Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Polarised and non-polarised readers for sailors

Walt Elliott Harbor Challenge at Long Beach Yacht Club

by Rick Roberts on 12 May 2013
Walt Elliott Harbor Challenge winner Scott Holcomb (r) leads second place finisher Art Melendres across finish line. Rick Roberts ©
Walt Elliott Harbor Challenge 2013, organized by the Association of San Pedro Bay Yacht Clubs and hosted this year by Long Beach Yacht Club, was held on Saturday. Scott Holcomb of Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club won the Challenge on his Cal 25, Calamazoo, and, along with it, the right to keep the Walt Elliott Trophy at his club… at least until next year’s regatta.

This year’s regatta was raced in five Cal 25s, each one representing their respective club. The other entries were Art Melendres of LBYC; Jeff Silver of Huntington Harbor YC, Rick Sottile of Seal Beach YC and Dennis Diem representing Alamitos Bay YC.

On a bright and clear day with breezes starting out at 7 knots building to 17 by the last race of the day, the five closely matched boats tried their best to wrestle the trophy away from last year’s winner, Melendres.

Holcomb succeeded.

'Last year I finished second and lost this to Art,' Holcomb said. 'They were our nemesis going into the day today. I told my crew we don’t have to win the starts, we just have to do our best.'

Holcomb gives full credit to his crew of Kenny Dair, Aaron Hall, Scott Holcomb and Steve Gierke. Holcomb’s wife Christy usually drives the boat but was recuperating from a broken ankle and had to sit out the day, cheering him on from the race committee boat.

'She’s a great driver,' Holcomb said. 'I usually call tactics and pull lines. I felt a little out of place today driving. I kept reaching for lines to trim. I really missed not having her there.'

Taking second place in the regatta was last year’s winner, Art Melendres. One point separated first and second place after the days finishes were totaled up.

'We didn’t lose the regatta,' Melendres said, 'they won it. He came here today and was very competitive. They sailed the right way and did a real good job.

'In the second race, we forced them into a jibing duel and thought they would lose it… but they actually gained on us.'

Third, fourth and fifth on the day was Jeff Silver, HHYC; Rick Sottile, SlBYC and Dennis Diem, ABYC respectively.

Sottile’s team suffered a tangled rudder on an upwind leg in the last race of the day and the unexpected crash tack caught a couple of their crew by surprise banging them in the head. When asked, they declined medical assistance and kept sailing.

Dennis Diem had a less physically painful problem but a problem none-the-less when he lost his spinnaker halyard in the first race of the day making it difficult to keep up with the fleet downwind.


Holcomb reflected on the day’s racing, 'Cal 25s are really closely matched. They’re all great boats.'

The Association of San Pedro Bay Yacht Clubs has been holding this regatta since 1968 among member yacht clubs in the greater Los Angeles and Long Beach area. Yacht clubs that have won the regatta are open to be challenged the following year. The challenging club chooses the type of boat, be it One-Design or a handicap rated boat. This year’s challenge came from Huntington Harbor Yacht Club. Their boat of choice? The Cal 25.

The late Walt Elliott, namesake of the regatta and the trophy, won the Honolulu race in 1941 (currently called the Transpacific Yacht Race or just Transpac) and was one of the top yachtsmen on the west coast.

He was commodore of the Los Angeles Yacht Club, the Newport Harbor Yacht Club, headed the Pacific Coast Yachting Association and was an honorary lifetime commodore of the Southern California Yachting Association.

The Walt Elliott Harbor Challenge Trophy was dedicated to the memory of her father by Mrs. Betty Elliott Field.

Final Results
1. Scott Holcomb, Cabrillo Beach YC, Calamazoo
2. Art & Scott Melendres, Long Beach YC, One Time
3. Jeff Silver, Huntington Harbor YC, Discovery
4. Rick Sottile, Seal Beach YC, Tiburon
5. Dennis Diem, Alamitos Bay YC, The Iguana

Protector - 660 x 82Mackay BoatsNaiad/Oracle Supplier

Related Articles

Vendée Globe – A hugely popular event and media success
With 29 skippers setting sail and 10 nations represented, the eighth edition offered a wide range of projects The results show huge increases everywhere: many more people attending the event, unprecedented media coverage and feedback, a record level of international coverage without talking about the very positive race outcome in terms of the rankings.
Posted on 23 Mar
RC44 Championship Tour heads to Lanzarote for final regatta
For 2017 the fleet will return to Europe's southern shores with racing hosted from the new facility, Marina Lanzarote The Calero Marinas have been a regular winter destination for the RC44 fleet over the years having hosted four regattas and three World Championships between 2010 and 2013.
Posted on 23 Mar
A Q&A with Charles Pessler, the regatta director of the legendary STIR
I corresponded with Charles Pessler, STIR’s regatta director, to learn about the event’s recent changes and evolutions. I recently corresponded via email with Charles “Chuck” Pessler, who is serving as the regatta director of the legendary STIR, to learn more about the changes and evolutions that have taken place at the event since my 2010 trip to racing paradise.
Posted on 22 Mar
One great challenge for Transatlantic Race 2019
Greatest challenge has confirmed the start date for its next edition; and this time every competitor will depart Newport A virtual gate off Lizard Point will enable teams to challenge the course record for this historic passage, but the official finish will take place off the Royal Yacht Squadron's waterfront castle in Cowes, England.
Posted on 22 Mar
Less than a month to go to 8th edition of Les Voiles de St. Barth
To date, 66 teams have signed up for the event, which bodes well for an exceptional vintage Péan will be casting an expert eye over the event that occurs 10-15 April. A seasoned and talented sailor, he boasts one of the most prestigious track records in French sailing, with victories logged in the Solitaire du Figaro in 1983, then the Whitbread (a crewed around-the-world race with stopovers) in 1986.
Posted on 22 Mar
Transat Jaques Vabre – Oman Sail takes on Class 40 challenge
The new campaign is the latest stage of the relationship between Al Hasni, one of Oman's most promising sailors Oman Sail has revealed a new adventure for 2017 as the pioneering national initiative takes on a double-handed Class 40 challenge pairing up mentor and long-term skipper of various Oman Sail projects, Frenchman Sidney Gavignet, with his protégé and Oman Sail’s most successful offshore sailor, Fahad Al Hasni.
Posted on 22 Mar
RORC Easter Challenge – Free expert coaching
A coach can optimise practice time, provide detailed analysis via both stats and video, can examine specific issues If you want to do better out on the race course, you could buy yourself a newer, more competitive boat. Or sail with a better crew. Or could buy some new sails. Or put in some practice. But keelboat crews frequently forget that one of the best value methods is to employ a coach.
Posted on 22 Mar
Vestas 11th Hour Racing launch Volvo Ocean Race campaign
Vestas are returning for a second edition, after launching their 2017-18 campaign in partnership with 11th Hour Racing Vestas 11th Hour Racing will be led by the American duo of Charlie Enright and Mark Towill. The team are the fourth to announce for the upcoming edition, which begins on 22 October, and they will use the race to promote a sustainability message around the world.
Posted on 21 Mar
St. Barths Bucket Regatta – More action shots by Carlo Borlenghi
Photographer Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images Photographer Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images
Posted on 21 Mar
St. Barths Bucket Regatta images by Carlo Borlenghi
Photographer Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images Photographer Carlo Borlenghi has provided this gallery of images
Posted on 21 Mar