The offshore traffic at Long Beach Harbor will be a bit heavier than usual Saturday and Sunday when three fleets of ocean racing sailboats power up for the third annual Campbell Cup, hosted by the Long Beach Yacht Club.
Seven of the classic and still competitive West Coast 70 class and eight feisty Farr 40s will be joined this year by four i52s, a spinoff of the world-popular one-design TP52s, except that these race to their own IRC handicap ratings.
There will be three races Saturday and two Sunday, with all three groups starting separately beginning at noon each day, conditions permitting.
The windward-leeward race course will be set about one mile south of the Alamitos Bay jetty entrance past the breakwater. The event is sponsored by North Sails, the world leader in sailmaking, and Seatek Yachting Inc., your No. 1 Los Angeles shop for all your yachting solutions.
The event is named for the late Michael (Mike) J. Campbell (pictured at left), a longtime member of Long Beach Yacht Club and the keenly competitive co-owner of the Kernan 70, Peligroso. Campbell died of cancer in 2008, but his boat sails on, now raced successfully by Mexican businessman Lorenzo Berho, an entry here.
Per Peterson's Alchemy, an Andrews 68 from Oceanside Yacht Club, is the defending WC70 champion, while the Farr 40 fleet has opened up a bit with the departure of 2010 winner David Voss. The regatta is now part of the Farr 40s' West Coast championship series, but the longtime class president sold his once-dominant Piranha with the iconic spinnaker earlier this year.
Alchemy trailed only one other monohull---Dennis Conner's Farr 60, Stars & Stripes---in last spring's Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race race, with Berho's Peligroso two places back after leading all monos to Mexico in 2009. Then in July Alchemy was third overall on corrected time in the Transpacific Yacht Race to Hawaii, renewing proof that well into their third decade the 70s still carry clout---Alchemy now more so with a new mast for this event.
Peterson doesn't talk much about his sailing success but, according to navigator Artie Means, 'He came all the way home [from Hawaii] with a big smile on his face.'
Alchemy figures to be pushed hard by Peligroso, Peter Tong's 2010 runnerup OEX and class mainstay Ed McDowell's Grand Illusion, the runnerup in 2009.
With Voss's Piranha gone, Jeff Janov's Dark Star is the Farr 40 to beat, but Ray Godwin's Temptress was a close second last year and Frederic Scheer's Far Niente was second only to Dark Star in June's Long Beach Race Week.
'They're raising the bar,' Godwin said. 'A few of us are still sailing Corinthian with no [professional] crew members, but I'm happy if I can beat them once in a while.'
Entrants list here