Classic Sailing at Pinecrest Worlds
by Tom Burden
The El Toro fleet gathered at Pinecrest Lake August 19-20 for our annual El Toro Worlds. Some members of the group arrived as early as Tuesday, and spent an entire week at Pinecrest. The weather varied between typical, glorious Pinecrest at its best to lots of storm related excitement. Four members of our fleet were sailing on Thursday, when a Mono came through with 35 knot easterlies, getting everybody off the lake quickly.
Racing Saturday in the Worlds was Pinecrest at its finest, meaning that the breeze goes from three knots to 20 knots from every direction. In the second race, Fred Paxton mounted a GoPro camera on the front of his mast. Expecting to be at the back of the fleet, Fred wanted to look at all the boats in front of him. He expected to see a lot of exciting El Toro action. Instead, Fred rounded the first mark in the lead, garnering great pictures of Pinecrest Lake, but no boats! Finally, near the mark called "Stump", Tom Burden got in frame for a movie with one lone Toro, as Fred held on for second place.
Sunday's racing was gloomy, gray, light wind sailing. Tropical Storm Hilary was headed north and caused unusual weather, including rain and thunderstorms on Saturday night.
When it was all over, Tom Burden won the Worlds with two bullets and a third. He dominated the racing on Saturday, and then on Sunday struggled while John Pacholski escaped to perform a horizon job in the ZigZig course.
Fred Paxton was second, John was third. Six boats raced the entire Worlds, with cameo appearances by Bob Hrubes and Chris Simenstad. We're looking forward to the 2024 Worlds, with hopes that we can get more boats to come up and enjoy this great venue.