Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

The California Cup - A real test of skill on Day 1

by Tink Chambers on 19 Jun 2014
Nightshift, skippered by Kevin McNeil of Annapolis, Maryland, won the opening day of the California Cup with a solid score line of 3-1-2 on Wednesday on Santa Monica Bay. Sarah Proctor
On the opening day of the California Cup Marina del Rey and Santa Monica Bay certainly delivered as the fleet of 15 Farr 40s was greeted by sunny skies, warm temperatures and solid eight - twelve knot southwesterly winds.

And if Wednesday's action is any indication, racing over the course of the four-day regatta being hosted by the California Yacht Club will be tight, tricky and a real test of skill for skippers and crews.

Principal race officer Peter Reggio reeled off three starts in rapid succession and there were three different winners on the day. Santa Barbara skipper John Demourkas and his crew aboard Groovederci rounded the first weather mark in first and was able to maintain that lead the rest of the way in winning Race one. Annapolis skipper Kevin McNeil and his team on Nightshift took advantage of a late mistake by Plenty to win Race two. Finally, Wolfgang Schaefer steered the German entry Struntje Light to a come-from-behind victory in Race three.

'It was an absolutely spectacular day on the water. This is a great area to sail with Venice Beach providing a beautiful backdrop,' Farr 40 class manager Geoff Stagg said. 'As you can see by the fact we had three different winners on the day, the racing is extremely close and a number of boats are sailing very well.'

Nightshift was the overall winner of the day with McNeil steering the Maryland entry to a solid score line of three – one - two. Andy Horton is calling tactics while Dave Scott and Rich Bowen are trimming the main and jib, respectively, on Nightshift, which entered the regatta fourth in the overall standings for the 2014 International Circuit.

'It's tough conditions out here. The wind is up and down and all-around. You'd get headed, tack then get headed again. You really had to be on your toes,' McNeil said. 'We got good starts, had nice speed coming off the line and were pretty much able to sail our own races.'

Horton said the strategy on Day one was to be conservative and stay out of the corners since no side of the course was clearly favored and significant shifts could happen at any time.

'I've sailed in this venue before and it is very unpredictable, anything can happen,' Horton said. 'I told the crew before the first race that when you start feeling good, that's when it is time to be worried. There are a lot of localized wind patterns here and things can change in a second.'

Horton echoed the sentiments of Plenty tactician Terry Hutchinson when discussing the overall approach going into Wednesday. 'You can't win the regatta on the first day, but you can certainly lose it so let's not make any major mistakes.'

'We definitely got three good starts and we're going pretty well upwind,' Horton said. 'That being said, we didn't hit it out of the park today. We certainly could have done better.'

McNeil was short and sweet when asked if there was anything he learned on Wednesday that will help him for the rest of the regatta. 'Yea, get ahead and stay ahead.'



Plenty sandwiched a pair of fourths around a second and is second in the overall standings with 10 points, four astern of Nightshift. The New York entry leads the International Circuit standings after capturing the Rolex North American Championship last month.

It was a day of rallies for Plenty, which passed a total of nine boats in three races. Biggest comeback came in Race three as Roepers steered his boat from eighth at the first weather mark to fourth at the finish.

'We are happy with our results at the end, but we were struggling a bit along the way,' Roepers said. 'We really had to work hard to climb back from some deep positions in the first and third races. It just shows how tough the competition is here. The fleet was really mixed up the entire day.'

Plenty was fighting Nightshift for the lead going into the second weather mark in Race two when it used a lee-bow maneuver to briefly take the lead. However, Plenty had to pinch hard to get around the mark and did not succeed - scraping the buoy and having to perform a 720 as a result.

Flash Gordon 6, owned by Helmut Jahn of Chicago, also showed nice consistency in putting up results of two – four - five and stands third overall with 11 points. Struntje Light went from third around the top mark to first at the finish in Race three to pull within one point of the Italian entry Enfant Terrible in the fight for fourth.



Three regattas into the 2014 circuit and the Corinthian boats from the West Coast fleet are proving they can hang with the professional teams. Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club member Gordon Leon and his crew aboard Foil sailed superbly in Race one and finished fifth, which brought fists pumps from the crew. King Harbor Yacht Club member Michael Shlens and his team on Blade 2 posted all single digit results and is ninth in the overall standings.

'You can clearly see the level of performance among the Corinthian boats improving with each regatta. Several of them are really coming on strong,' Stagg said. 'Foil sailed a brilliant first race and their sailors were over the moon about the result. When you go out and beat the current world champion that is a great accomplishment.'

JoAnn, skippered by Steve Murphy of Seal Beach, is a West Coast entry that isn't quite Corinthian, but also had a very strong showing on the day - securing seventh overall on the strength of a third place in Race two.

The California Cup continues on Thursday and concludes on Saturday. For more information please visit website.

