by Rick Roberts
The SYCA Midwinter Regatta, hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club, witnessed a flawless run from the winning father and son tandem of Art and Scott Melendres aboard their Cal 25 boat but the unexpected unfolded on the second race.
Scott and Art Melendres led the Cal 25 fleet, winning in their class in the 2013 SCYA Midwinter Regatta
The one chink in their armor came in the second race Saturday when, misreading the amended course chart, they crossed the finish line and dropped their spinnaker after only one lap of the scheduled four-lap race… thinking they had just won the race.
Seeing the rest of the fleet rounding the leeward mark and continuing to race, Team Melendres immediately realized their mistake, hoisted and trimmed their sails and continued racing finishing in fourth.
Laughing about the mistake the senior Melendres, Art, said, 'You know, John Wayne used to say, ‘Life is hard when you’re stuck on stupid.’
'When the PRO called for Course Four, we looked it up on the wrong course chart thinking it was a one lap race. We thought that was kinda strange but figured he knew what he was doing.'
LBYC’s course was in the open ocean about one-and-a-half miles south of Seal Beach Pier. Not having the protection of the breakwater the Cal 25s braved the chop and solid southern and southwesterly breezes of six to 12 knots all weekend, giving the teams a good test of their boat handling skills.
Second place in the class went to Rick Sottile and his Tiburon team. Sottile was only three points away from first place but suffered a broken tiller in last race of the day. Showing their preparedness and determination the stalwart team grabbed a replacement tiller, made the repairs and finished the race.
'I tell you,' Melendres said, 'those guys from Tiburon stuck with us like a badger on our tail all day yesterday and most of today. It was so sad they had that breakdown.
'I’d like to say how much I appreciate the race committee giving us the multiple lap courses. It gives us passing opportunities and we really like that.'
1. Art and Scott Melendres, LBYC, One Time, 1-4-1-1-1, 8 points
2. Rick Sottile, Seal Beach YC, Tiburon, 2-1-2-2-4, 11
3. Bob Daniel, ABYC, Nemesis, 3-3-4-3-2, 15
4. Marie Rogers, LAYC, Esprit, 5-2-5-4-3, 19
5. Dennis Diem, LBYC/ABYC, The Iguana, 4-5-3-6(DNC)-
SYCA Midwinter Regatta