by Rich Roberts
The boats have only one modest hull and certainly don't foil, and the crews are mostly friends or family, including only a pro or two sailing for fun, not finances, in the 2014 Lido 14 National Class Championship at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club this weekend. Racing Friday through Sunday will be on the namesake bay fronting the club at the end of Ocean Blvd.
Lido 14s on Alamitos Bay
The favorite? Although the entries include past winners Chris Raab (1979, 1980, 1988 and 1994) and Mark Ryan (2010), competitors needn't worry about eight-time winner Dave Ullman, six-timer Stu Robertson, five-timer Craig Leweck or four-timer Mark Gaudio, none of whom were entered at last check.
But the competition should be nonetheless formidable.
What about Christophe Killian of Balboa Yacht Club and Corona del Mar High School, who last year at age 16 on home waters with skilled crew Greg Dair was the youngest winner ever by two points over Steve and Olivia Klotz of the Richmond (Calif.) YC and three points over Robertson?
Killian told Steve Virgen of the Daily Pilot, 'I had been sailing the boat for five years. When I first started I did my first nationals and I thought I was never going to win it. And then I win it as the youngest person ever and it was, 'Did that just happen?' To be honest, it was a little bit of a surprise.'
His opponents included his kid brother Porter and father Christopher, who are back this year.
No matter, Christophe said. 'There's no face to who you're sailing against. It's just another boat.'
Most of the 44 current entries will start racing at noon Friday in as many as four qualification races to split the field into Gold and Silver fleets. Those already committed to the latter group may rest until the split competition starts with as many as 15 races Saturday through Sunday at 11:30 a.m. daily, conditions permitting.
The weekend forecast is for Southern California's current heat wave to continue with southwest breeze of about 10 knots and high temperatures around 80F.
The event organizers thank Jake Sorosky from Quantum Sails, Simmzy’s of Long Beach, Gresham Boards and the ABYC Junior program for their donations.