by Rich Roberts
The third annual Campbell Cup is being hosted by the Long Beach Yacht Club. On day 1 winds started light at five-seven knots but built significantly to 13 knots and the usually reliable Long Beach sea breeze shifted 20 degrees from south to southwest in the second race.
Farr 40s Dark Star (l.) and White Knight drive off the start line - Campbell Cup Day 1 2011
Forget the handicap, Ed McDowell's Grand Illusion, a quarter-century old this year, can still find its way to the finish line.
The sixth Santa Cruz 70 built as one of the forerunners of a revolution of offshore racing on the West Coast showed its transom to six rivals Saturday with two wins and a second. Sure, GI, from King Harbor YC with Patrick O'Brien driving and McDowell at his shoulder, benefitted a bit from the second highest ORR handicap in effect, but boat for boat it also placed second twice and third once. 'We had some good racing with Alchemy,' O'Brien said, referring to Per Peterson's later model Andrews 68 from Oceanside YC that scored 1-3-2 to stand second overall with two races remaining Sunday.
Otherwise, Lorenzo Berho's Peligroso, a late-model Kernan 70 formerly raced by the event's namesake, the late Mike Campbell, was the fastest 70 but paid the technological price with the lowest rating in the West Coast 70s fleet. The two other separate classes were led by local racers---Dirk Freeland's Skian Dhu from the local Alamitos Bay YC among six Farr 40s and Manouch Moshayedi's Rio from Shoreline YC (1-1-1) against three other i52s.
The three classes sailed two- and three-lap races around a 1.5-nautical mile windward-leeward course. All the class leaders jumped on the same bandwagon: Go right at Long Beach. Moshayedi, piloting a black boat with black sails and a black-clad crew, said, 'We race at Long Beach a lot. We know where the wind is. The other boats were trying to push each other around. We sailed our own race.'
Rio tacks away from i52 foes with the shifting breeze - Campbell Cup Day 1 2011
Unlike other TP52s, who sail a one-design format, these i52s are racing under IRC handicaps, although considering Rio's runaway margins it didn't make much difference. But Freeland's Skian Dhu---Gaelic for 'Black Knight'---is far from home free. His 2-1-2 scoreline is only two points better than Jeff Janov's 1-3-3 with his normally dominant Dark Star, which had an odd day. Dark Star had to restart after an OCS in the first race, but that was the only race it won.
'That was a real crazy race,' Freeland said. 'There was a lot of traffic with the big boats out there.' Skian Dhu, Dark Star and Jeff Shew and Bill Durant's third-place Viva La Vida all finished the second race flying red protest flags, but none followed through.
'It was fun,' said Freeland's mast man, Chris Linka. 'I don't know what we did right, but we didn't do anything wrong.'
West Coast 70s (7 boats; ORR handicap)
Grand Illusion (Santa Cruz 70), Ed McDowell. King Harbor YC, 2-1-1, 4 points.
Farr 40s (8)
Skian Dhu, Dirk Freeland, Alamitos BAY YC, 2-1-2, 5.
i52s (4; IRC handicap)
Rio, Manouch Moshayedi, Shoreline YC, 1-1-1, 3.
Condor crosses the i52s - Campbell Cup Day 1 2011
The event is sponsored by North Sails, the world leader in sailmaking, and SeaTek Yachting Inc., your No. 1 Los Angeles shop for all your yachting solutions.