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2019 Yachting Cup at San Diego Yacht Club - Overall

by Jeff Johnson 5 May 21:59 PDT 3-5 May 2019
2019 Yachting Cup © Mark Albertazzi

There were plenty of high-fives, handshakes and celebratory cheers back on the docks after the final day of the San Diego Yacht Club's Yachting Cup. Congratulations were exchanged and camaraderie was shared, but one class stood out this weekend and made its mark on the 2019 Yachting Cup. The Farr 40 class, fielding an international fleet of seven for their season opener, made the most of three ideal Pacific ocean sailing days at SDYC's premier multi-fleet regatta.

Wolfgang Schaefer, owner of Struntje Light, dominated over eight races this weekend, earning him and his crew the title of Overall Yachting Cup winners.

Tim Fuller, Yachting Cup Chair, congratulated the Overall Yachting Cup winner for their outstanding performance. "In the eight races over three days, Struntje Light showed their worth in a large, competitive class. They truly dominated the course," Fuller commented.

Struntje Light took the most bullets on the scoresheet in the Farr 40 class with five first place finishes. When they weren't taking first, they were not far behind in second or third place. The boat started off the weekend with two bullets and a second on the first day, two bullets and a third on the second day, and one bullet and a third on the final day.

Schaefer has owned Struntje Light since 2001 and has been with the majority of his crew for over five years. Receiving the Overall Yachting Cup trophy came as a surprise. "Winning overall didn't even cross my mind. We won because we had the most first places in our class. We had eight races and we won five of them. Insanity was our biggest competition, clearly. We had a couple of problems using some old light sails so we could save the new ones for Worlds. Insanity put up some tough racing and did a great job, but we had a little bit more luck and had the best starts of the fleet."

Rick Goebel's Insanity took second place in the class by three points. "Three days of racing is always good. The competition and the courses were great. We were on the Far Ocean course. The breeze was consistent all weekend, light to 12 knots or so with 1.8 nm legs. Struntje Light are the World Champs from last year. They are a top shelf team and won our class well deserved. It was great racing all weekend."

The Farr 40 class travels around the world sailing. Typically, regattas in their series will host 13-15 boats on the world level. There are five events on the world circuit for the class, the Yachting Cup being the first. Due to one throw out option, some of the class boats skipped this weekend's regatta and will start the series for Long Beach Race Week – where Struntje Light, Insanity, and the other boats in the Farr 40 class will be racing in a few weeks.

"The class is very good and I am very proud to be a part of it. The most unique part about the Farr 40 class is that it's been the strongest One Design class in the world for 22 years. The other unique part of the Farr 40s is the structure of the class. Everyone in it is extremely tight. You either join the class or you don't," continued Schaefer.

The Yachting Cup perpetual trophy for the J/120 class is covered with winning plaques over the years for CC Rider and caper. So it was no surprise to see SDYC Staff Commodore's John Laun and Chuck Nichols back at the top of the standings battling for another tally on the trophy. This year it was caper's turn, as they won the first three races on their way to the win.

"It was a lot of fun. We were able to get good breeze both days up to 11 and 12 knots. We were in the Far Ocean course. It was very shifty and challenging at times but it worked out well. We're lucky to come out first in our class," said Bill Campbell, tactician on caper.

"The first race yesterday [Saturday] stood out to us the most. We got on the water, hit our stride early on, and Bill and John nailed the start. We extended our lead the whole race, and it was really fun." added Alli Bell, trimmer on caper.

SDYC relies heavily on the local J/105 class to support its signature fall regattas, the International Masters and Lipton Cup regattas. Many of the J/105s used to run those events competed in this year's Yachting Cup with fleet captain Stewart Cannon's J-OK finishing on top while winning the final three races of the weekend.

Chick Pyle continued his long standing run of Beneteau 36.7 wins with another victory at the 2019 Yachting Cup aboard his boat Kea, finishing top three in all seven races in a large fleet of nine boats.

SDYC Junior Staff Commodore Mike Dorgan lead the Beneteau 40.7 Lugano to victory, winning all five races in their class. Dorgan previously raced his Beneteau 40.7 French Toast in many Yachting Cups.

Jeff Janov's J/70 Minor Threat used wins in the last two races to take the class win over Tony Collins' FLY in a competitive seven race series for the J/70s.

The same scenario played out for Scot Tempesta's Flying Tiger A4, who came back with two final race wins to pass Relapse for the Flying Tiger class win.

The Pac52 class sailed three days and eight races, and the boats were tied with 14 points heading into the final race of the weekend. Austin & Gwen Fragomen's Interlodge VI won the final race for the regatta win, their third regatta victory of the Pac52 season.

The PHRF A and PHRF AA class shared a start but were scored separately as two four-boat classes. Bob Pethick's Rogers 46 Bretwalda3 showed they are just as competitive around the buoys as they are racing offshore, winning all five races in PHRF A. As did Alec Oberschmidt's R/P 50 Staghound, sweeping the five PHRF AA races against the larger competition. Bretwalda3 will be racing in the SoCal 300 and the Transpac Race this summer with their offshore program.

The largest class at this year's Yachting Cup was the PHRF B class with 10 boats racing. 2015 Yachting Cup overall winner Neil Fraser and the 1D35 Mexican Divorce ran away with their class finishing top two in all five races.

David Boatner's J/35 Rival, who was an overall winner at the 2016 Yachting Cup narrowly outlasted Standish Fleming's C&C 115 Nereid for the PHRF C Class win. Nereid will be transitioning to offshore race mode for the upcoming SoCal 300 at the end of May.

In the Schock 35 class, the team of Thompson/Rossbach/Basadre aboard Whiplash dominated the class all weekend, winning the first six races.

Congratulations to Struntje Light for great races and the overall Yachting Cup winner title. Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2019 Yachting Cup and congratulations to all of our sailors and first place finishers. The San Diego Yacht Club hopes to see everyone back next year for the 2020 Yachting Cup!

View the full results here.

Find more information about the regatta, please visit

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