Laying the groundwork toward 2028
Published on October 8th, 2018
Six fleets competed in the inaugural San Diego Olympic Classes Regatta (SDOCR), attracting 85 boats to the ocean courses off San Diego, CA. The SDOCR plans to be an annual event, growing in scale approaching the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics.
The 29er, Finn, i420, Laser, and Laser Radial fleets raced on October 6-7 with the Snipes extending for a third day on October 8. The Snipe class was racing for its Snipe North American Championship along with being a country qualifier for the 2019 Pan Am Games.
Leading up to the SDOCR, the San Diego Yacht Club hosted a series of three clinics led by JJ Fetter and Giselle Nyenhuis to allow for sailors new to the boats to gain some experience prior to the regatta.
“We had at least five brand new teams that have never sailed in a regatta and they all drastically improved during the event,” said Nyenhuis. “Having the options to do the clinics prepared them to come out and be comfortable. Everyone was super motivated and committed and spent their time after the races practicing.”
Chris Barnard, winner of the Laser fleet, took first in each of the six races. “Paul Didham and Marcus Huttunen were my most steady competition through the weekend,” said Barnard. “We were battling it out all the way through the finish… anytime I felt like I was in a disadvantageous position, I just kept it close and waited for my opportunity to make a pass.”
The top three in the Finn fleet were separated by just one point, with Eric Anderson earning the win followed by David Wood and Mike Dorgan. In the Laser Radial, Gavin Malcolm McJones won all six races for the victory while Justin Lim and Patrick Mulcahy edged out the 6-boat I-420 fleet.
Ian and Noah Nyenhuis won half the races in the 29ers fleet for the win, though still only beating out Jordan and Grant Janov by two points with Peter Joslin and Scott Mais another two points back in third. “We were lucky to stay pretty consistent in the top two,” said Noah. “In the last race we couldn’t let the Janov brothers get ahead. There were just inches between the top three of us coming in through the finish.”
The Snipes had the largest fleet with 32 teams representing eight countries. The international flavor was due to the Pan Am Games qualifier with the USA, Chile, Ecuador, and Guatemala earning entry for 2019. Ernesto Rodriguez and Kathleen Tocke (USA) dominated the series early but nearly lost it all on the final day, winning by a point over Matías Seguel/María Jesus Seguel (CHI).
Commodore Mike Dorgan was pleased to see so many fleets out there sailing in an Olympic style regatta. “There’s a benefit to having the kids race with the adults,” said Dorgan. “The young kids have the youth and they sail the boats like they should be sailed while us old guys are sitting there complaining about our pains. You could see them in the course of the regatta getting better and better each race. Having events like these are really important for the sport.”