Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Floaters

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.

North Technology - Southern SparsMackay BoatsBarz Optics - Kids range

Related Articles

Mount Gay Round Barbados Series - Spectacular competition on Day 2
The second day of the Mount Gay Round Barbados Coastal Series produced spectacular competition once again. The second day of the Mount Gay Round Barbados Coastal Series organised by Barbados Cruising Club in association with Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc, and Mount Gay, produced spectacular competition once again. Although it was an unusually damp day with rain squalls passing through for most of the race, the wind built under the clouds to 15-16kts
Posted today at 4:01 am
Quantum Key West Race Week - Day 3 action-shots by Max Ranchi
Max Ranchi was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week, 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images Photographer Max Ranchi was on water at 2017 Quantum Key West Race Week, 52 Super Series and provided this gallery of images from Day 3 - Race five/six and seven action.
Posted today at 2:53 am
Azzurra is tied for the lead in the 52 Super Series in Key West
Azzurra is tied with Platoon for the lead in the provisional results at two days from the end of the first event Azzurra is tied with Platoon for the lead in the provisional results at two days from the end of the first event in the 2017 52 Super Series. Provezza is currently third.
Posted today at 2:32 am
Vendee Globe - Both leaders tack setting up an intense finish battle
According to the official tracker, Vendee Globe Race leader, Armel Le Cleac'h has tacked in what could be the final move According to the official tracker, Vendee Globe Race leader, Armel Le Cleac'h has tacked in what could be the final move of the Vendee Globe race for 2016/17. Rival Alex Thomson has responded. At the latest report, the French sailor was attempting to cross ahead of his rival, Alex Thomson - who still had the option to tack underneath and then take his chances on the final 24 hours.
Posted on 18 Jan
Day 74 – Vendée Globe victory 24 hours from Le Cléac'h's grasp
British sailor Alex Thomson conceded that his chances of overhauling leader Armel LeCléac'h on the home strait were slim Alex Thomson today conceded that his chances of overhauling leader Armel Le Cléac'h on the home strait were slim, despite narrowing the gap to just 35 miles. In the last 24 hours Thomson, 42, has halved Le Cléach's lead of 70 miles but as the pair prepared to enter the final 300 miles of the solo round the world race this afternoon he said the advantage was now firmly with his French rival.
Posted on 18 Jan
Former Clipper Race skipper chasing Vendèe Globe glory
Alex, 42 from Gosport, made up 30nm on his French rival Armel le Clèac’h overnight to cut the deficit to around 40nm After more than 70 days, the Vendee Globe is set for an epic finish, with the youngest skipper to win the Clipper Race, Alex Thomson, closing in on the lead as the race enters into the final 24 hours. Alex, 42 from Gosport, made up 30 nautical miles on his French rival Armel le Clèac’h overnight to cut the deficit to around 40nm by Wednesday morning.
Posted on 18 Jan
Team Tilt officially selected for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup
Twelve teams of youth sailors aged 19 to 25 have been selected to race the RBYAC 2017 in Bermuda in June. Twelve teams of youth sailors aged 19 to 25 have been selected to race the RBYAC 2017 in Bermuda in June. They will compete on the foiling AC45s that were used for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series events and will race in the lead up to the America’s Cup itself.
Posted on 18 Jan
Vendée2020Vision sailors inspired by Alex Thomson’s performance
The aim of Vendée2020Vision is to help progress these sailors up to the next rung of the ladder. To help them with their fund raising, Vendée2020Vision sailors last year had the opportunity to take part in 12 bespoke training modules.
Posted on 18 Jan
Inaugural GC32 Championship coming up next month
A joint gathering of the international fleets of GC32 one design foiling catamarans is to take place in Muscat This will be the first occasion ever that the GC32 Racing Tour and the Extreme Sailing Series™ fleets have combined to lock horns on the race course.
Posted on 18 Jan
Quantum Key West Race Week – Day 2 with Nic Douglass
Day two for my first time at Quantum Key West Race Week, and I was out on a J122, Second Star, sailing in the ORC fleet Day two for my first time at Quantum Key West Race Week, and today I was out on a J122, Second Star, sailing in the ORC fleet. What. A. Day.
Posted on 18 Jan