Saturday, June 25, 2016

Long Beach Race Week Preview

J/120s sailing Long Beach (Long Beach, CA) – There are many reasons Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week (LBRW) is the “best in the west” each year; this sailing season opener draws racers from San Diego to San Francisco (and even a few renegades from as far as Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Seattle) for three days of hot racing, cool parties, and warm hospitality.

This year’s LBRW, running from June 24th to 26th to 26, 2016, will be no exception, as roughly 150 entrants compete in windward-leeward or random leg courses, in both one-design and PHRF classes, on lively ocean and outer harbor courses.

Now in its third decade, the popular LBRW counts toward the Southern California High Point Series for J/70, J/109 and J/120 fleets. Plus, racers vie for the Satariano Boat of the Week and PHRF Boat of the Week; Kent Golison Family Trophy; Travel Trophy; and coveted Yacht Club Challenge.

J/70s sailing Long BeachThe social side of the event is shared by the two leading clubs in Long Beach.  For starters, Friday’s classic Alamitos Bay Yacht Club After-Race Party features a live band, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and no-host bar!  Then, there is Saturday’s legendary Mt Gay Rum After-Race Party at Long Beach Yacht Club, also featuring a live band, complimentary hors d’oeuvres and no-host bar.  If that was not enough opportunity for socializing with family and friends, there is always Sunday’s prize-giving, with more free food and no-host bar!! YowZAH!!  Plus, new this year is the “Buzz Bar” catered coffee bistro, hosted by US Sailing; and a pre-regatta Welcome Party at “Boathouse-on-the-Bay on Thursday night. Race all day, party all night!  For four days?  By Sunday, it is likely many at the Buzz Bar will be contemplating taking a vacation from their LBRW sailing weekend!

Initial forecasts are for a hot weekend, with temperatures into the 80s and idyllic 10-knot breezes.  In fact, there are “heat warnings” forecast just inland; a good thing for sailors since the hot air rises fast and creates nice cool 10-15 kt sea breezes along the coast.

J/70 Bruce Golison sailing Long BeachBruce Golison won the Overall LBRW title last year, and returns as defending champion aboard MIDLIFE CRISIS in the larger-than-ever J/70 fleet with twenty-five boats!  Joining Bruce for some fun & frolic on the rolling Pacific Ocean swells are an amazing assembly of West Coast sailing talent, such as Bruce Cooper/ Shawn Bennet’s USA 32, Chris Kostanecki’s JENNIFER, Justin Kromelow’s LOOSE LUCY, Jeff Janov’s MINOR THREAT, Craig Tallman’s JAYA, Tracy & Kristy Usher’s CHRISTINE ROBIN, Jack Franco’s 3 BALL JT, Chris Raab/ Dale Williams’ SUGOI, Scott Deardorff’s CAKE, Chris Snow/ John Bridgen’s COOL STORY BRO, and Pat Toole’s MONKEY HOUSE.  Facing this seriously fast crowd will be Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT team from Wayzata, Minnesota.

The J/120 SoCal fleet is showing up in full force and the crews on the seven boats will most assuredly have a good time!  Most of the headliners from the past will be hoping to make their mark again this coming weekend.  Legendary match-ups in this class include John Laun’s CAPER and Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER, plus John Snook’s JIM and Mike Hatch’s J-ALMIGHTY.  ADIOS (Peter Bretschger), PRIVATE RESIDENCE (Rich Festa) and HASL FREE (Rudolph Hasl) will be doing their best to upset everyone else’s apple cart along the way!

In addition to the two one-design fleets, there will be intense PHRF racing on both windward/leeward and random leg courses.  In PHRF Random Leg A division, Viggo Torbensen’s TIMESHAVER will be up against seriously big boats like SC 52s and SC 70s.  In PHRF Sportboat division is Scott McDaniel’s J/105 OFF THE PORCH and Curt Johnson’s champion crew on the J/80 AVET.

In the ten boat PHRF A division that will be sailing W/L courses are two J/111s- Glen Griley’s STAMPEDE and Doug Jorgensen’s PICOSA- and Tim Harmon’s J/124 CIRRUS.  Then, PHRF B will have to contend with a quartet of bloodthirsty J/109s that include past multiple LBRW winners Tom Brott on ELECTRA, Steve Carter’s GERONIMO, Heinz Butner’s RAPTOR, and Peter Nelson’s SPRAY.  A very well-sailed J/35 will be joining the fun for J/team dominance- David Boatner’s RIVAL from Ventura YC.  Sailing photo credits-  For more Long Beach Race Week sailing information