Promoting Women’s Big Boat Sailing
Published on October 18th, 2015
Shala Youngerman and her Southwestern Yacht Club team from San Diego became back-to-back two-time winners in the 24th annual Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One-Design Challenge fleet race.
Raced on the Long Beach Sailing Foundation’s fleet of Catalina 37s, nine west coast teams from Seattle, Wash. to San Diego, Calif. ran the two-day regatta under sunny skies and consistent breeze… except when there wasn’t any breeze.
Organized and sponsored by the Long Beach/Los Angeles Women’s Sailing Association and hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club, racing was held October 17-18 in Long Beach, CA.
Saturday dawned overcast but the clouds began parting around the noon start time and all was well with the typical Long Beach southwest breezes of 8 to 13 knots which allowed the teams to get in all four of the scheduled races for the day.
Sunday was a bit more of a challenge with cloudy skies and a half-hearted breeze that started to fill in, and then all but evaporated halfway through Race 5 with the finishers almost drifting across the finish line. After a delay of about an hour the wind returned, but not in time to get the full three scheduled races in before the mandatory cut-off time of 3:00 p.m. for starting races.
Youngerman credits her team giving her the opportunity to win this regatta for a second time.
“My team is absolutely awesome,” Youngerman said. “We threw this team together last year and it continues to be an awesome sailing experience for all of us. Whether or not we’re sailing or off the water, we always look out for each other. We may be behind during a race but we keep pulling for each other.”
Her team includes Sara Williams, Jessica Amen, Kati Morton, Tracy Nackel, Tammy Fowels, Sandra Sherman, Marni Buddo, Jenn Garver (team captain), Summer Green and Heidi Taylor.
Youngerman didn’t get the start she wanted in the first race Saturday, finishing in third. But after that, she posted three first place finishes to end the day with LBYC co-skippers Lisa Meier and Wendy Corzine only three points behind.
As Sunday’s breeze struggled, so did many of the teams with the ever-lightening and shifty conditions. Youngerman finished the day with two fourth-place finishes. Meier and Corzine had challenges in race five getting an eighth place finish, but came back in the final race with a first.
Youngerman won the regatta four points ahead of Meier and Corzine who were able to hold on to second place on a tiebreaker with Karen Jones and her team from the Santa Monica Bay Women’s Sailing Association.
“The Long Beach Yacht Club Women’s Sailing Team has been together for 18 months now,” Corzine said. “With all of the hard training we’ve been through, it’s really good to see it payoff this weekend.”
Meier said, “LBYC’s Women’s Sailing Team started together as fellow competitors and became friends.”
“On a personal note,” Corzine said, “to have Michael Elias [Linda’s husband] here to hand us our second-place trophy makes us want to win this next year.”
“We’re so proud to represent LBYC in this prestigious event,” Meier said, “and it is an honor to be sailing in memory of Linda Elias. I didn’t know her personally, but I am honored to call many of her friends, my friends.”
Youngerman, once again, was awarded the perpetual Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One-Design Challenge trophy, donated by Al and Vicki Shultz and the Catalina 37 Women’s One-Design Challenge, LB/LA Women’s Sailing Association trophy.
She also received a $1,000 scholarship check from the Linda Elias Sailing Scholarship.
The Women’s One-Design event began 24 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.
1. Shala Youngerman, SWYC, 3-1-1-1-4-4, 14 points
2. Lisa Meier/Wendy Corzine, LBYC, 1-2-2-4-8-1, 18
3. Karen Jones, Women’s Sailing Assoc. of Santa Monica Bay, 2-3-5-5-1-2, 18
4. Phoebe Staff, CYC, 5-4-4-2-3-5, 23
5. Alexia Fischer, Gybe Ho’s, 6-6-6-6-2-3, 29
6. Molly Vandermoer, SDYC, 7-5-3-3-6-6, 30
7. Terri Manok, Women’s Sailing Assoc. of Orange County, 4-9-7-9-7-9, 45
8. Debbie Kraemer, Long Beach/Los Angeles Women’s Sailing Assoc., 9-8-8-8-5-8, 46
9. Marie Rogers, LAYC, 8-7-9-7-9-7, 47
Report by Rick Roberts.