by Rich Roberts
The boat hoists weren't working, so three classes couldn't compete, but that didn't discourage the Snipes or the women who shared them on Day one of Alamitos Bay Yacht Club's Fourth of July Regatta Saturday.
Erik Hou of Newport Harbor YC leads Sabot A's at mark
In a rare appearance locally, the 10 two-person dinghies mostly from San Diego had the Long Beach Harbor course almost to themselves for their Pacific Coast Championships, except for three International 14s, and created a four-boat battle with one point separating each of the first four positions.
Aine McLean Pretwill leads Snipe rivals at windward mark
Eric Heim, with wife Aimee as crew, leads the way with two wins and two fourth places, a nose ahead of Aine McLain Pretwell, with crew Matt Cappetta, a point ahead of Rick Arneson and crew Diana Waterbury, a point ahead of Doug Hart, the current District six champion with Ryan Hopps as crew.
Three fleets---Viper 640s, Cal 20s and Tempests---were eliminated from competing because of an electrical breakdown in the boat hoists earlier in the week. The smaller Snipes were able to launch manually using the small hoist.
Snipe and an I-14 cross paths
Pretwell, whose first name is pronounced Ayn-ya, won no races on the windward-leeward course, but the Mission Bay YC mother of three scored three seconds and would have had a fourth second if not for a single stumble.
'We were in second place when we hit the pin [buoy] at the finish when Doug Hart took us out,' she said. 'We had to go back [to refinish] and lost three places. Nevertheless, to be battling with Doug is a very good day for me. I'm always right behind those guys.'
The shifty southerly breeze built from 6 to gusts of 12 knots through an otherwise pleasant afternoon.
Heim said, 'We love coming here.'
Cameron Puckey and crew Jake Sorosky work their I-14
His main problem Saturday was in the first race when 'we were leading halfway up the second lap when a lefty [wind shift] came in and put us back.'
The female gender also held its own in the Lido 14s and Naples Sabots on the courses insides Alamitos Bay, holding overnight leads in two of the seven classes.
The regatta is one of ABYC's four traditional holiday sailfests, following May's Memorial Day Regatta and preceding the Labor Day and Turkey Day (Thanksgiving) regattas yet to come.
ABYC Laser sailors serve on the volunteer regatta team for this event, so there is no Laser racing. However, ABYC's Chris Raab, a power in the Laser class, jumped into a Lido 14 and ran off two firsts and two seconds to lead by five points.
Snipes round opposite ends of leeward gate as others enjoy a big day on the beach
The galley will be open each day, with a regatta breakfast menu and bag lunches available. The club bar will be open after racing.
(After four of seven races; one throwout after five races)
Snipe (10 boats)---Erik Heim/Aimee Heim, San Diego YC, 4-1-4-1, 10 points.
International 14 (3)---Cameron Puckey/Jake Sokorsky, Alamitos Bay YC, 1-1-1, 3.
(After five of nine races; one throwout)
Lido 14 A (13)---Chris Raab, ABYC, (4)-2-2-1-1, 6.
Lido 14-B (3)---Stephen Mueller/Liz Perry, ABYC, (3)-1-1-1-1, 4.
Naples Sabot-A---(2) Erik Hou, Newport Harbor YC, (2)-1-2-1-1, 7.
Naples Sabot-B (3)---Brett Peoples, ABYC, 1-(2)-1-1-1, 4.
Naples Sabot-C1 (4)---Tara Rogers, Long Beach YC, 1-1-(2)-2, 6.
Naples Sabot-C2 (10)---Charley Snyder, ABYC, (5)-1-1-1-2, 7.
Naples Sabot-C3 (7)---Saylor Little, ABYC/CYC, (4)-3-1-1-1, 6.