As one of the classic California summer regattas, this year's Long Beach Race Week delivered on that promise with WSW breezes, some fog and cool conditions. Friday's sailing saw lots of fog the morning burn off and produce gorgeous sailing in the afternoon with 8-14 kts breezes from WSW. Saturday's sailing saw the wind in a more southerly quadrant and with three races scheduled, the PRO's were busy changing marks to the west all day as the wind clocked from 190 to 235 degrees. Sunday dawned sunny onshore but by midday the tail feathers of a front passing by the south produced the most southerly breezes of the weekend, ranging from 160 to 210 degrees with some grey overcast skies for some fleets.
The host clubs, Long Beach YC and Alamitos Bay YC, provided excellent race management across three circles (North- J/24s; West- J/120s, PHRF 1; South- J/70, J/80, J/105, J/109, PHRF) for the 18 classes. Six one-design J fleets participated, including J/24s, J/70s, J/80s, J/105s, J/109s and J/120s. In addition, the two PHRF divisions had several offshore J teams sailing.
The eight teams sailing the J/70 class saw San Diego YC member Bennet Greenwald continuing his winning streak in J/70s sailing PERSEVERANCE to take top honors with five 1sts in their score card of seven races. Behind them it was quite a tussle for the top five. In the end, Craig Tallman from Kings Harbor YC took second sailing JAYA with mostly 2nd and 3rds for a total of 20 pts. Third was the team of Tom Jenkins and Eric Kownacki on DFZ just three points back. Fourth was Karl Pomeroy in ZERO TO 60 and fifth was Dan Gribble and Joe Wiese in GO-RILLA.
The J/105 class has six teams sailing and the fleet saw a repeat of the battle for the lead during California Race Week a few weeks earlier between Gary Mozer's CURRENT OBSESSION 2 from Marina del Rey and Rick Goebel's SANITY from San Diego. Mozer's "CO2" gang again ran the table, taking all 1sts, not having to sail the last race. The same held true for Goebel's SANITY crew, sailing mostly 2nds and not sailing the last race as well. Perhaps the most heart-warming story for the 105s was to see Scott McDaniel's OFF THE PORCH sail their best regatta in decades, winning the last race and celebrating with the award- an enormous bottle of Mt Gay Rum from the sponsor!
Local sailor Steve Crooke from Long Beach YC sailed SUGAR to a dominating win in the J/109 class, counting three 1sts and three 2nds in their tally to win by 8 pts. Past winner Tom Brott sailed ELECTRA to second overall after winning the first day with two bullets and struggling off the starting line for the next two days. Third was Chris Mewes SHADOWFAX. The balance of the top five included Bryce Benjamin's PERSISTENCE in 4th and Alice Heahey's GRACE O'MALLEY in 5th.
The nine boat J/120 class had many of the top SoCal teams participating, including several champions over the past few years. Starting with three bullets on Saturday, it was readily apparent to all that with good starts and good speed that San Diego YC's John Laun and friends on CAPER were well on their way to winning their class. Following up that magnificent performance with two 2nds on Sunday assured them of the J/120 class crown. Just behind them was a real dog-fight for the top five. The last race pretty much determined the overall standings with some teams rising to the occasion and others simply blowing it, just six points separated four boats. Surviving the carnage was Gary Winton's SHENANIGANS, taking second with a 6-3-5-1-3 record. Third one point back was Chuck Nichol's CC RIDER with a 3-2-2-5-7 scoreline. Fourth two points back was Mike Hatch's J-ALMIGHTY with a consistent 4-4-4-6-4 tally. Finally, rounding out the top five was John Snook's JIM as top local Long Beach boat with a 2-9-8-4-1 record.
With six 1sts and one 2nd, it was quite clear that Curt Johnson sailing AVET performed a "three-peat" of winning the J/80 class, easily out-distancing his competitors over the three days. Repeating the same finish order as Cal Race Week, Steve Wyman on NUHUNU took second overall. Third was Bob Hayward on BLUE JAY.
The five J/24s competing had nice, shifty winds sailing the the northern course near the "pumping" islands along the shore. Winning with a race to spare was Jim Bauerley's CRITTER with 18 pts. Second was Susan Taylor's TAKE FIVE, narrowly beating by one point John Cianciarulo's ABOUT TIME.
In PHRF I Division, the twin J/125s nearly took the top two spots. However, choosing a #3 jib off the start in the last race versus a #2 jib in a dying breeze meant Mark Surber's J/125 DERIVATIVE had to settle for third overall. Sailing a superb series was Peter Krueger's J/125 DOUBLE TROUBLE, with four 1sts and two 2nds in the record, they dominated their class.
The PHRF 4 Division were treated to a sweep by J/Teams. Top banana was Dave Boatner & Dick Velthoen's J/35 RIVAL from Ventura YC easily winning their class with mostly 1sts and 2nds. Second overall was the PHRF-optimized J/105 LEGACY sailed by Brian Dougherty from Long Beach YC. For more Long Beach Race Week sailing information