by Rick Roberts
In the inaugural Patriot Regatta, U.S. Navy team 3 emerged victorious Saturday in racing so close that first and second places were decided by a tiebreaker. The regatta was hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club, the Long Beach Sailing Association and supported by the USO.
Long Beach Veterans finished a very respectable second-place in the inaugural Patriot Regatta Saturday.
The Navy had three teams represented here with seven of the other 10 boats represented by the U.S. Army, the U.S. Marine Corps, the U.S. Coast Guard, Long Beach Police Department, Long Beach Fire Department and Long Beach Veterans.
Onboard Navy team 3 was Captain Lanny Boswell, USN, who is currently assigned to the Department of Defense Deployment Medical Research Center in San Diego, Calif.
'The generosity of the club was overwhelming,' Boswell said. 'The number of coaches and support people that turned out ... We felt very welcome here.'
The lead coach for their team was veteran sailor Chris Raab of Alamitos Bay Yacht Club. He was the 2010 winner of US Sailing's Championship of Champions.
'Chris is a great guy,' Boswell said. 'He knows what he's doing and we did whatever he told us to do.
'Some of our team members have done some leisure sailing before but a couple have never been on a sailboat. Today we learned attention to detail and valuable sailing skills.'
U.S Navy team 3 celebrates win of the inaugural Patriot Regatta with teammates and their coaches.
The Long Beach Veterans team took second place in a close finish in the last race where they actually beat the Navy team by a couple of feet, but still fell short after figuring in the tie breaker.
Third-place honors went to the Army team with the Marines and Long Beach Firefighters in fourth and fifth, respectively.
LBYC Yachting Committee chair and chair for the Patriot Regatta, Bill Durant was excited by the day's events.
'We are absolutely doing this regatta again. We have to,' Durant said. 'The smiles on everyone's faces and the number of volunteers that wanted to work this regatta was overwhelming. I had to turn people down. But next year we'll rotate them in so they can help out too.'
Captain Boswell understood.
'Coming across the finish line in each race, regardless of their position, I saw everyone beaming,' he said. 'There was good camaraderie all around.'