by Rick Roberts
The Two Gates Pursuit Race 2013 witnessed one of the best sailing performances in the history of the event as Long Beach Yacht Club’s Peter Long steered his Santa Cruz 70, OEX, past 25 other boats to take the title.
Peter Tong waves a, “thank you,” to the race committee team as he crosses the line to win the 2013 Two Gates Pursuit Race
A pursuit race is where boats of various sizes and speed race each other using the equalizer of their PHRF handicap rating… but in a reverse start. The slowest boat starts first and the fastest boat starts last. Each boat is assigned a specific starting time and the idea is that all should arrive at the finish at about the same time.
Tong routinely races OEX in ocean races over distances of hundreds of miles, but the much shorter 13.2 nautical mile course that weaves in and out of Long Beach and Los Angeles harbors didn’t give him the luxury of sitting back and waiting for an opportunity to pass.
In the solid breeze of 10-17 knots he picked off the fleet boat by boat, taking the lead with about 2 miles to the finish. After finishing second last year, first place is a nice way to start off the new year.
Second place went to co-skippers Will Durant and Jeff Shew, LBYC, on their Santa Cruz 52, Relentless and rounding out the trio of LBYC top finishers was Ray Godwin and his Farr 40, Temptress. Godwin won this race in 2012 and regularly competes in Farr 40 One-Design and PHRF races.
A cool January day in the mid to high 50s, the forecast of a 60% chance of rain didn’t materialize, giving way to scattered clouds and sun making it a beautiful Southern California winter day to start the 2013 racing season.
The 2013 Two Gates Pursuit Race fleet races through Los Angeles harbor on their way to Long Beach and the finish.
LBYC re-invented the their long-standing Two Gates Invitational race in 2012 and turned it into a pursuit race. But they didn’t change the course which starts in Long Beach Harbor, takes the boats up to Los Angeles Harbor and then back in to Long Beach for the finish. It gets its name from the fact that the race boats weave in and out of Long Beach’s Queen’s Gate harbor entrance and Los Angeles’ Angel’s Gate harbor entrance.
1. Peter Tong, LBYC, Santa Cruz 70, OEX
2. Will Durant/Jeff Shew, LBYC, Santa Cruz 52, Relentless
3. Ray Godwin, LBYC, Farr 40, Temptress
4. Ron Simonson, Cabrillo Beach YC, Jeanneau SO44, Sleeper
5. David Fell, Seal Beach YC, Farr 49, Javelin