by Rick Roberts
Sailor Dustin Durant of the Long Beach Yacht Club has surpassed another rung on the ladder in his climb to the top of the world’s match race rankings with his Feb. 3 win in the Grade 2 ISAF North America and Caribbean Nation’s Cup in Bridgetown, Barbados.
(l-r) Dustin Durant, Shane Young, Ben Wheatley and Alex Jacobs celebrate their win of the 2013 ISAF North America and Caribbean Nations Cup
Son of LBYC members Bill and Pam Durant, he was 43rd in the ISAF match racing rankings going into the regatta, advancing to 31st after the win.
Racing on J/22s with his Long Beach Match Racing team of Shane Young, Ben Wheatley and Alex Jacobs, Durant commented on the regatta.
'It was a great event,' Durant said. 'We had to make a couple of adjustments on the boat. The hardest part was trimming the jib, but Shane figured it out.
'The first day the wind was blowing 20-25 [knots] and it kept shifting. It was really tricky.'
'The Puerto Rican team was really good. They were all collegiate All-Americans and were really fast. We had to work at keeping them behind us.
'Then every time we faced the Canadians and [Peter] Wickwire he would beat us. But when we faced him in the finals, we decided that enough was enough… and beat him 3-0.'
The grand prize for winning the regatta is an invitation to represent his country and his yacht club in the Grade 1 2013 ISAF Nations Cup Grand Final in Denmark, Aug. 6-10, 2013.
Like his parents, Durant is an accomplished sailor and knows how to handle the helm on anything from a Sabot to the family owned Santa Cruz 52. But his passion is match racing.
Showing just how far they have come in their match race development Durant and his team won both the fall Butler Cup---as part of the 2012-2013 California Dreamin’ Series---and the 2012 Ficker Cup. With his Ficker Cup win he received the invitation to, and competed in, last year’s Congressional Cup.
Already an invited skipper for this year’s Ficker Cup, Durant has another opportunity to race his way into his second Congressional Cup. But it certainly won’t be easy.
With fellow member and 11-time Ficker Cup winner Scott Dickson as one of the other skippers, Durant certainly has his work cut out for him.
For more information on the 2013 Ficker Cup and the 2013 Congressional Cup, visit LBYC.