Home team wins Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One-Design Challenge

Published on October 15th, 2017

Co-skippers Wendy Corzine and Lisa Meier of Long Beach Yacht Club won the 26th annual Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One-Design Challenge, held October 14-15 in Long Beach, CA. The team broke a 14-year dry spell since the club last won this regatta in 2003.

Sailed in equally-matched Catalina 37s, weather conditions were good for the 11 West Coast teams representing yacht clubs and sailing organizations from Tacoma, Wash. to San Diego, Calif.

The wind direction on day one transitioned from northwest to southerly well before racing started, giving the competitors 7-12 knots of breeze. But looking at forecasted light-air for day two, Principal Race Officer Sharon Bernd made the call to run five of the seven scheduled races on the first day, just in case the wind didn’t show up on day two.

At the end of the first day, California Yacht Club’s Marilyn Cassidy had a six-point lead over second place Wendy Corzine and Lisa Meier’s LBYC team. All that CYC had to do was not let the LBYC boat slip by them. But they did, with LBYC winning both race six and seven, and CYC finishing in fifth and eighth respectively.

“There were so many years of practice and training,” said Corzine, “and the magic came together this year. The support we received from LBYC, [Vice Commodore] Bill Durant and others made this happen.”

“We just couldn’t get up to speed in the lighter condition,” admitted Cassidy. “It is a credit to their team and how much time they spent practicing.”

In addition to Corzine and Meier, the LBYC teammates were Liz Baylis, Christy Smitheran, Merry Cheers, Carly Meyer, Sharie Sneddon, Blair Carty, Cheri Busch, Marissa Pei, Sheri Sanders, Beth Winton and Janice Eagle.

“This team has been together for three years,” said Meier. “For three years we have taken advantage of every coaching session and have really gelled as a team.

“We could not have done this without the support of LBYC members; Jim Mintie and his coach boat, John Busch and Randy Smith as on-the-water coaches… and our rock-star tactician Liz Baylis.”

Baylis is from San Rafael, Calif. and is quite a skilled match racer in her own right, having won a silver medal at the 2008 Women’s Match Racing World Championship in Auckland, New Zealand, and also winning LBYC’s Mayor’s Cup women’s match race in 2007.

Years ago, she raced with Linda Elias and, like so many others, was moved by the significance of today’s win.

“This feels really good for me,” said Baylis. “I have never won this event and I have always wanted to come back. It’s nice to be back and to be on the winning team with my name now next to hers.

“All we had to do is sail our races. It was up to CYC to mess up. That’s what we did. We sailed our races.”

The Women’s One-Design event began 26 years ago and Linda Elias—the namesake for the current regatta—won the championship three of the first five years. Elias passed away in 2003 and the Long Beach/Los Angeles Women’s Sailing Association rededicated the event to her memory.

This year’s event was sponsored by the Long Beach/Los Angeles Women’s Sailing Association, Keen Footwear, hosted by the Long Beach Yacht Club and raced on the Long Beach Sailing Foundation’s fleet Catalina 37s.

Event detailsResults

Source: Rick Roberts

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