Reason #1 that racing fleets flourish
Published on August 10th, 2022
The designer of the very successful Cal boats from the late 1950s through the 1980s, William “Bill” Lapworth is widely considered one of the foremost West Coast naval architects in the post-World War II period. While it remains a mystery why he has gotten overlooked by the National Sailing Hall of Fame, his boats continue to tell the story.
After his 59-year old Cal 40 design won the largest division (108 boats) of the 2022 Newport Bermuda Race, his 61-year old Cal 20 – of which 1,945 were built during its 14-year production run – is preparing for its 60th Class Championship.
A casual look at the boat may make one to wonder why it still exists, as its bulbous hull must torture the water, but the design hit a sweet spot of a spacious, seaworthy, low maintenance, low cost yacht that could easily be sailed by two, with the idea of a husband and wife team.
The 60th competition will be held August 12-14 at its main hub of Long Beach, CA – venue for sailing at the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics – and the class has been hyping the event with its top ten reasons to enter. At the top of the list has been to celebrate its cult following.
10. Celebrating 60 years of Cal 20 Class Championships
9. You choose your fleet to sail in (Junior/Bronze/Silver/Gold fleets)
8. Learn and improve
7. Bang for the buck
6. Long Beach primo sailing conditions
5. Junior Class Champs
3. Top flight Alamitos Bay Yacht Club race management
2. ABYC is the place to be for a good time
1. It’s the people
You don’t get to your 60th anniversary of a one design class championship without the most important ingredient – the people. Beyond the great and competitive racing in the various fleets, the strength of any racing fleet is the enjoyment in seeing old friends and making new friends.
Yes, there might be some heated words on the race course, but back on shore the culture of healthy classes has members chilling with each other and enjoying some cold suds. This is what it is all about and why people gravitate toward and remain in a fleet. As the class said, “Even if you can’t sail, please join the on shore parties and see first-hand why we have a great class.”