The Long Beach Model

Bucking California trends, the port city remains devoted to a middle-class economy.

From City Journal Magazine:

Joel Kotkin – Alicia Kurimska / Winter 2020 

An hour from Hollywood, far from Malibu and other elite coastal havens but only 23 miles from downtown Los Angeles, Long Beach remains what much of Southern California once was: a gritty, blue-collar trade and manufacturing community. One of the area’s last remaining middle-class coastal towns, it stands on a spit of land extending over eight miles along the southern end of L.A. County, wedged between tough towns to the north—notably, Compton, as in “Straight Outta”—and to the south, comfortable, Mayberryish Seal Beach. Long Beach is hardly a 1950s middle-class paradise, but, in sharp contrast with Los Angeles or San Francisco, the state’s seventh-largest city remains unpretentious and vital. It feels like a small town, even with 480,000 people living in some 84 distinct neighborhoods.

The population may be far more diverse than it once was—more than one in four residents is now foreign-born—but most of the city resembles the place settled early last century, largely by midwestern migrants. Comprising mainly single-family homes and small apartment buildings, Long Beach remains suburban in form and feel, with only 8 percent of commuters using mass transit and 75 percent driving to their jobs alone. Most work in the city or in surrounding parts of Los Angeles County.

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The AMYA Board met in a Special Meeting Thursday April 3, about and solely about the Corona Virus COVID-19 pandemic. Participating in that meeting was a medical doctor with a background in epidemiology, and who has been advising the AMYA Officers for the last month or so regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Radio sailing is a social event. AMYA Members and participants are generally 60 years of age or older. If infected, older people are more likely to become seriously ill or die. There is no specific treatment for COVID-19 infection once one gets the disease. So every effort must be made to prevent being infected, thus the USA and State, as well as local authorities’ rationale for Strict Social Separation.

Model sailing as a group is simply not worth the risk to our Members, in the mind of your Officers and Board of Directors.

The AMYA Board unanimously decided to take the following actions:

All AMYA-sanctioned events are to be cancelled or postponed until at least July 1, 2020. This includes all Regional and National Championship regattas.

All forms of “advertising” by the AMYA, for ALL sailing activity of every type have been removed, and will not appear for the months of April, May, and June 2020. The forms of advertising that the AMYA provides are the AMYA website’s Regatta Calendar, the AMYA Model Yachting magazine, and the e-mailed AMYA Bulletin.
The AMYA cannot ORDER local clubs to take any action. That is the role of local Club leaders. We recommend that all local Clubs consult with and follow the recommendations of their local Boards of Health, County, Municipal, and State recommendations concerning Club activities. Please do not try to find ways around social separation- consider the safety of your Members.

As we go forward, the above actions and recommendations will be reviewed by the Board, with the idea of providing any changes in time for regatta hosts, managers, and Classes to make changes and/or further postpone if that becomes necessary.

Mike Wyatt
AMYA President

2021 Transpac Now Open for Entries

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – The Transpacific Yacht Club is pleased to announce the next 2021 edition of the LA to Honolulu Transpac is now open for entry. This will be the 51st edition of this 2225-mile biennial ocean racing classic first raced in 1906, with the first of three starts scheduled for Tuesday, July 13, 2021 and the final awards ceremony to be held in Honolulu on Friday, July 30th, 2021.

“Amidst all the recent bad news about races being cancelled or postponed this season, we hope this early opening for entries will be good news for all ocean sailors interested in Transpac next year,” said Jim Eddy, Commodore of the Transpacific YC. “In fact, we already have our first entry within minutes of opening the site!”

This first entry is John Sangmeister from Long Beach, and this is not a coincidence. Race fans from last year’s Transpac 50 will remember that Sangmeister and his team suffered a broken rudder on his modified Santa Cruz 70 OEX, then sank 200 miles offshore in their second night of this race, prompting a successful rescue from Roy Disney’s Andrews 68 Pyewacket. Both teams returned to the coast safely on board Pyewacket, earning Disney and team last year’s prestigious US Sailing Arthur B Hanson Rescue Medal for their heroic efforts.

“I love this race, the people, the adventure, the Aloha,” said Sangmeister, “I wanted to be the first to sign up to compete and complete what we did not finish last year.”

In the current circumstances he added “To everyone we say Stay healthy, stay safe, be kind to one another. Looking forward to seeing everyone soon under happier circumstances. Aloha and Fight on!”

That Aloha spirit is often associated with Transpac not just due to the destination but also because the race itself is pure bliss for all ocean sailors, who in one race get to enjoy a wide sampling of weather conditions. The gentle westerlies at the start are followed by a few days of cold and wet high-speed headsail reaching in the coastal offshore northerlies, which then warm up and move aft into several more days of idyllic tradewind spinnaker reaching and running towards the iconic finish line at Diamond Head in Honolulu, where all that Aloha hospitality awaits.

