The red small craft advisory flag blew ominously stiff from the Long Beach Marine Department across the bay as Alamitos Bay Yacht Club launched SCYA's E.E. Manning Regatta off the beach Saturday, with reservations.
Sean Segerblom (r. and below) had to restart the first race but remained in contention for Shadden Series championship with Riley Gibbs (DRYC-7) - SCYA Manning Regatta and Shadden Series - Rich Roberts
The 31 CFJs contesting the last stop of the Shadden Series were moved inside the bay rather than risking the triple trouble forecast of big wind bringing thunder, lightning and rain in the outer harbor.
As it was, it held off long enough for three races, but even then the storm clouds hovered over Shadden Series contenders Riley Gibbs and his crew, Dot Obel.
After logging a one-three-one string of finishes, Gibbs, 17, of ABYC, and Obel, 15, of Del Rey YC, found themselves in the protest room on a call by Rhodes Garner and crew Briggs D'Eliscu of Newport Harbor YC claiming a violation of Rule 42---illegal kinetics---in the second race. In other words, they were accused of rocking their boat to make it go faster.
The judges ruled for Garner, who moved into first place in the event with a log of two-three-two, as Gibbs slipped to 10th place---at least temporarily.
With better weather forecast for Sunday, Gibbs can discard his worst result after two more races. Otherwise, it was a good day, and he and Obel had it figured out.
SCYA Manning Regatta day 1 - SCYA Manning Regatta and Shadden Series - Rich Roberts
'It was all about the current,' Gibbs said, 'concentrating on the current. It was an ebb tide that made the right side pretty fast. You could tack short of the layline by as much as three lengths and still make the mark.'
Sunday will be a different game, with no such currents in the outer harbor, so it should be an interesting windup of the event.
Johannes and Rebecca McElvain (four-one-three) of San Diego YC are currently in a comfortable second place, a point out of first and 12 points ahead of the next boat.
The event, first contested in 1935, is raced annually at ABYC. E.E. Manning, a member of the Los Angeles YC, was devoted to youth sailing and was an active sponsor and promoter of dinghy racing. But the competition is open to all ages, except for the Shadden Series for sailors under 19 and not yet in college, contested in 13-foot CFJs.
This is the fourth and final event of the series. The championship has come down to a battle between Riley Gibbs, 17, of ABYC, who won the first two rounds at Newport Harbor and California YC, and Sean Segerblom, 15, of NHYC, who won at San Diego last month. Garner is in sixth place after three events.
Riley Gibbs and crew Dot Obel drive past the windward mark - SCYA Manning Regatta and Shadden Series - Rich Roberts
The competition is named for John Shadden, one of Long Beach's premier youth sailors whose career peaked with an Olympic bronze medal performance at South Korea in 1988, with Charlie McKee as crew.
The driving purpose of the regatta is to promote youth sailing as part of the Southern California Youth Yacht Racing Association (SCYYRA) program. The namesake Manning Trophy is awarded to the winner of the class with the most competitors. Class leaders
(After three of seven races; one throwout after five)
CFJ (Shadden Series; 31 boats)—Rhodes Garner/Briggs D'Eliscu, Del Rey YC, 2-3-2, 8 points.
Laser Full (9)---No races.
Laser Radial (7)---Steven Smith, ABYC, 1-1-1, 3.
Portsmouth (7)---Nathan Dalleska/Lindsay Mais, ABYC, 2-1-1, 4.
Naples Sabot (7)---Christina Van Dyke, Long Beach YC, 2-1-2, 5.
Naples Sabot C (12)---Roxanne Snyder, ABYC, 1-1-1, 3.
For Complete results and hi-res photos click here
Thunder, lightning and rain return to shut down the racing - SCYA Manning Regatta and Shadden Series - Rich Roberts