Attention Melges 24 Sailors…
Entries build for Pensacola YC “Bushwhacker Cup” by Talbot Wilson/Pensacola Yacht Club
Pensacola FL, Nov 5, 2019: Melges 24 sailors have just 10 days to get teams together and to enter the inaugural Melges 24 Bushwhacker Cup at Pensacola YC. Entries now stand at 23 with teams coming from New York, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas, Georgia, and all the deep south states.
This is your first chance for these Melges 24’s to catch the magic of sailing on Pensacola Bay and to savor a prizewinning Bushwhacker from the club’s Blue Bar… a World’s Best Yachting Bar.
Activities begin on Nov 15 when Quantum Sails hosts a Melges 24 clinic featuring Zane Yoder, the Melges 24 Gulf Coast District Chair, following afternoon practice racing at Pensacola Yacht Club.
November 16-17, Pensacola will host a new Melges 24 Regatta— the inaugural Bushwhacker Cup (the Atlantic & Gulf coast Championship).
Sailors can sign up at at Regatta Network and get all the regatta details.
Fall sailing in Pensacola Bay can be quite different from Summer seabreeze sailing. Even by mid-October, fronts have started coming through bringing brisk east winds shifting around to northwest with a noticeable temperature drop. That’s a game changer for local knowledge.
For this regatta, Pensacola PRO Hal Smith plans to introduce new robot race marks — MarkSetBots— which are in Pensacola for the Performance Sailing League’s winter Exhibition Series. Using robot marks will allow the committee to set courses quickly and accurately and to shift marks at the push of a button.
“We want to offer a fun, competitive regatta in our fantastic venue. Pensacola Bay is perfect for Melges 24 sailing,” Smith said. “To that end, we invite all the class sailors to enter the 2019 inaugural Melges 24 regatta on Pensacola Bay. We have dates reserved and Pensacola Yacht Club is ready to shine.”
Pensacola Yacht Club has a 22 acre, powerline free campus. Owners can arrange to store their Melges 24’s before and after the regatta in order to accommodate travel plans for their teams.
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 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.
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 will return to Pensacola in November to train in both the AC75 ‘Defiant’ and the ‘Mule’ in 2019-20 before heading to the first Prada Cup race series in Sardinia in April.
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. — Chairman
Hal Smith—PRO and PYC Fleet Captain
Talbot Wilson— Regatta Marketing & Communications