Last year’s 50th anniversary race was also wildly popular: after an open for entries started in mid-April 2018 there were already 50 entries by September, and by mid-February 2019 a whopping 100 entries. Eventually 84 monohulls and 6 multihulls crossed the starting line, a record number in the long history of this race. These entries came from not only from the US west coast, but all over the planet.

One was Quentin Stewart’s mixed international crew hailing from Australia, Britain, Spain and the US on his Infinity 46r Maverick, a light fast offshore carbon race boat with an unusual feature: a horizontal appendage that slides to leeward to increase stability and thus harness more power in the sail plan, a device called DSS (Dynamic Stability System). Maverick relished the conditions, trading gybes with Swiss skipper Maximillian Klink’s much larger Botin 65 Caro for miles and miles of boat-for-boat high-speed fun all the way to the finish line: Maverick finished only 32 seconds ahead in elapsed time after almost 8 days of racing.

“I did 20 transatlantic crossings and races by 2000 and then I waited until 2016 to do the 21st, and now 2019 for a first Transpac,” said UK-based helmsman Gordon Kay sailing on Maverick. “I will not be waiting so long again. There is something magical about the rhythm of this ocean race that is lost in the frenzy of a Fastnet.”

“For those that may have missed Transpac 50, now’s the time to start thinking and planning for the next edition in 2021,” said TPYC Race Committee Chairman Tom Trujillo. “And for those that enjoyed last year’s race, come back again for more next year, we would love to have you back.”

More details on the 51st edition of Transpac can be found in the 2021 Notice of Race posted on the Race Information page on event website:


Cover Photo:

Quentin Stewart’s Infinity 46r Maverick from the UK at high speed just moments before finishing Transpac 50 at Diamond Head – photo Sharon Green/Ultimate Sailing

73rd Newport to Ensenada Rescheduled for 2021

Well-being of racers and volunteers drove the decision to reschedule the annual April race

Newport Beach, CA – In light of the Covid-19 virus, the Newport Ocean Racing Association’s Board of Directors unanimously voted to reschedule the 73rd annual Newport to Ensenada Yacht International Race until April 23, 2021.

“Safety of our volunteers and racers is always the top priority, leaving this decision as the only viable choice,” said Commodore William Gibbs.

All current 2020 paid entrants are now automatically registered as 2021 competitors with no action required. Entrants may also request a refund or elect for a tax-deductible donation of their fee to aid with NOSA’s 2020 incurred expenses by emailing

“We are grateful for the support of our volunteers, sponsors, and racers. We look forward to weathering this current crisis, and making the 2021 event better than ever,” announced Commodore Gibbs.

Congressional Cup 2020 postponed: Long Beach Yacht Club to announce new dates

MARCH 15 2020 LONG BEACH, CA – Long Beach Yacht Club has hoisted the postponement flag, announcing the 56th Congressional Cup regatta and events running up to it – including next month’s California Dreamin’ Series Long Beach stop and the 2020 Ficker Cup – will be rescheduled later this year. The Congressional Cup was originally slated for April 28 to May 3, kicking off the 2020 World Match Racing Tour: organizers are exploring dates later in the year.

Congressional Cup Chair Cheri Busch said, “Considering that travel restrictions affect many of our competitors and officials, and for the general safety and well-being of our attendees, organizers, members and volunteers, we have decided to postpone the Congressional Cup until the situation has improved. We are not cancelling the Congressional Cup, however, and hope to have our sailors back on the water and competing for the Crimson Blazer soon!”

The Congressional Cup features rousing competition in the waters off Long Beach, as ten of the world’s leading match racing skippers square off in a fleet of equalized Catalina 37 keelboats. Contestants include reigning champion Ian Williams (GBR), a four-time winner of the Congressional Cup (2011, 2012, 2017 and 2019) plus Johnie Berntsson (SWE), Scott Dickson (USA), Eric Monnin (SUI), Harry Price (AUS), Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE), Torvar Mirsky (AUS) and Jordan Stevenson (NZL).

The California Dreamin’ Series Long Beach stop, the last of a three-part match race circuit which garners the winning skipper an invitation to the 2021 Ficker Cup, was originally slated for April 18 and 19. That event and this year’s Ficker Cup, planned for April 24 to 26, are expected to also be rescheduled. The Ficker Cup is both a coveted World Sailing Grade 2 event, and qualifier for the Congressional Cup and World Match Racing Tour (WMRT). Its top two victors advance to the Congressional Cup regatta to complete the roster.

“We are exploring open dates on the sailing and World Match Racing Tour calendar, and look forward to hosting these thrilling and prestigious events in Long Beach again. But at this time the health of our community – both our local and worldwide sailing community – is paramount. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation and look forward to sharing more news and information with you shortly,” said Long Beach Yacht Club Commodore Charlie Legeman.

For additional information please visit

Team Trophy Racing now offered in 2020 edition of the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race

Newport Beach, CA January 30, 2020 – The Newport Ocean Sailing Association (NOSA) is pleased to announce a partnership with the Storm Trysail Club (STC) in promoting team-based racing in the 2020 Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race (N2E), the largest international yacht race in North America. New trophies are being offered by STC for the top three-boat team in this year’s 73rd edition of the race that starts on April 24, 2020.

