Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring AC72

13th Boxing Day Race - Light weather thriller at Alamitos Bay

by Rich Roberts on 30 Dec 2012
Alamitos Bay Yacht Club’s 13th annual Boxing Day Race Rich Roberts
The Alamitos Bay Yacht Club’ Boxing Day Race 2012 came to a dramatic finish as the tandem of Stu Robertson and Adam Elsharhawy gathered enough wind to steer their Lido 14 past Chris Raab and Kenny Dair on their Cal 20 in the final stretches of Saturday’s race.

While other sailors looked into the rainy skies and hugged their chests to ward off chilly temps in the upper 40s Saturday morning Chris Raab was asked if he still planned to sail in the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club's 13th annual Boxing Day Race starting a couple of hours later.

With a look of are-you-kidding, he responded, 'I love sailing. I want to get in as much of it as I can until I can't do it anymore.'

No doubt about it, and at age 54 is still building national and international success on his resume on a variety of boats, even in events such as this meant more for fun than glory.

As it was, Raab and his crew, Kenny Dair, almost pulled off their third consecutive win in the pursuit type event on Alamitos Bay before another veteran, Stu Robertson with crew Adam Elsharhawy, overtook them in their Lido 14 in the final drift to the finish line.

Although it was Robertson's first victory in the event, he has made winning a habit in Lido 14s over a couple of decades, although this time he had to overcome a rival's prank at the start after crossing well ahead of the other Lidos.



'I heard someone yell, 'Over early,' ' Robertson said, so he circled back to restart behind the others.

As he crossed the line again he realized that the call had not come from Principal Race Officer Mark Townsend but from another Lido 14. Then he and Elsharhawy started to dig their way back in the light northeasterly breeze.

There were 50 boats from past winner Steven Hopkins' lone, eight-foot Naples Sabot to Chris Mewes' fully crewed J/109 whose spinnaker sometimes blanketed rivals in his wind shadow.

It's a pursuit race with an inverted start schedule, meaning that the faster you rate the farther back in the pack you start. Hopkins Sabots led off at 1 p.m. followed by the largest boats nearly an hour later. The finish was signaled at 3 o'clock, and Hopkins led until near the end before Raab caught him---and then Robertson caught Raab.

For a low-key event, it was a thriller. When the two-hour time limit arrives, the finishing places are determined by boats' positions at the next mark. Raab's problem was arriving at the next mark a couple of minutes too soon, with Robertson gaining steadily. Raab couldn't afford to kill time by slowing down before the mark or Robertson would have overtaken him, so he had to round it normally and hope for the best.

Robertson passed Raab about halfway down the last leg toward ABYC and finished about four lengths in front.

Robertson praised his Elsharhawy, his regular crew whom he listed as skipper on his entry form.

'He deserves it,' Robertson said. 'His work was outstanding.'



Hopkins finished third, ahead of Deke Klatt's spinnakered Pyramid 660 from Ventura and Patty Nash's Cal 20 with Vann Wilson as crew. It was Nash's first race as skipper on the boat.

Top finishers

1. Stu Robertson/Adam Elsharhawy (Lido 14), Alamitos Bay YC; 2. Chris Raab/Kenny Dair (Cal 20), ABYC; 3. Steven Hopkins (Naples Sabot), ABYC; 4. Deke Klatt/Taylor Lewis/Ian Baldwin (Pyramid 660), Ventura YC; 5. Patty Nash/Vann Wilson (Cal 20), ABYC; 6. John Gresham/Camillia Duchess of Cornwall (Etchells), ABYC; 7. Brad Bergeron (Mercury), Seal Beach YC; 8. Chris Mewes (J/109), Navy Yacht Club Long Beach; 9. Joel Buffa/Kyle Blair (Thistle), Bahia Corinthian/Long Beach YCs; 10. Eric Conn/Stacy Conn (Mercury), Alamitos Bay Yacht Club 2012

Related Articles

Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Bakewell-White Yacht DesignSouthern Spars - 100Kilwell - 6