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Long Beach Race Week - Twists and turns on final day

by Rich Roberts on 30 Jun 2013
Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week Rich Roberts
As Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week wound down to the last two races for all classes Sunday, challenging wind and the twists and turns on the race course brought some shuffles in the standings Saturday.

The West Coast's largest keelboat regatta, co-hosted by the adjacent Long Beach and Alamitos Bay Yacht Clubs, has 156 boats on three race courses.

The Catalina 37 fleet of 10 charter boats was shaken a bit when Team (Bruce) Ayres/(Drew) Satariano from Newport Harbor YC slipped from first place to fourth with 6-8-4 finishes, nine points behind ABYC's Chuck Clay. Two LBYC boats skippered by David Hood and Scott Mehler/Greg Morse are second and third---Hood winning all three races in Saturday's brisk 14 knots of southwest breeze.

'Just teamwork,' Hood said. 'Everybody brought their A-game.'

They also were not strangers to the boat, having match-raced in a couple of Butler Cups.

'We found some really good [wind] shifts and had great boat speed,' Hood said.

Clay, 3-2-3 on the day, said, 'It was hard to be consistent … the wind was good but spotty.'

The 21-nautical mile Random Leg Class 1 race was worse than short for Jay Steinbeck's Margaritaville. The Custom 52 from California YC suffered a major gash when Peter Tong's OEX stern swung into its starboard side as the boats approached the start line.

Margaritaville had a protest pending but was out of the regatta with damage too severe to repair before Sunday.

On the other hand, an impressive comeback was scored by Daniel Wooley's King 40, Soozal, one of seven boats disqualified in Friday's second race for rounding the wrong windward mark. Soozal found its way around to three first places Saturday to seize the first placed back from Tiburon, the leader for a day.

The entries have come from far-flung places but none farther than Fer de Lance, Glyn Locke's Viper 640 from the Royal Thames YC in the United Kingdom. The boat is locally chartered but Locke lives on the Isle of Wight, the British hotbed of sailing on the English Channel.

So why is the sail number AUS123?

'It was a USA sail, so we [moved the A and] changed it,' Locke said. 'Our helmsman is Australian.'

That would be David Chapman, joined by fellow Aussie Ian Nordhaven.

They have won the class's prestigious EFG Bank Pan American Viper Championships the last two years. This is one of the qualifier events on four continents for the finale in Miami next year.

'Get a Viper and see the world,' Locke said.

Good advice … but two local ABYC sailors, Kevin Taugher and Jay Golison, and their two-person crews are first (2-1-2-1-2, 8 points) and second (1-4-1-3-3, 12) after five of seven races, while Locke moved up to third place Saturday (6-2-3-2-1, 14).

Other ABYC sailors are fourth, fifth and seventh in the 25-boat fleet.

Local knowledge?

'It definitely helps us,' said Taugher, 21, sailing with crew Mike Pentecost and Chuck Tripp. 'It was a little bit tricky. This is the first time we've been able to measure up in top competition.'

Otherwise, repeating champion Gary Mozer's Current Obsession is unbeaten in J/105s, and Curt Johnson of California YC has four wins and a second in J/80s.

Three umpire boats returned to the water to shadow the Catalina 37s, who were on their best behavior. Only one on-water penalty was called---that's three in two days. Seems to work better than protest hearings.



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