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North Sails 2021 LEADERBOARD

2021 Catalina 22 National Championship Regatta at Pensacola Yacht Club - Day 1

by Talbot Wilson 25 May 08:34 PDT May 23-27, 2021
Gold fleet Leader Justin Chambers in #221 Buc-ee got a clean start in Race 1. After the first three Catalina 22 National Championship races, Chambers' Buccee sits atop the leader board in the Gold Fleet with three bullets... 1-1-1 © Talbot Wilso

The Catalina 22 National Championship at Pensacola Yacht Club got in three races for the Gold and Silver non-spinnaker fleets on day 1, Monday. Topping the Gold Fleet with three bullets was Justin Chambers in #221 Buccee. Richard Gailey, #216 Wicklow Way, also won all three of the day's races.

The Spinnaker Fleet racing was postponed because the morning breeze was under the 5kt minimum for that class. Race organizers hope to get in Spinnaker Fleet racing on Tuesday morning but the forecast is problematic.

Racing for the non-spinnaker fleets was sailed in light winds but really near perfect conditions for the first day of the event. Maximum winds were about 8kts. It was a relatively cool day on the water with a light haze filtering the sun. Usually the Pensacola sea breeze is 12 to 15kts.

One sailor was relieved by the lighter wind. He said, "The jib on these Catalina 22's... with no winches... takes a lot of strength to trim. It was great sailing in these conditions."

As usual the sea breeze filled in after noon from the south at 190º and shifted to 210º for race two and 220º for race three.

Updated preliminary race results are posted on Regatta Network.

The 50th Anniversary Catalina 22 National Championship regatta is on schedule with more racing May 25-27 at Pensacola Yacht Club. Entries are being accepted until Sunday, the day before racing starts.

The championships are supported by a grant from Pensacola Sport, by, the visiting sailor's official tourism resource, and by Regatta Craft Mixers.

In 2018, the club hosted the Optimist Nationals with over 300 boats, skippers, plus their coaches and families. In 2019 the club hosted the Flying Scot Nationals. Each November the club now offers spectacular Melges 24 racing for the Bushwhacker Cup. So from Catalina 22 to Melges 24 May to November there is sailboat racing for all skill levels and all sizes.

Hal Smith, PYC's exceptional PRO who is a former C22 national champion himself, promises top quality race management.

Smith commented on the class he once raced, "The Catalina 22 class is the friendliest and warmest class ever. You will see families competing and friends teamed up to sail, and you will see sailors who have been sailing C22's for over 40 years having owned multiple boats. This is the celebration of 50 years of the C22 National Association. Few classes have that kind of durability. National regattas had been held continuously every year until last year when COVID interrupted the streak. The loyalty of these sailors is special."

Regatta Chairman Tom Pace will put together a great shore team and a program of activities for all. Lots of racing, wind willing, and promises of some wonderful socializing.

Regatta Craft Mixers has come on board to offer their refreshing line of products with a special Catalina 22 drink menu being served at the Pensacola YC's famous Blue Bar and the poolside watering hole.

The Pensacola YC team is pleased that so many Catalina 22's and their families are coming from all over the nation to enjoy the "South's Finest Yacht Club". Sailors are coming from as far as Washington state, many from the Southwest and Southeast,.

Some have been to Pensacola before, but not since the club cleared off the eastern five acres of its waterfront... not since the new sailing center was built, not since the new launching ramp and upgraded hoist were completed and not since marina renovations were finished for the second time following Hurricane Sally hit last September.

Pensacola YC now has 22 usable acres. The pool overlooks the bay. The Watson Sailing Center overlooks the bayou. Both are perfect for after-race socials. The grassy grounds offer space for boat storage and camping. It's first come to reserve one of our four RV pads.

Pensacola YC's Grill Room Bar was named the World's Best Yachting Bar in 2017, famous for Bushwhackers and very cold beer. Sparkling drinks created with Regatta Craft Mixers will add new options when mixed with any choice of spirits or just on the rocks.

The Regatta brand boasts "Our premium craft mixers are so good that they stand on their own, but don't let that stop you from using your imagination to create a dazzling cocktail. Try some of our favorite cocktails and launch your own adventure!"

Pensacola YC will be offering suggestions for some new summertime cocktails... Try a 22 Skidoo— Gold Rum, Regatta Mix Ginger Ale, Mint and a slice of lime, the 22 Wahoo— White Rum, blue curaçao, lemonade and Regatta Mix Citrus Tonic and the PYC Catalina Kooler— Dark rum, Ginger Beer Lite, and a slice of Lime. Or create your own concoction.

More event information at

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