Scott Self’s “Soap Opera” claimed the coveted Bacardi Cup for the third time in the 26th Annual Harvest Moon Regatta hosted by Lakewood Yacht Club Oct. 25 – 27. A life-long sailboat racer, Self also won the Bacardi cup in 2005 and 2006 and considers Lakewood’s Harvest Moon Regatta to be one of his “must do” races every year.
“Soap Opera,” a 33-foot monohull crafted by Hobie in 1982, raced the 150 miles across the Gulf of Mexico along with 190 other boats that started the race in Galveston off the new Pleasure Pier and headed to Port Aransas, most arriving on Friday afternoon, Oct. 26.
This was the first year that SPOT trackers were required on all boats so that the Race Committee could keep track of the racers’ positions and their safety. Lakewood Board member and former Harvest Moon Regatta Chairman Andrea Todaro mentioned that one of the woman racers said with a big smile “I did not want to have to use a SPOT, but I was surprised that my friends around the country watched my progress.”
Racers started out with relatively light winds in Galveston and then the wind died for several hours during the night. With the front coming through, it picked up considerably to the point that some gusts were then up to 30 mph. According to Harvest Moon Regatta Chairman Dwight Bengtson, 164 boats crossed the finish line. Bengtson also served as the Principle Race Officer of the Harvest Moon Regatta.
Approximately 2,000 folks participated in the Welcome Sailors Rum Party, the barbecue dinner under tents at the Port Aransas pavilion, and the awards ceremony where over 125 trophies were presented to the winners. Manfacturers Trophies were presented to winners in the category of Beneteau, Pacific Seacraft, Catalina, Jenneau, Lagoon (multihull), and Island Packet.
In addition to the Bacardi Cup, which is given to first place in the PHRF Spinnaker overall, the most competitive fleet in the race, there were six other perpetual trophies presented: the Cameron Canon (1st in Cruising Non-Spinnaker Fleet) to “Allessandra,” HLK Sailing School-Andrus; the Bill Hall Memorial (First Monohull to finish) to “Peerless,”Brian Torresen; the Mayors Cup (First Multihull to finish) to “Nelda Ray,” Peter Pattullo; the Commodores Cup (best Cruising Spinnaker overall) to “Sodalis,” Jim Demarest; the Founders Trophy (best Overall Multihull corrected) to “Alternate Latitude,” Steve Schlosser; and the Luna Trophy (first All Female Crew corrected) to “Shaken Not Stirred,” Beverly Caldwell.
On stage presenting the Bacardi Cup to Self was Harvest Moon Regatta Co-Founder John Broderick, along with Miguel Rodriguez, Bacardi Rum director of the state of Texas. Platinum sponsor Bacardi USA is the founding sponsor of the Harvest Moon Regatta. Regarding this year’s race, Broderick, who is also a past commodore of Lakewood Yacht Club, said “It was absolutely one of the best Harvest Moon Regattas we have ever had, from the weather to the racers’ participation and all the hard working volunteers! It was phenomenal!”
Additional sponsors included Gold: West Marine; Silver: Nautic and Banks Sails; Bronze: OJ’s Marine, Sea Lake Yacht Sales, Hays Marine-Energy & Logistics Insurance; and Mantus Anchors. Bay Access, a non-profit organization dedicated to amateur racing, is also a sponsor and is the organizing authority of the race in addition to be the 2012 charity.
In conclusion, Bengtson thanked everyone for attending and announced that next year’s Harvest Moon Regatta will start on Thursday, Oct. 17, off the Pleasure Pier in Galveston.