Bringing the fight to the Lido 14 Nationals

Published on July 31st, 2014

The boats have only one modest hull and certainly don’t foil, and the crews are mostly friends or family, including only a pro or two sailing for fun, not finances, in the 2014 Lido 14 National Class Championship at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club in Long Beach, CA.

The Lido 14, designed by W.D. “Bill” Schock, founder of W.D. Schock Corp, has been a west coast staple class since the first boat was delivered in early 1958.

Racing for the 2014 title will be August 1-3 on the namesake bay fronting the club at the end of Ocean Blvd.

The favorite? Although the entries include past winners Chris Raab (1979, 1980, 1988 and 1994) and Mark Ryan (2010), competitors needn’t worry about eight-time winner Dave Ullman, six-timer Stu Robertson, or five-timer Craig Leweck.

“I was looking forward to competing, but work got in the way,” noted Scuttlebutt editor Leweck. “I suspect it will be a fight, with the small venue and shifty winds. I joke that the Lido’s fastest point of sail is tacking, but it does tack well, allowing you to take advantage of every situation.”

Despite a few of the stars on the sidelines, with Ullman coaching the US 470 team in Brazil and Robertson away at the Snipe US Nationals, the competition should be nonetheless formidable.

What about Christophe Killian of Balboa Yacht Club and Corona del Mar High School, who last year at age 16 on home waters with skilled crew Greg Dair was the youngest winner ever by two points over Steve and Olivia Klotz of the Richmond (Calif.) YC and three points over Robertson?

Killian told Steve Virgen of the Daily Pilot, “I had been sailing the boat for five years. When I first started I did my first nationals and I thought I was never going to win it. And then I win it as the youngest person ever and it was, ‘Did that just happen?’ To be honest, it was a little bit of a surprise.”

His opponents included his kid brother Porter and father Christopher, who are back this year.

No matter, Christophe said. “There’s no face to who you’re sailing against. It’s just another boat.”

Most of the 45 current entries will start racing at noon Friday in as many as four qualification races to split the field into Gold and Silver fleets. Those already committed to the latter group may rest until the split competition starts with as many as 15 races Saturday through Sunday at 11:30 a.m. daily, conditions permitting.

The weekend forecast is for Southern California’s current heat wave to continue with southwest breeze of about 10 knots and high temperatures around 80F.

Event website: http://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=1123

Report and photo by Rich Roberts.

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