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Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week - Day 2

by Betsy Senescu 25 Jun 19:17 PDT June 24-26, 2022

Idyllic conditions continued for Day Two of Ullman Sails Long Beach Race week, hosted by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club (ABYC) and Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC). Nearly 100 teams of competitors passed the halfway point of the regatta, solidifying leaderboard positions for some and sending others scrambling.

With brisk southwesterly winds blowing, LBYC and ABYC organizers pulled off three races in the PHRF and one-design classes while Random Leg sailors enjoyed a boisterous romp over choppy seas. On the 23.6nm Random Leg A course Argo 4 prevailed, while Relentless took the lead in B fleet's 18.8nm run, and Shadowfax remained the frontrunner in C, after a 16.6nm sprint.

Seven one design and three PHRF classes battled through the windward leeward courses, with Skeleton Key dominating the J/111s with five straight bullets, matched by the J/35 Rival in PHRF-C. Elsewhere it was a scramble, with teams battling rivals in up to 17 knots of breeze, as they eyed the final two races slated for tomorrow.

In the tightly contested 16-boat J/70 class, Bruce Golison's Midlife Crisis clung to the top of the leaderboard with nine points, with a strong but not invincible seven-point lead over the next participant.

Golison said, "My normal crew is sailing the Etchells North Americans, so we got together a group of J/70 sailors - all friends who regularly sail against each other. We've all put in a lot of time sailing J/70s in a breeze, so we got up to speed pretty quickly." That showed, with all top five finishes in the first two days of racing. He has campaigned Midlife Crisis - hull #26 - since 2016, adding, "I really enjoy the class. It's a great mix of pros and amateurs and really good, fun racing."

"And we really appreciate all the effort by the committee and volunteers; they really have their act together. Putting on an event like this is a lot of work, and as a competitor I appreciate it."

Golison would know: he has roots in this event, stretching back several decades. The original June race week was a big boat IOR event: "It was around when I was a little kid," Golison explained. He started an event back to back with the IOR regatta in 1985, and after 20 years passed it off. Organizers kept a few aspects of Golison's event, he noted: "They still have the family trophy and team racing, and they do a really nice job keeping it going."

The battle for supremacy in the Farr 40 fleet remained fierce today, with Blade II just three points over Insanity, and a tussle astern for third. PI holds a slight edge over Bella Vita and Rode Rage in the Beneteau 36.7 fleet; and the J/109 title is up for grabs, with a scant three points separating Blue Crush, Fuzzy Logic and Raptor.

In PHRF B Jim Bailey's 1D35 Destroyer held its ground with a 1-2-1-2-1 record so far. Bailey has owned Destroyer since December, but only debuted at San Diego Yachting Week. "We got it all tricked out and have gone from zero to 60," said Bailey. "It's been a lot of fun!" His crew includes sons Charlie, Danny and William. "We have four Baileys, so we threw our hat in for the Golison Family trophy," he added. "We'll see how it shakes out."

Bailey admitted to a 25-year hiatus in sailing while his kids grew up, but got back into racing on his sons' request in 2017. The recent switch from a TP52 to the current 1D35 has been both exciting and challenging. "I'm glad we came to LBRW: we haven't really sailed the boat in any breeze so this week's conditions have been awesome for us! It's a whole new experience for me, and the team."

Bailey revealed the last time he competed in LBRW was decades ago, on a Schock 35. "It is great to be back here. The competition and camaraderie are both fantastic. We hung out at the club yesterday evening and we're heading over to the party tonight. I've been able to catch up with a bunch of people I haven't seen in a while and that's been a lot of fun."

"Hopefully more sailors will see how great this event is and say 'Gee, I wish I'd shown up this year' and decide to come next year. It is great to be back and we are hoping for even more competition in 2023."

The final races of the 2022 USLBRW will be held tomorrow Sunday June 26, starting at 11:55AM. For full results and details go to www.lbrw.org

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