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Diverse fleet deep in talent at Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week 2024

by LBYC Race Office 15 Jun 12:21 PDT June 21-23, 2024
Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week © Tom Walker

Jeff Janov, owner of the Melges 32 appropriately named The Baby Screams, has been racing Ullmans Sails Long Beach Race Week (LBRW) since around 1982. He's sailed the regatta in many different boats he has owned including a Peterson 39, Schock 35, J105, Farr 40, and for many years on his J70 Minor Threat; in 2023 he took home the Golison & Kent Family Trophy and the Yacht Club Challenge trophy on the J70. Growing up racing in Southern California, Janov has been a member of the California Yacht Club for about 35 years and Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week is always at the top of his racing playlist.

"It's probably the premier event in Southern California, at least for buoy racing across multiple fleets," Janov commented. "The weather is always so great in Long Beach, the race committee work is terrific, and they have really knowledgeable people running the regatta. We don't do too many regattas in the Melges 32 so it's one we wanted to make sure we did this year. The Melges 32 is such a fun boat to sail, and while I prefer one design, I don't mind sailing the boat in PHRF as the conditions are typically great at LBRW for the boat either way."

Janov's passion for sailboat racing grew out of learning to sail in a junior program at the Santa Monica Windjammers Yacht Club and it's a passion he's instilled in his three sons who frequently race with him.

"It's one of the only sports I have; I love the sport and the people involved; it doesn't matter how old you are, you can still keep getting better at, there's still something you can do no matter how old you become!" he said.

While he typically sails with all three sons - Jordan (18), Grant (21), and Ryan (23) - this year Janov will have Ryan, a skilled college sailor, on board while Jordan and Grant race 49ers in Europe as they begin their campaign for the 2028 Olympics. Pro sailor Eric Shampain (San Diego, CA) will also race on The Baby Screams. Among other projects, Shampain sails at a high level in the Etchells and J70 classes, dominating in major championship events. Pro Carlos Robles will also join Janov's crew - Robles raced LBRW last year on the J70 Nimbus, which won in class. Shampain first sailed with Janov on his Farr 40; he was coaching younger including Liam Kilroy at the time and really enjoyed sailing with Janov's kids.

"I was impressed by Jeff's kids, I got to know the family and I really enjoyed sailing LBRW with all three boys on board, they're really fun," Shampain noted. "I love the Melges 32, it powers up in light air really quickly and is fast downwind, planing in bigger breeze which we don't get a lot of in Southern California with the exception of Long Beach. We are excited to sail the boat in big breeze and see how we fare against our normal competitors. There are boats that are very competitive with us; Full Send, the Cape 31, will be quick, Kevin Miller and Jeff Grange on board who are both extremely good sailors, and we owe them time!"

Dirk Freeland (Santa Barbara, CA), owner and skipper of Full Send previously owned and raced a Farr 40 which he sailed regularly on the So Cal circuit before trading into a McConaghy 31, then the Cape 31. He enjoys LBRW and the opportunity to catch up with old friends. Freeland has owned Full Send for a year - it was almost brand new at LBRW 2023.

"The regatta holds great memories and I really like being part of the community," Freeland said. "We go to Long Beach for breeze because it is windy! The Cape 31 is an outstanding boat, I've sailed with almost the same crew this past year since I bought it although Kevin and Jeff have sailed with me for many years. We're really looking forward to great planing conditions."

Registration for LBRW 2024 is open until June 18, 6pm; LBRW is open to multiple classes. Check-in will be held at Long Beach Yacht Club in the afternoon on Thursday, June 20. Race Day One begins Friday, June 21 with a weather briefing at 10:15 AM by Ullman Sails, and a skipper's meeting at 10:30 AM upstairs at LBYC. The first race warning will sound at 12:55 PM on Friday, and at 11:55 AM on Saturday and Sunday. Conditions permitting, it is expected that two races will be sailed in most classes on Friday, three races on Saturday, and two races on Sunday.

Hosted by the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club (ABYC) and the Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC), the event is grateful to the generosity and support of its 2024 sponsors including Ullman Sails, Evans, Clarke Marine Insurance, Cabrillo Boat Shop, Durant Design and Construction, Long Beach Parks, Rec & Marine, Mt Gay Rum, Pirates Lair, The Oriana Shea Group, and Tom Walker Photography.

Parties featuring music and dancing will be hosted by ABYC on Friday night, then Saturday and Sunday night at LBYC. Prize giving will be held at LBYC on Sunday at 5:00 PM. Competitors are invited to enjoy both the clubs' services and amenities including the ice machine, and free water taxi service between the clubs until 9:00 PM Friday and Saturday. For full details on entry, schedule, mooring requests and more, go to www.lbrw.org.

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