor for Marlow Ropes, which they ship to customers nationwide ranging from small rig shops to Grand Prix race programs as well as club racers on both coasts and in the Great Lakes. You can learn more about them at their website, SDBoatworks.com"

    David Servais
    SD Boatworks
    2733 Shelter Island Drive
    San Diego, CA 92106

    Shop: (619) 592 8682
    Cell: (360) 510 2984
    This article was originally published in forum thread: 2019 Cabo Race: Margaritaville Or Bust started by Photoboy View original post