Bump-fest at Long Beach Race Week
Published on June 23rd, 2018
Long Beach, CA (June 23, 2018) – Choppy, lumpy, ‘washing machine’ conditions on San Pedro Bay, with hearty 10 to 14 knot breezes, gave Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week sailors a day to remember.
More than 130 boats participated on Day Two of Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week, a three-day extravaganza of competition and camaraderie, hosted by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club and Long Beach Yacht Club.
Seasonal ‘June gloom’ conditions dominated the sky, with steady breeze and sloppy seas, giving Random Leg (RL) racers a scenic and invigorating ride.
Skip Ely’s Elyxir seemed poised to defend its title in RL-B division, scoring a second bullet today, in their six-boat class. Bretwalda, RL-A, also logged a second win Saturday; while Dos Amigos and Gator stood tied for first in RL-D, and Aussie Airwaves held a slim margin over DistraXion, in RL-C.
Random leg racing has grown in popularity over recent years, according to regatta co-chair John Busch. “What’s kept this regatta going strong is we offer both buoy and random leg racing. A lot of the old-timer boats don’t necessarily want to do the buoy racing, but still want to come out and play.”
“We have four random leg divisions, based on the size and age of the boats, and really fine tune the course for each group,” said Busch, who is also PRO on Charlie course. The regatta runs races on three separate courses, each with its own expert Race Committee.
Busch sent today’s RL-A class on a sweeping 20nm race, “working our way down the rest of the fleet, with the goal of having everyone finish around the same time; so they can enjoy the rest of the day – and the parties!”
“Today’s racing was one of the best days we could imagine,” Busch continued. “The forecast didn’t look great, but 12 knots of breeze locked in at 155 degrees, and ended up providing a really epic day for the random leg boats. When they finished, they were cheering and happy.”
“We also were able to run three races for the one-design and PHRF D fleets, and saw a lot of really good competition and great sailing today.”
Racing in PHRF D was Dan Bunce, aboard his new-to-him Santa Cruz 33 Scenic. “Long Beach Race Week is a great venue, with excellent competition and hosting,” Bunce explained. However, having owned the boat for just four months, he admitted he was ‘jumping in to the fire’ – entering Scenic in her first regatta, among such a high level of competition.
“We knew it would be a trial by fire, but said, ‘let’s just go for it,’” said Bunce. “Having great crew and great competition made it a terrific learning experience, and helped me fine tune and dial it all in.”
David Boatner’s Rival currently leads that fleet; but Bunce added, “It’s still the best time you can have in a three-day race; connecting with old friends and enjoying the camaraderie off the water. And the clubs take good care of us, with a spot for the boat and fun parties.”
Elsewhere, Kevin Brown’s Team ABYC surged to the top of the leaderboard in the Catalina 37s; Geoff Fargo’s Boomslang held a slight lead in Viper 640s. Tight racing was also the name of the game in the Pac52 class, with Invisible Hand in the lead; while Coquille held the edge in the Farr 40 division.
Caper topped the J/120 fleet, and Code Blue – with five bullets in five races – dominated the Schock 35s. In the 28-boat J/70 class, just one point separated Argyle Campbell’s entry from Jeff Janov’s Minor Threat. Margaritaville solidified its lead in PHRF A, with Picosa and Kite 35 tied for first in PHRF B/C.
The regatta continues tomorrow, Sunday June 24 beginning at 11:55AM, for Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week honors, plus championship titles in the Catalina 37 and Schock 35 fleets. The forecast is for cloudy skies with 10 to 11 knots of southerly breeze; clearing by 1PM, and easing in the afternoon.