Bill Durant wins 2015 Butler Cup
Published on November 15th, 2015
On a weekend that ran the gamut of wispy breeze to gale force warnings, Will “Bill” Durant and his Long Beach Yacht Club team won the 2015 Butler Cup match race (Nov. 14-15), held in the Long Beach Sailing Foundation’s Catalina 37s and hosted by LBYC (Long Beach, CA).
With Durant, six other skippers; Michael Anderson-Mittering of Newport Harbor Yacht Club, Shane Young of LBYC, Dave Hood of LBYC, Wendy Corzine of LBYC, Alex Steele of Balboa Yacht Club and Paul Turang of Transpac Yacht Club saw the breeze change from as little as 4-6 knots at the start Saturday to gusts over 20 on Sunday as a storm front moved through Southern California.
With the race committee deciding to abandon racing Sunday due to ever-increasing breeze, only 11 of the scheduled 14 flights were completed. At that point, the skipper’s performance in Saturday’s light air suddenly became very important.
“The light air made the game different for everybody,” Durant said. “I think that all of the teams worked quickly on improving their light air sailing skills.”
When asked about Sunday’s conditions, Durant smiled and said, “We definitely had extreme conditions both days.”
Finishing in second place on a tiebreaker was Anderson-Mittering who had praise for the race committee in challenging conditions.
“They did an amazing job yesterday and today,” Anderson-Mittering said. “Saturday’s competition was all about keeping speed and positioning, but Sunday was definitely all about match racing. My hat’s off to Bill and his team. When the breeze came up we had a great race with Bill and a fight to the finish.”
Two of the competing skippers are sitting flag officers at LBYC; Vice Commodore Dave Hood and the regatta winner Fleet Captain Will Durant. Hood has been a skilled fleet and match racer on the Catalina 37s for several years and Durant has competed in many match racing regattas as well as fleet racing regattas on his personal race boats.
“Long Beach Yacht Club has done a phenomenal job of building and sustaining our match racing program,” Durant said. “The Butler Cup is a fantastic grass roots regatta for beginning to mid-level match racing skippers.”
The event is named for Frank Butler, founder of Catalina Yachts, who in 1990 designed, built and donated the 11 Catalina 37s used for all the match races held at LBYC. These same boats are also used for fleet race events and are available for team building and individual charters through the Long Beach Sailing Foundation.
1. Will Durant, LBYC
2. Michael Anderson-Mittering, NHYC
3. Shane Young, LBYC
4. Dave Hood, LBYC
5. Wendy Corzine, LBYC
6. Alex Steele, BYC
7. Paul Turang, TPYC
Source: Rich Roberts