Bringing the Fight to the Lido 14 Nationals

From Rich Roberts via Scuttlebutt Sailing News:

The boats have only one modest hull and certainly don’t foil, and the crews are mostly friends or family, including only a pro or two sailing for fun, not finances, in the 2014 Lido 14 National Class Championship at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club in Long Beach, CA.

The Lido 14, designed by W.D. “Bill” Schock, founder of W.D. Schock Corp, has been a west coast staple class since the first boat was delivered in early 1958.

Racing for the 2014 title will be August 1-3 on the namesake bay fronting the club at the end of Ocean Blvd.

The favorite? Although the entries include past winners Chris Raab (1979, 1980, 1988 and 1994) and Mark Ryan (2010), competitors needn’t worry about eight-time winner Dave Ullman, six-timer Stu Robertson, or five-timer Craig Leweck.

Complete Article

2014 Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race Recap: Interview with Steve Dair

I asked Cabrillo Beach’s Steve Dair, one of the crew on the Hobie 33 Flying Dutchman,  for an interview for SCSN to discuss the recently completed and very popular SB to KH Race that they won overall. Steve agreed and here are his thoughts:

SCSN: We heard that you had some issues getting off of the starting line?   What happened?

SD: We were really lucky to win this race given the set back we had at the start.   At the start we were lining up to start gauging all the boats we thought were in our class. We were on the low line and wanted to lead all the boats down the line. On the final approach to the line we tacked to starboard leading our class down the line with a nice gap ahead of the One Design 35. Then some 45′ boat not in our class to remain nameless came and tacked below us. Now we have no runway. We had to slow down to start creating a lane. But it was too late for this to happen. Off the line the 35 rolled us. The 45 finally figured out they didn’t know how to read instructions turned back to their start.

SCSN:  What did you do to recover from this and how did you approach Anacapa Island, a mark of the course?

SD: We tried to sail high to clear our air on the 45 but this was slow compared to our plan. There was a whole lot of faster boats above us that kept rolling us. We even tacked a couple short tacks up when they went by.  There was a lot more wind above us and we were not sure the wind would go right as soon as usual.   A windy right came in and we set the code 0 but lost lots of leverage that you gain going low.  We then set the A2 which took us down to the tip of the island but we were behind the 1D 35 by a ways.

SCSN: How did you sail down the backside of Anacapa?

SD:  We held off going down the island to not hit the holes there but not so far out to get lost at sea. We made up huge time by doing this.  We sat in a channel of wind down the island, sailing below polars to stay in the wind.  At times. two thirds down the island we went to polars because there was a great header off that part of the island that pushed us to course well away from the island. We ended up the lowest boat leaving the island.

FD H33 SB to KH 2014

SCSN:  How did you think you were doing at this point?

SD:  The 1D 35 was still ahead of us on time and way inside of us even though we gained a ton down the island by always staying in our channel of wind and never stopping.

SCSN: So what was the plan after clearing Anacapa?  Take the traditional route to Pt. Dume or?

SD:  We decided we could not beat them following them closer to Point Dume and the wind was farther forward than usual, so we kept sailing polars at course and didn’t even try for Dume. We were the lowest most outside boat and the waves were awful, hitting us on the nose from leftover wind waves. We never cleated off the sheet and working low was exhausting.  I just hand trimmed the sheet instead of a using the winch handle because the handle is too slow.

Anacapa Island

SCSN:  Who were you working with at this time of the race sailing the boat?

SD:  Me and Jason have this thing. We don’t talk. We just sailed all over the place, going low when the waves smoothed out and punching up when the waves were bad, always working the boat,  a continual dance. Jason drove to the adjustments beautifully.

SCSN: So what took place next strategy wise?

SD:  Now we had to decide if the wind would go back left as usual.  It did and we followed it up towards shore.

SCSN:  So how did you handle the approach to the finish at King Harbor?

SD:  Assessing the approach to King Harbor is a really tricky part of this race. Jibe too soon and you are hung out to dry offshore. We chose a line heading close to course and made it near perfect. We had to jibe back to port a little more than I would of liked but not bad. We made the buoy by sailing a touch low in the end.

SCSN:  How did you think you were doing now at this point?

SD:  We headed to the finish not knowing that the traditional Dume strategy never paid off for the boats that sailed miles farther.  I thought the big boys corrected out on us not knowing they were barely in front of us. Come on luck!

