Memorial Day Regatta at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club
by Rich Roberts on 26 May 2013
From kiteboards to catamarans and Lasers to Naples Sabots amid a variety of 135 boats in 16 classes, Alamitos Bay Yacht Club's annual Memorial Day Regatta is offering something for every ambitious sailor from here to New Jersey.
Memorial Day Regatta Rich Roberts
The latter would be Brian Kender, 25, from Mantoloking, N.J., who after Day one Saturday leads the traditional event's first kiteboard fleet with four wins in five races.
Also dominant is Charlie Buckingham from Newport Beach down the coast, who swept Saturday's four races in a 23-boat Laser Full fleet, as might be expected of America's best Laser sailor who was runnerup in the 2012 ISAF World Cup and two-time collegiate sailor of the year at Georgetown University.
And then there is William Sutton IV from Richmond YC in northern California, not a notable presence in 15th place in the Laser Radial Ocean fleet, except that he's only 12 years old. He figures success in sailing will come later.
'I'm always learning,' he said, 'because I know if I learn I'm gonna be good' … like the way he learned to play the violin and speak Mandarin. No kidding.
His largest concern is a weight problem: 92 pounds.
'I'm trying to put on a lot of weight,' he said, heading for the evening's barbecue buffet. 'I need to eat, eat, eat and eat some more.'
Kender's problem is that kiteboarding, adopted as an Olympic discipline at the expense of sailboarding a few months ago, was later dropped after a flood of protests.
'I quit my job to go to the Olympics,' Kender said.
Since then he has gotten by with prize money in world events and support from a home-state sponsor, Switlik Survival Products.
But he plans to spend more time in Long Beach.
'This is one of the best spots for the sport,' he said. 'For people breaking into the sport there is no better place.'
The regatta winds up Sunday. Although the kites had to wait for ideal wind Saturday, racing for most classes will start at noon, conditions permitting, on an outside course on Long Beach Harbor behind the Federal breakwater. Lido 14s and Naples Sabots are racing inside on Alamitos Bay.
Laser Full Rigs and Laser Radials are also pursuing the Area J Semifinals of the 2013 US Singlehanded Championship for sailors 17 years of age and older. US Sailing's Area J is comprised of the southern parts of California and Nevada plus Arizona and Utah.
The first of ABYC's traditional regattas for small but, in some cases, exceptionally fast boats will be followed by the Fourth of July Regatta in early summer, preceding the Labor Day Regatta in September and Turkey Day for Thanksgiving in November, drawing competitors from San Diego to San Francisco.
(after four of seven races)
A class catamaran (eght)—Matt Struble, USAC, one-one-one-nine/DNC, 12 points.
Formula 18 (five)--Stephen Stroebel/Matt Morris, Mission Bay YC, three-two-two-three, ten.
Kiteboard (12)—Brian Kender, (two)-one-one-one-one, four.
Viper 640 (eight)—Ed Feo/ Chris Deneen, ABYC, one-one-one-two, five.
Weta Trimaran (seven)—Daniel Wilson, JWYC, one-one-three-three, eight.
Laser full (Ocean, 23)—Charlie Buckingham, Newport Harbor YC, one-one-one-one, four.
Laser full area J semifinal (16)—Buckingham, one-one-one-one, four.
Laser radial (Ocean, 16)—Lawson Willard, St. Francis/San Francisco YCs, six-two-one-one, 11eleven
Laser radial area J (four)—Lindsey Baab, St. Francis/San Francisco YCs, two-one-one-one, five.
Mercury (six)—Randy Smith/Kathryn Smith, San Francisco YC, one-one-one-one, four.
Portsmouth (six)—Antoine Laussu, PSSA, one-one-one-four, seven.
(After five of nine races)
Lido 14 A (eight)—Stu Robertson/Sammy Elsharhawy, ABYC, one-one-one-(three)-one, four.
Liso 14 B (four)—Adam Elsharhawy/Nora Elsharhawy, ABYC, one-one-(three)-one-three, six.
Sabot senior (nine)—Freddie Stevens, ABYC, (four)-three-one-two-one, seven.
Sabot C two (three)—Kai Lee Malm, Newport Harbor YC, one-two-one-(three)-one, five.
Sabot Cthree (two)—Nosh Greenberg, ABYC, one-one-(three)-one-one, four.