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Linda Elias Women's One-Design Challenge – LBYC wins back trophy

by Rick Roberts on 18 Oct
LBYC co-skippers Wendy Corzine and Lisa Meier (front center) celebrate with their team by hoisting the perpetual trophies after winning the Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One-Design Challenge Rick Roberts
Co-skippers Wendy Corzine and Lisa Meier of Long Beach Yacht Club won the 26th annual Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One-Design Challenge Sunday, breaking 14-year dry spell with the LBYC team having last won this regatta in 2003.

This year’s event was sponsored by the Long Beach/Los Angeles Women’s Sailing Association, Keen Footwear, hosted by the Long Beach Yacht Club and raced on the Long Beach Sailing Foundation’s fleet Catalina 37s.

Weather conditions were good for the 11 West Coast teams representing yacht clubs and sailing organizations from Tacoma, Wash. to San Diego, Calif. On the first day of this two-day regatta, the wind direction transitioned from northwest to southerly well before racing started, giving the competitors 7-12 knots of breeze. But looking at forecasted light-air for Sunday, Principal Race Officer Sharon Bernd made the call to run five of the seven scheduled races on Saturday, just in case the wind didn’t show up on day two.

At the end of the first day, California Yacht Club’s Marilyn Cassidy had a six-point lead over second place Wendy Corzine and Lisa Meier’s LBYC team. All that CYC had to do was not let the LBYC boat slip by them. But they did, with LBYC winning both race six and seven, and CYC finishing in fifth and eighth respectively.

“There were so many years of practice and training,” said Corzine, “and the magic came together this year. The support we received from LBYC, [Vice Commodore] Bill Durant and others made this happen.

“We couldn’t get a good start yesterday, but today we had two good starts.”

Cassidy commented on how this all unfolded.

“We just couldn’t get up to speed today,” said Cassidy. “Today’s lighter conditions were a challenge for us. Today was a credit to their team and how much time they spent practicing.”

In addition to Corzine and Meier, the LBYC teammates were Liz Baylis, Christy Smitheran, Merry Cheers, Carly Meyer, Sharie Sneddon, Blair Carty, Cheri Busch, Marissa Pei, Sheri Sanders, Beth Winton and Janice Eagle.

Meier talked about how this team was built and the support they received.

“This team has been together for three years,” said Meier. “For three years we have taken advantage of every coaching session and have really gelled as a team.

“We could not have done this without the support of LBYC members; Jim Mintie and his coach boat, John Busch and Randy Smith as on-the-water coaches… and our rock-star tactician Liz Baylis.”

Baylis is from San Rafael, Calif. and is quite a skilled match racer in her own right, having won a silver medal at the 2008 Women's Match Racing World Championship in Auckland, New Zealand, and also winning LBYC’s Mayor’s Cup women’s match race in 2007.

Years ago, she raced with Linda Elias and, like so many others, was moved by the significance of today’s win.

“This feels really good for me,” said Baylis. “I have never won this event and I have always wanted to come back. It’s nice to be back and to be on the winning team with my name now next to hers.

“All we had to do is sail our races. It was up to CYC to mess up. That’s what we did. We sailed our races.”

Meier said, “We want to thank the organizing authority, the Long Beach/Los Angeles Women’s Sailing Association, PRO Sharon Bernd, the on-the-water support, Keens Footwear for sponsoring this year’s event and all the teams who were competitors on the water, but comrades on the dock.”

The Women’s One-Design event began 26 years ago and Linda Elias---the namesake for the current regatta---won the championship three of the first five years. Elias passed away in 2003 and the Long Beach/Los Angeles Women’s Sailing Association rededicated the event to her memory.

Final Results
1. Wendy Corzine/Lisa Meier, Long Beach YC, 5-4-2-5-2-1-1, 20 points
2. Marilyn Cassidy, California YC, 2-1-1-7-1-5-8, 25
3. Shala Youngerman, Southwestern YC, 6-2-9-1-4-4-3, 29 on tiebreaker
4. Kris Zillman, San Diego YC, 3-6-4-4-5-2-5, 29
5. Vicki Sodaro, San Francisco YC, 4-7-7-2-7-3-4, 34
6. Karyn Jones, Women’s Sailing Assoc. of Santa Monica Bay, 1-3-8-10-6-10-2, 40
7. Alexia Fischer, Corinthian Yacht Club of Tacoma, 8-8-3-6-3-8-6, 42
8. Debbie Kraemer, Long Beach Women’s Sailing Association, 7-9-6-3-8-6-7, 46
9. Julie Coll, King Harbor YC, 11-5-5-9-11-9-10, 60
10. Terri Manok, Women’s Sailing Association of Orange County 10-10-10-11-9-7-11, 68
11. Jane Thomas, Channel Islands Women’s Sailing Association/Channel Islands YC, 9-11-11-8-10-11-9, 69
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