by Rich Roberts
E.E. Manning Regatta first day of racing, held at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, got underway on Saturday 2nd March 2013. Christopher Weis and his crew Dot Obei docked their CFJ Saturday after day one with the 2012-13 Shadden Series apparently in their pockets, which meant they probably wouldn't need to race Sunday.
Manning Regatta 2013 Day 1
'We're gonna be here sailing,' Weis said. 'I think I can learn from every time I sail.'
That goes for next year, too, when Weis, 17, of Del Rey YC in Marina del Rey, will still be a year under the age limit for the 50-boat series sponsored by the Southern California Yachting Association and named for Long Beach's 1988 Olympic silver medalist, John Shadden. Dot, his crew, is only 14.
They have won nine of the 18 races in the series so far.
Dot's sister Cassie, 16, also represents Del Rey YC with crew Duke Saunders and is high in the Shadden Series standings with two races remaining Sunday.
Competition in the Manning, founded in 1935, is limited to one- and two-person dinghies---no keelboats allowed. The event also is the fourth and final stop of the Shadden Series following monthly regattas at Marina del Rey, Newport Beach and San Diego.
In other classes, Brian Cottrell (4-1-1-3) of King Harbor YC currently holds the tiebreaker in Laser Full in a three-way tie with Peter Dresnin, California YC, and Rodion Mazin, ABYC; Paul Didham, San Diego YC, leads Laser Radials with wins in three of four races; Stuart Robertson and crew Sammy Elshahawry (1-2-1-1) lead Lido 14s; Scott Mais, Newport Harbor YC, is locked in a fight in Naples Sabots with Jim Otis, ABYC, and Kyle Van Lant, Long Beach YC, dominates Sabot C.
Weis's strategy was simple, even though the venue inside Long Beach Harbor didn't approach its usual double-digit breeze, offering only 3 to 5 knots from south-southwest.
Nevertheless, Weis said, 'It's a great place to sail, and ABYC does a lot for junior sailing. I played the right [side of the windward-leeward course] all day. It was good strategy.'
And although no other crew was lighter than Weis at 150 pounds and Obei at 85 -'We weighed in a half-pound over the minimum,' Weis said - they would have preferred a bit more breeze.
'We're really light but we talk a lot and are really physical,' Weis said.
The schedule calls for three races Sunday, starting at noon, conditions permitting.
The Manning is raced annually at ABYC. It was first contested in 1935 to honor E.E. Manning, a member of the Los Angeles YC who during his lifetime was an active sponsor and promoter of dinghy racing. The namesake Manning trophy is awarded to the winner of the class with the most competitors.
There was no entry fee for the event, which prompted Patrick Meegan, a Long Beach YC member, to present ABYC's event chairman, Rich Vaught, with a $40 donation to help with expenses. Meegan's daughter Isabelle, 11, is racing a Sabot. 'I think it's great what you are doing for the sport, and I just wanted to show my appreciation,' Meegan said.