Wildwind 2016 660x82NaiadBarz Optics - Kids range

Related Articles

Giovanni Soldini and team completed RORC Transatlantic Race
At exactly 20h 54’ 23” GMT (16.54 local time) on Saturday, 3 December, Maserati Multi70 sailed across the finish-line At exactly 20h 54’ 23” GMT (16.54 local time) on Saturday, 3 December, Maserati Multi70 sailed across the finish-line, just off Camper and Nicholsons’ Port Louis Marina on Grenada, to complete her first ocean race in a time of seven days, eight hours, 44 minutes and 23 seconds.
Posted today at 2:52 pm
RORC Transatlantic Race – Day 9 – Grenadian welcome for Maserati
Maserati crossed the finish line on Saturday, completing their first ocean race in seven days, eight hours, 44m, 23s The Italian MOD70, Maserati has finished the race; Phaedo3 has been declared the winner of the Multihull Trophy and Mike Slade's Maxi, Leopard is on the hunt for the monohull record.
Posted today at 12:39 pm
18ft Skiffs Yandoo Trophy – Ward, Marshall and West win first race
Young team had to withstand huge pressure from the fleet’s top crews before crossing the finish line with 40s to spare. Following last week’s brilliant performance with a brand new number one rig, Appliancesonline.com.au (David Witt, Tom Anderson, Tom Clout) again showed the skiff to be a major threat in the upcoming championships with a great second placing.
Posted today at 10:24 am
Vendee Globe – Kojiro Shiraishi on Spirit of Yukoh forced to retire
At 0240 UTC on Sunday, Kojiro, Skipper of Spirit of Yukoh contacted his shore team to tell them that he had dismasted. At 0240 UTC on Sunday December 4th, Kojiro Shiraishi, Skipper of Spirit of Yukoh contacted his shore team to tell them that he had dismasted. The boat Spirit of Yukoh was sailing in a moderate breeze (20 knots). Kojiro inside of the boat heard the sound of the mast breaking at around 0230 UTC.
Posted today at 10:11 am
Melges 24 World Championship –Day 5– Embarr and Taki crowned champions
The crew has shown an extreme solidity and constancy, fascinating everybody for its asset and conduction of the boat The crew has shown an extreme solidity and constancy all through the races, fascinating everybody for its asset and conduction of the boat in the downwind legs, that allowed them to take out amazing recoveries also when the starts hadn't been so good. Important it is to have a closely knit crew to succeed in events of such an importance
Posted today at 9:42 am
Meet the 2017-18 crew - Mike Kidwell
It’s nine months before the start of the race so I suppose it’s not dissimilar to waiting for a baby – both can be wet “It’s nine months before the start of the race so I suppose it’s not dissimilar to waiting for a baby – both can be wet, cold and miserable, but equally fun, warm and enjoyable!” says Mike Kidwell, a 63-year-old Business Developer from Queensland who is taking part in the full circumnavigation in the 2017-18 edition of the race.
Posted today at 7:39 am
Vendee Globe - Spirit of Yukoh has dismasted
Kojiro Shiraishi informed everyone at 0230 UTC today (Sunday) that his mast had broken above attachment for small jib. Kojiro Shiraishi informed everyone at 0230 UTC today (Sunday) that his mast had broken above the attachment for the small jib. The Japanese sailor is not in danger and is busy trying to set up a jury rig. Kojiro is fine and in contact with his shore team to judge the extent of the damage and to determine whether it is possible to continue the race. He is safely heading for Cape Town.
Posted today at 5:49 am
The Bridge – The Queen Mary – Essence of historical transatlantic race
The Bridge has invited the Queen Mary 2 to take part in an ocean challenge in a race against a fleet of giant trimarans On 2nd December, the press conference for the official launch of The Bridge was held in the prestigious setting of the Salle Turenne at the Hôtel des Invalides. The Bridge, a unique, festive, maritime, cultural and popular event, will take place from June 15th until the beginning of July 2017, in Nantes, Saint-Nazaire and New York.
Posted on 3 Dec
Tour de France à la voile to celebrate its 40th edition in 2017
Eight classes have served on the TFV since 1978, always based on the same principle : one-design. French sailing legends like Eric Tabarly, Michel Desjoyeaux, Jean-Pierre Dick, and more recently Franck Cammas, François Gabart, Armel Le Cléac’h and Loïck Peyron have all played a role in the history of this race, that became one of the biggest summer sporting events.
Posted on 3 Dec
RORC Transatlantic Race – Maserati Multi70 now 142 miles from Grenada
Phaedo3 sailed past the final waypoint at Grenada last night at 01.49 GMT to take multihull (MOCRA) line honours Phaedo3 sailed past the final waypoint at Grenada last night at 01.49 GMT (21.49 local time, 02.49 in Italy) to take multihull (MOCRA) line honours
Posted on 3 Dec