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Seawanhaka International Challenge Cup at Long Beach Yacht Club - Day 2

by Long Beach Yacht Club 3 Jun 12:16 PDT 31 May - 5 June 2022
Seawanhaka International Challenge Cup © Camille Daniels

Racing began late morning on Thursday with under 5 knots of shifty breeze for Day 2 of the Seawanhaka International Challenge Cup. Left phase shifts were prevalent during the first half of the day as race leaders pushed opponents to the right side of the course.

Round Robin 1 was completed in the early afternoon, and the Race Committee proceeded straight into Round Robin 2. So far, Seawanhaka Corinthian YC has won all 12 of their matches, maintaining their winning streak as the only undefeated team in the regatta.

"We are feeling good," said SCYC Skipper Christopher Poole. "The lighter conditions have helped our new team dial everything in, but the competition is also getting better. We are looking forward to the Semi Finals."

On the other hand, the St. Francis YC Team is used to the "breeze-on" conditions of San Francisco Bay and prefers the top end of the wind range.

"We are loving the weather, but could use more wind," said Skipper Justin Oberbauer. "The race management has been phenomenal," Oberbauer added. "St. Francis Yacht Club takes pride in running top notch events and LBYC knows how to do that very well."

It's well known among the sailors that, nine times out of ten, Long Beach eventually delivers breeze. Today was no different as wind speeds increased slowly and steadily, building to 8-10 knots by mid-afternoon. Teams battled through the second round robin as right hand shifts became a factor in the tactician's gameplan toward the end of the day.

"It was another great day on the signal boat," PRO Wendy Corzine commented. "We anticipated more wind, but it was nice that it stayed under control. It was great to see things come together today for some of the teams who are new to the 37s."

One of those teams is the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club, helmed by Ragna Agerup. After going winless on Day 1, RNYC strung together three victories right out of the gate on Day 2.

"Today we felt much better with our boathandling, tactics, and communications," Agerup said. "We felt like we were in every race and were very excited to hold our own with some of the best."

The Norwegians were also pleasantly surprised at how friendly the rest of the competitors have been ashore.

"The culture and community here are wonderful - every team has helped us improve our boathandling and speed," said Agerup.

The Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron is also experiencing their first Seawanhaka Cup, although Skipper Neville Wittey has participated in the Congressional Cup several times, both as a competitor and an umpire.

"A big reason we are here is to build our youth match racing program," said Wittey. "We had twenty youth sailors try out for the Seawanhaka Cup team, and the top six were selected to compete in Long Beach."

Wittey added that his goal is to create a pathway to international match racing so the youth today can have the same opportunities he did growing up. Chief Umpire Kirk Brown has been pleased so far with the work of his umpire team, and the proficiency demonstrated by the competitors.

"We are seeing very competitive sailing among very skilled sailors," Brown remarked. "We had several upsets today, and our talented umpire team is providing excellent service for them."

Seawanhaka Corinthian YC remains on top of the leaderboard with a record of 12-0, followed by Royal New Zealand YS (10-3). Chicago YC (8-5) currently sits in 3rd and the 4th spot is up for grabs between Royal Canadian YC (7-5), and defender Long Beach YC (7-5). Four flights remain in Stage 1, at which point only the top four will continue on to the Semi Finals. Day 3 of racing begins on Friday at 11:30 am with Flight 15 of Round Robin 2.

The Semis begin Friday afternoon and, depending on conditions, may finish up on Saturday morning before rolling into the Finals and Petite Finals.

More information and results at lbyc.org.

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