Light Winds for Butler Cup Match Race
Published on November 6th, 2016
Justin Law and his Newport Harbor Yacht Club team won the 2016 Butler Cup World Sailing Grade 4 Match Race regatta, held November 5-6 in Long Beach, CA. Eight teams competed on the Long Beach Sailing Foundation’s fleet of Catalina 37s with the event hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club.
Law and seven other skippers – ranging in age from 16 to 60 – and the race committee team had to deal with light and shifty breezes of 1.4 to 6 knots that had trouble making up its mind as to which direction it was going to blow from.
Of the scheduled double round robin schedule, the race committee team, led by Principal Race Officer Charles Legeman, was able to complete 52 of the 56 races, leaving only 4 on the table with daylight and breeze rapidly disappearing.
Law’s team of Mikee Anderson-Mitterlin, Greg Helias, Austin Rodgers, Chris Orlando, Frank O’Brien, Andy Dippel and Kat Dippel kept him in the game with only a half point separating him from second place finisher, Bill Durant of LBYC.
“For us,” said Law, “it’s all about camaraderie and working as a team. We try to keep it light, sometimes talking about Fantasy Football during races.
“I’ve been sailing on the [Catalina] 37s the last two years for [LBYC’s] Wet Wednesdays. We’re grateful to have that experience. I’m a big team racer and have only done two match races before this.”
LBYC strongly supports both fleet and match racing from its Junior Sailing programs through major regattas such as the World Sailing Tour Grade 1 Congressional Cup and Long Beach Race Week.
At this weekend’s regatta, LBYC had four of their five current flag officers in this regatta either competing as skippers or working on the race committee team.
LBYC Rear Commodore, Bill Durant, took second place for the weekend. He was leading the field at the end of the day Saturday, but stumbled a bit Sunday and barely missed out on a repeat of his win in 2015.
“Boy, my crew did a perfect job,” said Durant. “The [spinnaker] hoists in the pre-start, their hard work, they were great.
“My son [Dustin Durant] did a fantastic job. He’s a great tactician.
“I made two wrong moves today [smiling and shaking his head], and that was the difference.”
LBYC Commodore Dave Hood finished in third place and strongly supports, and competes in, both fleet and match races.
“First of all,” said Hood, “I want to congratulate Justin Law and Newport Harbor Yacht Club and Bill Durant for what they did in these tough conditions… and kudos to the race committee team.
“I am always proud of LBYC when they put on these regattas, especially in these conditions.
“My crew work was awesome and I think we sailed well in the light air. There were a couple of difficult [wind] shifts that could have worked out better for us.”
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. Justin Law, Newport Harbor YC, 6.0 points
2. Bill Durant, Long Beach YC, 5.5
3. Dave Hood, LBYC, 5.0
4. Jack Barton, San Francisco YC, 4.0
5. Wendy Corzine, LBYC, 3.5
6. Lisa Meier, LBYC, 2.5
7. Paul Turang, Transpac YC, 1.5
8. Sydney Gathrid, Del Rey YC, 0.0
Source: Rick Roberts