by Rich Roberts
Yes, there will be a Rose Bowl for USC's Trojans this month, but it won't be football, and fans will have to come down to the beach Saturday and Sunday to see it.
Who needs football? - 26th Rose Bowl Regatta at Long Beach
It's the 26th annual Rose Bowl Regatta, hosted by the University of Southern California Sailing Team, which is not affected by NCAA post-season sanctions imposed on the football team. The event is organized by the US Sailing Center of Long Beach and based at the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club.
The lineups feature 31 of the nation's best collegiate programs from Hawaii to the East Coast and 56 high school teams from throughout California.
That makes it the nation's largest combined collegiate and high school sailing event, contested on 13-foot, two-person CFJ dinghies, which will have plenty of room after moving outside from the limited space in Alamitos Bay to the Long Beach Harbor waters surrounding the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier.
Accommodations for spectators will include free shuttles from the beach parking lots to the end of the pier, an upscale snack bar and comfort stations.
Racing starts at 11 a.m. each day. The high school Silver fleet will race inside Alamitos Bay.
Point Loma's 2010 high - 26th Rose Bowl Regatta at Long Beach
The defending champions are Georgetown University of Washington D.C. and Point Loma High School of San Diego. Georgetown's toughest rival figures to be top-ranked Boston College, which nosed it out for No. 1 this season.
Georgetown's lead skipper will be Chris Barnard, a sophomore from Newport Beach, one of many West Coasters attending East Coast schools.
Outside, Barnard, said, 'should be a lot nicer … not as crowded, a little more open breeze, hopefully windier and better viewing for spectators.'
Although the college representation is fairly balanced east to west, Eastern schools have dominated the Rose Bowl Regatta, perhaps because of more intense programs but more likely because a disproportionate number of the sailors, like Barnard, are from the West Coast.
'There's a larger number of competitive schools,' Barnard said. 'That gives them a little advantage, but a lot of them from the West Coast schools sail out of Long Beach all the time, so we'll see what happens. Makes it fun.'
A California brown pelican - 26th Rose Bowl Regatta at Long Beach
His crew will be Hilary Kenyon, a sophomore from Minnetonka, Minn. who sails with him at Georgetown on the Potomac River.
'Usually, we mix it up because the bigger guys need a little girl to keep the weight in the boat low,' Barnard said.
But the value of girl crews is more than just ballast.
'They don't get enough credit for making the boat go fast,' Barnard said.
And the little CFJs don't get enough credit, either.
'It may not be the fastest or most high-tech, but it's just as competitive as any fleet out there,' Barnard said.
Event Website:click here
26th Rose Bowl Regatta at Long Beach