Cal 20 June 2015

This is a continuation of our fifty year saga about  Cal 20's in Victoria.

Peter Chattleburgh wrote about Cal20's in Pacific  Yachting in 1986. The
title of his article was "Victoria's tenacious    Cal 2'0s". Some of what he
said will sound familiar. When he wrote his article   there were around 150
Cal 20's in this area. He wondered about the most exceptional thing about
Victoria Fleet 13 ,was may being, that the fleet existed at all.

In those days it had become s a very active entity and remained so for quite a few
years. He comments that the Cal 20 fleet were  something that race
committees love to hate. (and may still do, archivist's comment ! )  The
committees' frustration was keenest during large  multi division series and
regattas. The boat that they'll abuse most was the last one, the one wafting
down from the weather mark as 80 odd crews in other divisions wait like
impatient stallions at the starting line . Sometimes, in tempered
frustration, they will shorten the course,  or finish them on the course, so
that the reluctant Cal's can finish before Christmas.   

Hotshots in the PHRF and other one-design divisions look down on the Cal 20
fleet with thinly vailed scorn, perhaps forgetting that some may have started in these
practical little vessels, whose skippers usually choose not to  use
spinnakers. Chattleburgh also points out that a major reason for the Cal
20's popularity has been its inherent stability.  With more than 900 lbs of
ballast. out of a total displacement of 1950 lbs, in cast iron at the bottom
of an otherwise narrow keel , it is reported very hard to turn the boat
over. He reports that one of Vancouver's major sailing schools had a
standing offer of $1000 for anyone who could accomplish this feat in normal
sailing conditions.

For many followers the Cal 20's  lack of sophistication
is one  its greatest attributes. If simplicity is a grace then the Cal 20 is
amply blessed. It was reported to him that local owners agree that an
overnight sojourn on a Cal  is more  like camping than cruising. Moreover
since most of one's  time  is spent outside in the boat's ample cockpit,.
good weather is essential.  

The pictures show a little of this.  Look out for more chapters in this Saga.
Peter Coy ( keeper of the Cal 20 archives)

 

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