SCSN:  Any final thoughts?

SD: So glad the 1D 35 didn’t sail low as they could of won this race. In the end we beat them to the finish and won our class, fleet and overall.  That’s basically the story using a completely different strategy than you usually use to sail this race. Anacapa  Island was a big key to our win, by sailing below polars to stay in a channel of wind.  And not taking the textbook course. This year was a total change of philosophy.

SCSN: Thanks Steve for your input, appreciate your time.

SD:  Thanks!  Better to be lucky than good any day 🙂

Steve Dair SB to KH 2014


SCSN Weekend Preview

Alamitos Bay Yacht Club and Lido 14 Fleet 6 are hosting the Lido 14 National Class Championship and the event takes place this coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday (August 1-3).  Currently there are 44 entries.  Entries close this evening at 5PM (Wednesday, July 30, 2014).  COMPLETE PRE-EVENT PRESS RELEASE




The PHRF of SoCal Championship Regatta (Presented by Ullman Sails and hosted by Seal Beach Yacht Club) is taking place this weekend August 2nd and 3rd.  CURRENT ENTRIES

Team USA 29er Skipper Quinn Wilson Interview

Quinn Wilson was the helmsman on a 29er who with crew Riley Gibbs representing the USA recently placed second in the USAF Youth World Championships held in Tavira, Portugal.  Quinn graciously agreed to an interview with SCSN and here are his thoughts and comments on his recent experience.


First of all Quinn, CONGRATULATIONS on a fabulous result at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships recently held in Tavira, Portugal, where you and teammate Riley Gibbs placed second in the boys 29er class.  What a tremendous accomplishment.
How old are you and where do you go to school?  Any College plans?  If so, any decisions yet?


I am 17 years old and I am home schooled, but taking college classes at SBCC as a high school student. No college decisions yet, but I am considering studying marine biology, but still a ways to go before I commit to that path.

What yacht club are you a member of and sail out of?


I am the member of Santa Barbara Yacht Club and mostly sail out of Santa Barbara; however, my brother and I have had lots of close associations with other clubs including Ventura, Cal, Cabrillo and San Francisco.

Where did you grow up?

I have lived in Ojai, California for most of my life. It’s a small town about 45 minutes south of Santa Barbara in the valley inland of Ventura.

Give us a brief summation of your sailing accomplishments and highlights so far in your young life.   Was this your first world championship and first taste of competing internationally?


I’ve competed Internationally since I was twelve in the Opti’s.  My first International event in the 29er was Youth Worlds in Ireland in 2012.  I also sailed Open Worlds last year so this was actually my fourth World Championship event in the 29er.  I learned how to sail in Sabots when I was five or six, but soon moved to Optis and started competing when I was ten. I sailed Optis up until 2011 when after qualifying for the South American Championships I decided to forego that event and my final year of Opti sailing and committed to sailing with my brother. That was in the fall of 2011, which left us about four months to prepare for our first World qualifier, which was actually held at ABYC in January 2012. We won that event and that year went on to Youth Worlds where we just missed the podium finishing in 4th overall.  We also qualified the next year for Youth Worlds in 2013 and then my brother aged out and I started sailing with Riley.

How long have you been training for this event and when did you make this a goal?


Riley and I have been training together for this event for 11 months, but I have personally been training for three years. My brother and I set this goal of medaling since Youth Worlds in 2012, and after we came very close both times, I made it my mission to medal my third year, so I kind of share the medal with both Riley and my brother Dane.

How did you and Riley Gibbs team up?


I first sailed with Riley in 2012 on an 18-foot skiff in Long Beach, California. After that we kept talking about the possibility of sailing together when my brother aged out. Our first regatta together was the 2013 Youth Champs in Texas just a couple weeks after I came home from Youth Worlds in Cyprus.

What was your role and responsibilities on the 29er, both on and off the water?


Riley and I spent a lot of time sorting out our roles. Riley is a really athletic crew on the boat and off the boat he’s awesome at preparation and making sure all of the parts are working perfectly. On the water I’m in charge of tactical decisions and executing our game plan. We tend to share speed responsibilities, but I’m mostly in charge of choosing modes and then we work together to make the most of that choice. Off the water we both work with our coaches to be sure we’re clear about our approach.

Who is your coach?


