Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Good Sailing, Good Times at Long Beach

J/70 snuggie bearJ/111 PICOSA Wins PHRF A, J/35 RIVAL Smokes PHRF B
(Long Beach, CA)– If there were any dusty sailors, following Saturday night’s Mount Gay Rum party at Long Beach Yacht Club, it wasn’t evident in the level of racing on the third and final day of Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week (LBRW).  The 120 teams greeted the day head-on, with tight racing in 14 classes on three windward-leeward and random leg courses.

Reigning J/70 World Champion, Julian Fernandez’s FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO, handsomely won the J/70 division, with Bruce Golison’s MIDLIFE CRISIS in second and Joel Ronning’s CATAPULT in third.

While the big boats bring excitement and cachet to LBRW, the J/70 fleet has drawn some of the big guns too, including World Champion Bill Hardesty on FLOJITO Y COOPERANDO, and John Kostecki – Olympic medalist, America’s Cup champion, and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year – on CATAPULT.  Behind this line-up of super-stars were two perennial SoCal contenders, sitting just 5 pts back and having their outcome determined by a tie-breaker.  Sitting on 45 pts each, Jeff Janov’s crew on MINOR THREAT took fourth place while Bruce Cooper & Shawn Bennet’s USA 32 was fifth.

J/120 crazy sailors“I like to see how I stack up against the pros,” said Corinthian sailor George Hershman, who finished 23rd out of 26 teams. A newcomer to the J/70 fleet with SOLARCOASTER, he said the pro talent provides, “a really great way to learn” for Corinthian racers. The top Corinthian team was Chris Raab & Dale Williams’ SUGOI, followed by Craig Tallman’s JAYA in second, Scott Deardorff’s CAKE in third, Tracy & Christine Usher’s CHRISTINE ROBIN in fourth and Dave Vieregg’s SOGGY DOLLAR in fifth.

As one might have expected, the J/120s yet again had rivalries materialize just for the regatta.  This time around, it happened to be John Snook’s JIM vs John Laun’s CAPER.  They chased each other around the racetrack all weekend and still only ended up one point apart.  Laun’s CAPER crew started out fastest, posting a 2-1-1-3 to be leading going into Saturday night.  However, it was Snook’s JIM team that closed with an identical record of 2-1-1-3 to win class.  Third was Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER and fourth place was determined on a tie-breaker, with Rudolph Hasl’s HASL FREE taking it over Mike Hatch’s J-ALMIGHTY.

In the J/109 Class, it was yet again Tom Brott’s Santa Barbara YC crew on ELECTRA that nearly ran the table of seven races, posting four bullets to win with just 11 pts.  Second was Heinz Butner’s RAPTOR team with 16 pts and third was Peter Nelson’s SPRAY from Cal YC.

J/35 RIVAL- sailing Long BeachIn addition to the two one-design fleets, there was intense PHRF racing on both windward/leeward and random leg courses.  In the ten boat PHRF A division, Doug Jorgensen’s PICOSA crew from Alamitos Bay YC sailed a very consistent series to take the class win.  Their sistership, Glen Griley’s STAMPEDE from Kings Harbor YC, placed fourth and Tim Harmon’s J/124 CIRRUS placed seventh.

The PHRF Sportboat division saw Curt Johnson’s Cal YC crew on the J/80 AVET finish an uncharacteristic fourth in class.  But, then again, they were up against much faster boats like a Bolt 37, M32 and C&C 30. They were followed by Steve Maynard’s J/80 IN TENTHS in fifth place.

PHRF B was dominated by a very well-sailed J/35, David Boatner’s RIVAL from Ventura YC.  After winning six races in a row of possible seven, they finally took their foot off the gas and took a celebratory 2nd in the last race to win class by an astounding 13 pts.  Third in class was Scott McDaniel’s J/105 OFF THE PORCH.

LBRW maintained its reputation as a favorite west coast regatta, thanks to great competition and race management, bookended by lively parties where long-time friends mingle and compare racing notes.  For more Long Beach Race Week sailing information