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Fourth of July Regatta - 13-year-old Maura Cannon wins

by Rich Roberts on 8 Jul 2013
Fourth of July Regatta Rich Roberts
'Mom, I won the regatta!'

That was 13-year-old Maura Cannon shouting across the boat yard after being shown the final results of Alamitos Bay Yacht Club's annual Fourth of July Regatta Sunday. The slight youngster from Balboa YC led a BYC assault on the Naples Sabot classes with first place in Sabot C2s, the first victory of her budding career.


David Wood and Brad Hilliard, also BYC, won Sabot B and Sabot C1, respectively, racing on the inside bay, while outside on the ocean course ABYC's Mike Wood drove dad Ron's Cal 20 to first place as Matt Struble of San Diego won the last six A-Class catamaran races, discarding his worst finish: a second place in the weekend's first race.

Also notable: Peter Sangmeister, 11, of the Long Beach YC won eight of nine Sabot C3 class races. It was his first regatta.

Then there was Barney Flam, ageless at 89 and still driving his No. 9 Cal 20 called Rigormortis, perhaps recalling when he started sailing at the age of Cannon or Sangmeister.

Conditions Sunday stepped up from Saturday. Ocean competitors were greeted by whitecaps at noon as a southwest breeze built from 10 to the mid-teens that got the A-Cats' hulls flying.

'The boat's really working well,' said Struble, who is pointing toward next month's A-Cat Nationals at ABYC.

There were only 38 boats, the event's fewest in several years, but on the bright side that was 37 more than will open the America's Cup competition (one) at San Francisco Monday. Of course, the entry fees were a bit higher there.

The regatta is one of ABYC's four traditional holiday sailfests, along with the spring's Memorial Day Regatta and the Labor Day and Turkey Day (Thanksgiving) regattas yet to come.

Cannon and Sangmeister can't wait. 'I just sailed the best I could,' Cannon said.

Was she nervous? 'I was singing to myself a lot,' she said.

Mike Wood said, 'It was a really beautiful day in Long Beach … started out light and got to 15 or 18. Everybody was on their game.'

Jennifer Kuritz, four points back in second place, won the only two races the Woods didn’t and had no finish worse than third.

Two of the other boats also had female helms people: Patty Nash and Cathy Black-Smith.





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