Weis tops California Dreamin’ Series
Published on November 3rd, 2019
The third and final stop of the 3-stage California Dreamin’ Series attracted eight teams on November 2-3 in Long Beach, CA. While defending series champion Shane Young topped the finale, sailed in Catalina 37s, it was Christopher Weis that claimed the overall series title.
Report by Laurie Morrison:
Returning California Dreamin’ Series winner Shane Young had trouble getting his motor running on day two – his Catalina 37 being towed to the racecourse by the mark-set boat, but once out there, he and his LBYC crew won six out of seven matches to finish the two-day regatta with a 12 – 2 record.
Both losses were to yesterday’s leader Greg Dair; the final match coming down to a couple of feet lost while recovering from a penalty turn. The win earned Young, the 2017 Series Champion, 100 points toward his 2019 series total, but it was not enough to top Del Rey Yacht Club’s rising star, Christopher Weis.
The 23-year old won the San Diego leg of the series last month in a J/22, earning him 100 points and putting him in a series tie with Nicole Breault of St. Francis Yacht Club.
But Weis and crew found their stride today, improving over yesterday’s 4 wins and 3 loss record and won six of the day’s seven matches. The only loss was to Young. Rounding after rounding, the team worked together like a well-oiled machine; winning the series and moving up this regatta’s leaderboard to take second-place.
“It was really a group effort,” said Weis. “All the matches were really competitive, and it was great to sail against such accomplishes sailors.” Matches against Breault, the series highest-ranked World Sailing competitor (61) was particularly close, and hard-fought, he said changing leads up to four times.
He and his crew Roberto Stevens, Dylan Finestone, Haydon Stapleton, Willie McBride, and his brother Nicolas Weis, grew up sailing together. All of them are individually, really good sailors, he said. Last year Weis, Stevens, Finestone, and junior match racing teammates Alex Burrow and Sidney Gathrid were awarded the Association of Santa Monica Bay Yacht Clubs Competitive Yachting Achievement award.
Next year, Weis, the regatta’s second-highest-rated competitor, at 83 with a bullet, will lead his crew at Ficker Cup here at LBYC. Chris Macy, LBYC’s Chairman of the 2020 Ficker Cup presented Weis with his invitation to the coveted event.
“We are really excited for Ficker and to be working our way up the ladder,” said Weis. To do well in April, the plan is to start training on some bigger, heavier boats. The crew normally sails in boats less then 25 feet. The Catalina 37s, Weis said, are like having another 25-feet of boat length upfront and double the weight.
The annual California Dreamin’ Series is comprised of three regattas. St. Francis Yacht Club hosted the first regatta in March. This weekend’s racing, aboard Long Beach Sailing Foundation’s Catalina 37s, was a World Sailing, Grade 3 Match Racing event.
Competitors earned points for racing in each of the three events according to how they finished. In the overall standings, Breault finished in second place and Liz Hjorth of California Yacht Club finished third.
This weekend, 50 percent of the eight competing skippers were women.
As the winner of LBYC’s two-day regatta, Young was awarded the Barney Flam Perpetual Trophy, which he said was an honor, particularly because it is in celebration of one of crewmate’s Steve Flam’s father.
“Pulling the crew together, many of whom are college friends was like getting the band back together. So, winning here is particularly rewarding,” said, Young. Next year, Young hopes that he and the crew can coordinate schedules to do more racing but to also represent the club well.
Accepting the award, Young thanked Randy Beers, the regatta’s principal race officer, the race committee, that included Commodore Camille Daniels, for doing such a commendable job orchestrating 14 races in light wind; adding that the umpires, who made a lot of good calls, as also appreciated for volunteering their time
Young’s crew were Flam, Mark Ryan, Erik Berkins, Nicolas Santos, and Jack Jorgensen.
Greg Dair, representing Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club, finished the weekend’s regatta in third place.
“I was lucky enough to get the best group of sailors together for this event, and we hope to do more in the future,” Dair said at the trophy ceremony. Earlier in the day, he said the day’s goal was to do well and learn more as a team. In August, Dair, along with Kevin McCarthy and Zak Merton placing fourth for Alamitos Bay Yacht Club at the Viper 640 Worlds. Despite yesterday’s leaderboard-topping day, Dair said the Catalina 37s were a little harder to get used to than he figured, and the boat did not always end up where he expected.
The wind off Belmont Veteran’s Memorial Pier did not always show up where it was expected either. Racing started in light winds at five to seven knots of shifty breeze that brought in two rolling banks of fog and had the race committee resetting marks nearly a dozen times throughout the day.
2019 CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’ SERIES
March 9-10: St. Francis Yacht Club in J/22 type boats
October 5-6: San Diego Yacht Club in J/22 type boats
November 2-3: Long Beach Yacht Club in Catalina 37 type boats
The final series score shall be based on the highest total of event points, counting the best two of three event scores for a skipper. The Long Beach Yacht Club Stop shall be counted as one of the two scored events. The skipper with the highest series score shall be declared the winner of the CDS. The principal prize for the winner of the CDS will be an invitation to the 2020 Ficker Cup.
Source: Amanda Witherell, St. Francis Yacht Club