by Rich Roberts
The keelboat classic carrying on as Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week reaches its 35th year Friday through Sunday with 144 boats from six states and Canada, living up to its slogan, 'Race With the Champions.'
Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week
Ten of last year's class winners are among the entries, in addition to several champions of previous years and a flock of sailing celebrities. The latter include regatta namesake Dave Ullman, one of 16 J/70 entries, and former A-Cat world champion Pete Melvin, who led the Emirates Team New Zealand design team in last year's America's Cup and will be sailing his trimaran Mama Tried in the Random Leg competition among various versions of 31 ocean racers.
Also, all 11 boats in the Catalina 37 class renowned for LBYC's annual Congressional Cup match racing classic are chartered from the Long Beach Sailing Foundation. There was a dropout earlier but Andrew Rist of Sequoia YC picked up the abandoned boat this week before registration closed Tuesday night.
Racing in the West Coast's largest keelboat regatta is scheduled for as many as seven races over three days. First starts will be Friday at 1 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at noon, conditions permitting.
The regatta is open to one-design classes and PHRF boats with handicaps of 222 or less. Racing will be on three closed courses---two outside and one inside the breakwater---plus the Random Leg course across the adjoining Long Beach and Los Angeles harbors with one race daily.
The Yacht Club Challenge Trophy will feature several of the Catalina 37s filling the requirement to be part of a three-boat team with boats from two other classes.
The Golison Kent Family Trophy will be awarded to the crew with the most family members on board.
Also at stake:
---J/70, J/80, J/105, J/109 and J/120 Southern California High Point Series;
---Viper 640 Pacific Coast Championship.
The Vipers lead all one-design classes with 23 entries.
The regatta has always featured shoreside festivities after each day's racing, and this year there also will be a Pre-Regatta Cocktail Party hosted by a new sponsor, The Boathouse On the Bay, Thursday night from 5 to 7 p.m. The Boathouse is located on the east side of Alamitos Bay at 190 N. Marina Drive, opposite ABYC. Hors d'oeuvres will be free.
The post-race parties will be Friday night at ABYC and Saturday night at LBYC. The Sunday trophy presentation and party will be at LBYC. A water taxi will offer transportation between the clubs across the bay each evening but not on Friday morning.