An amendment to the Notice of Race is now published that states prizes will be awarded to the 3-boat team skippers who compile the best team score, as determined by using the total of each team member’s percentage placement in its respective class. There is no limitation on the criteria to form a team: it may be composed of members of the same club, alumni from the same school, old shipmates who are now racing different boats, etc – any social, recreational, geographic or cultural affiliation that three entries may have in common is acceptable.

There are numerous classes of monohulls and multihulls racing in the 2020 N2E that include PHRF, ORR, ORCA and an Unlimited class for first-to-finish contenders. Teams may be formed from any three-boat combination of entries from any of these classes provided no more than two are from the same start class. The list of start classes is available after the close of regular entry registration, on or about April 1st, but teams may be registered starting now.

“We’re pleased to offer this promotional award to NOSA, a West Coast club that supports ocean sailing very much like our own does wherever our members sail, particularly on the East Coast,” said STC Commodore AJ Evans. “We have found this an effective and popular way to promote camaraderie and add another fun element to the competition.”

Last year at other prominent offshore races such as the 50th Transpac race from Los Angeles to Honolulu and the 2019 Chicago-Mackinac Race nearly a third of each fleet formed teams to be eligible for Storm Trysail team trophies.

“This is yet another new innovation we are offering in this year’s N2E,” said NOSA commodore Bill Gibbs. “Our mission of getting more sailors out to enjoy ocean racing in a competitive and safe environment is very much aligned with Storm Trysail’s, and this new trophy offers another dimension of competitive fun to the race. We expect a strong turnout in April.”

To enter the Storm Trysail Club team competition, sign up on the NOSA website at Team entries are accepted up until one week prior to the start, with the deadline set at 1700 April 17th, 2020.

For more information on the 73rd Newport to Ensenada Race, visit, and to enter visit

For more information about the Storm Trysail Club, visit

Congressional Cup Champion Ian Williams Returns to Defend Title against Thrilling Line-up at Long Beach Yacht Club, April 28 to May 3

Jan 27 2020 LONG BEACH, CA – Reigning Congressional Cup champion Ian Williams (GBR) will return to the course to defend his title, when Long Beach Yacht Club hosts the 56th Congressional Cup regatta April 28 to May 3 2020.

A quadruple winner of the Crimson Blazer (2011, 2012, 2017 and 2019) Williams is tied with Gavin Brady, Taylor Canfield, Rod Davis and Peter Holmberg with four wins each. If Williams can pull off victory in 2020, it will make him the winningest skipper in the 56-year history of this prestigious event.

But competition is expected to be fierce as he squares off against nine of the leading match racing skippers in the world, including past Congressional Cup winner Johnie Berntsson (SWE) and last year’s runner-up, Scott Dickson (USA).

Also returning to the field are Eric Monnin (SUI), Harry Price (AUS], Nicklas Dackhammar (SWE), plus Torvar Mirsky (AUS) with his second Congressional Cup appearance after a hiatus of nearly 10 years.

Making his Congressional Cup debut is Jordan Stevenson (NZL), who earned his spot in the lineup as victor of the USA Grand Slam series; accruing the most points in that four-part circuit made up of the Chicago Match Cup, Detroit Cup, the Oakcliff International, and Thompson Cup. Two final berths will be filled by the top two finishers in the Ficker Cup regatta April 24 to 26.

The Congressional Cup will be the kick-off event for the 2020 World Match Racing Tour but is best known as the ‘grandfather’ of match racing. Founded in 1965 by Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC), Congressional Cup organizers revolutionized the game of match racing with on-the-water umpiring, maintaining a fleet of identical 37-foot Catalina sloops to guarantee an even platform and exciting competition – and a thrill for spectators on the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier. Racing is held directly off the pier at 15 39th Place, Long Beach, Calif. where spectators can view this world class competition for free, beginning around 11AM each day.

“We are looking forward to another great Congressional Cup with top-notch competitors and race action,” announced Chair Cheri Busch, “and are happy to welcome the World Match Racing Tour as part of Congressional Cup again.” Busch has been involved as a volunteer in the Congressional Cup organization for nearly a decade and is part of a dynamic duo leading the event this year; with husband John Busch serving as the Principal Race Officer (PRO). “It’s exciting to be involved in such a prestigious, world-renowned regatta, and something the members of Long Beach Yacht Club, look forward to each year.”

Racing will commence Wednesday April 29 and run through Sunday May 3: format will include a Double Round Robin followed by semi-finals, petite finals, and the finals on Sunday. In between, racers will be fêted and fed at LBYC. A unique aspect of Congressional Cup is that it is hosted by LBYC members, 300-strong, who volunteer in every aspect of race management, organization and hospitality. It is like no other premier yachting event in the world, and a favorite of competitors.

Visit for more information on Congressional Cup; go to for details on the WMRT.

Local Sailing News From SoCal and Beyond