Our main coach at Youth Worlds was Leandro Spina, he was really great helping us be in the right mindset on and off the water. We had done a couple clinics before going to Worlds so he got to know our strengths and weaknesses, which really helped us create a consistent approach to the event. At home, Willie McBride who lives in Santa Barbara has been my 29er coach for the past three years. He knows pretty much everything about how to make a 29er go fast, and is an excellent master planner. Working with Willie I’ve really come to understand how to develop a long-term approach to getting a peak performance. Willie has done so much for us from teaching us the mechanics of the boat to planning it’s hard to give him enough credit. Also my Dad, Craig Wilson, coaches us on more the mental and strategic approaches. And, Dane stepped in as technique and speed coach as he’s really got a unique approach that we worked on all year.

What was the event like?  Describe it.


The event itself is really festive. There were 68 countries represented and so having people from all over the world is really interesting, but for me I sort of got used to that from my previous experiences. It was more of a focused event for me. I wasn’t very interested in the event I guess. I was just trying to keep a consistent performance throughout. More about maintaining a simple routine.

Any surprises?  Any fun stories?


Actually, the most interesting lesson learned from the event was how simple we were able to make the sailing. Our strategy was to start away from trouble, choose good lanes and sail our own angles to advantage. That was the game plan that I’d actually devised from the previous Youth Worlds. The event can be super complicated if you let it. I wanted to make it simple.

Who were your main competitors?  What was their training program like?


The French were really the only team that we felt had a complete game. I’m not sure what their training program is like, although they must sail a lot because they were good across all conditions. They were really good, we gained a lot of respect for them. 

Would you do anything differently next time?  What would you keep doing that worked well?


I don’t think we would do very much differently. I was very happy with our strategy and execution. Our preparation was really great. There are so many details that go into preparing and competing at an event like this it’s easy to go back and see where you might spend time differently, but we felt fast and worked well as a team and it all came together at the right time, so I’m very happy with the entire year.

What was your training regimen/program?


Riley and I continued with the same program that my brother and I developed with Willie the previous years, which was to map out the year and decide on how many hours we should and could sail each month and then analyze what were our strengths and weaknesses each month to focus on. It was a little tricky with Riley living in Long Beach and me in Ojai, but we spent lots of time at each other’s houses kind of becoming roommates. We put a lot of time into the program. Our daily sessions typically were 3 to 6 hours on the water. 

What are your future plans?  Are you and Riley staying together as a team?


As far as future plans I have lots of ideas, maybe another run at Youth Worlds maybe in 29ers or catamarans. I’m also thinking of some other stuff ranging from kite boarding to 18-foot skiff sailing. I’ve been dreaming of a mini-Transat for a couple years now as well. I’m not sure how to pull that off, but it seems very cool. Anything that goes fast is really intriguing.

Are there any special folks you would like to call out to thank here?


I’d love to thank Howard Hamlin for all the support and enthusiasm and helicopter rides… Leandro Spina and Kevin Hall for all of their help leading up to and at the event. I can’t thank Willie and my brother enough for all of their help, advice, and know-how. I especially want to thank my parents for supporting and helping with my crazy schedule and making it all possible. Steve Rosenberg has been awesome supporting us as well, along with Santa Barbara and Alamitos Bay YC’s. 

Anything else you would like to add?

Finally, Youth Worlds is a really special event. It’s not like anything else I’ve ever competed in. I’m super grateful to have gotten to attend three different times. It’s really amazing how many people contribute to the event from US Sailing to ISAF to all of the local people in each host city/country. It makes you feel really proud just to be at the event and really appreciate sailing on a more global stage. It’s really hard to describe, but being selected to represent the US is a humbling experience that I’m very grateful for… even though it’s hard to explain exactly what that feels like.

Thanks Quinn for your time.  Good luck in your future endeavors, we look forward to following you in your sailing adventures.

Quinn and Riiley

Riley Gibbs left, Quinn Wilson right.


Octogenarian Homecoming July 23, 2014 – Cabrillo Beach YC, San Pedro, CA

From Latitude 38 today:  As the 14 finishers of this month’s Singlehanded TransPac can confirm, sailing alone from the West Coast to the Hawaiian Islands is a substantial personal accomplishment. Last spring San Pedro-based Karl Burton made a similar crossing aboard his Swan 61 Viking, but without the safety net of an organized race. For Burton, who was then 85 years old, arriving was particularly sweet, as it was his fourth successful California-to-Hawaii solo crossing.  COMPLETE ARTICLE