SoCal Teams Excel at the 29er Nationals in Newport, RI

Team SoCal 29er sailors placed 1st, 5th and 7th in the national championships just completed in Newport, RI.

Champions Ryan Ratliffe and Samuel Merson hail from San Diego. Peter and Jack Joslin are from San Diego as well.  David Eastwood and Wells Drayton are from Santa Barbara.


Final Standings (Top 10 of 35; 10 races, 1 discard)
1. Ryan Ratliffe/Samuel Merson, USA, 5-2-[36/OCS]-4-5-5-2-1-1-3- ; 28
2. Christopher Williford/Catherine Mollerus, USA, 1-1-[36/OCS]-1-12-1-1-6-6-2- ; 31
3. Neil Marcellini/Ian Brill, USA, 6-3-2-[8]-2-3-6-7-3-1- ; 33
4. Ryan Wood/Andrew Wood, CAN, 2-5-[36/OCS]-2-7-2-3-2-4-7- ; 34
5. Peter Joslin/Jack Joslin, USA, 3-8-4-5-3-4-4-[16]-2-9- ; 42
6. Greta Stewart/Kate Stewart, NZL, [27]-7-1-3-1-9-8-8-5-4- ; 46
7. David Eastwood/Wells Drayton, USA, 7-12-3-13-[19]-8-11-3-7-6- ; 70
8. Teddy Nicolosi/Ian Barrows, ISV, 14-6-12-[19]-9-12-7-4-8-8- ; 80
9. Hannah Steadman/Gabby Rizika, USA, 12-9-7-14-4-[18]-9-9-16-5- ; 85
10. Galen Richardson/Louis Riel-Brockie, CAN, 11-10-11-11-6-[19]-5-10-13-15- ; 92




SoCal Etchells Sailors Racing in Cowes

Etchells British Open and National Championship
Royal London Yacht Club
Cowes, UK
24 – 26 June 2016

SoCal Etchells Sailors Tom Carruthers and Argyle Campbell competed over the weekend at the UK Nationals in Cowes. In a fleet of 35 boats they placed second and fourth respectively.  This event is a tune up for the 2016 Etchells Worlds to take place at the same venue in September.

Cumulative Results




JUNE 26 2016, LONG BEACH, CA – – If there were any dusty sailors, following last night’s Mount Gay Rum party at Long Beach Yacht Club, it wasn’t evident in the level of racing on the final day of Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week (LBRW).  Competitors greeted the day head-on, with tight racing in 14 classes on three windward-leeward and random leg courses.

Ullman Sails

Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC) unseated LBRW co-host Alamitos Bay Yacht Club (ABYC) in the Yacht Club Challenge. The trophy is awarded based on the cumulative score of a team of three boats, competing in different classes – one of which must be a Catalina 37. LBYC edged out ABYC by a slim .02 points thanks to a strong performance by Bruce Cooper and his J/70 crew, Medicine Man, and Dave Hood, who clinched his fourth Catalina 37 National Championship title today, in a dog-eat-dog battle with Chuck Clay’s ABYC team.Insanity won in the Farr 40s, and Jim held off Caper by one point, in J/120s.

Click to View the Photo Gallery
Click to View the Photo Gallery

One sailor on Code Blue defied the Marine Department’s Shark Advisory against swimming and went for an inadvertent dip at the windward mark. Skipper Robert Marcus and his Code Blue crew were able to retrieve the man and regain some lost ground, to capture the Schock 35 National Championship title.  Marcus noted a revival in the Schock 35 class has been fueled by new boat ownership, and having their own one-design class in LBRW has made, “a huge difference in attracting new owners.” The invigorated class is ramping up with new rules and a program going forward, including future participation in LBRW.

Photo by Tom Walker
Photo by Tom Walker

While racing was extremely close in most divisions, including PHRF A where Picosa beat Mexican Divorce by just one point, with E-Ticket two points behind; in other categories the dominance was indisputable. Venom put the squeeze on the 16-boat Viper 640 fleet, while Relapse controlled the Flying Tigers with six bullets and one second place finish. Victor Wild’s Fox outwitted five rivals in the Fast 50s division, and Valkyrie slayed the Sportboat fleet.

Reigning J/70 World Champion Flojito y Cooperando handsomely won the J/70 division, with Bruce Golison’s Midlife Crisis in second and Catapult, owned by Joel Ronning, third. The upcoming J/70 World Championship regatta slated for San Francisco in September, brought LBRW its largest J/70 fleet to date. Winner Julian Fernandez Neckelmann said he had raced LBRW “many times” in the Farr 40 division, but was glad to return with Flojito y Cooperando to tune up for the Worlds saying, “LBRW is a fantastic regatta. It’s a lot of fun and although we expected more breeze, we need to sail in all conditions, so it’s good practice.”

Photo by Tom Walker
Photo by Tom Walker

This burgeoning fleet drew several big guns including World Champion Bill Hardesty, on Flojito y Cooperando, and John Kostecki – Olympic medalist, America’s Cup champion, and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year – on Catapult; adding cachet, but also challenge.

“The competition is very tough,” admitted Corinthian sailor Geroge Hershman. Racing in his first regatta on a new J/70 Solarcoaster, he said, “We have a steep learning curve, but I like seeing how I stack up against the pros.” Hershmann has competed in LBRW in other divisions, and his company Swinerton Renewable Engery is a leading sponsor. “As a renewable energy service company, supporting a sport that is environmentally friendly, like sailing, is important to us. And it’s always been a great regatta, with great sailing and a lot of fun.” Herschmann acknowledged the pro talent provides an excellent learning opportunity for  Corinthian racers. In that division Chris Raab and Dale Williams proved superlative, in Sugoi.

Photo by Tom Walker
Photo by Tom Walker

Some of the most rousing competition took place in the Catalina 37 fleet, where David Hood and his LBYC team struggled to defend their National Championship title.

Going into Sunday’s races, Hood was one point ahead of the rival ABYC Team, but a challenging first race of the day put ABYC and LBYC in a tie. Going into the final race of the regatta, “we were in full match race mode,” said Hood. “We tried to stay close to ABYC, but there was a lot of great racing by the other teams too.”

“It was a chess match, and not your normal Long Beach conditions,” added LBYC tactician Randy Smith. The impact of the marine layer saw the left hand of the course favored more than usual, resulting in “a tricky weekend” compounded by a “minefield of kelp.”

Meanwhile, ABYC had enjoyed a great start in the day’s first race and a promising finish. But the final race was “really intense” said co-skipper Chuck Clay. “It was a full-on tacking duel” with ABYC and LBYC so intent on covering each other, “we dug ourselves to the back of the fleet.” At one point LBYC and ABYC were in seventh and eighth places, in the nine-boat fleet: nearly sacrificing their podium places to a second LBYC team skippered by John Shadden.

But Hood had a better set at the top mark, and “stretched it out” Clay admitted. “It was a super tight regatta, but a lot of fun.”

Photo by Tom Walker
Photo by Tom Walker

Hood’s finish helped LBYC triumph in the Yacht Club Challenge. But despite the rivalries, members of both clubs – who have joined forces to help organize and host LBRW since 1980 – celebrated side by side along with races from up and down the coast, on the pool deck of LBYC.

Lise Evaul, who has sailed in LBRW upwards of 25 years, echoed the sentiments of many sailors when she said, “LBRW is fantastic because as sailors, we have a lot of friends in ports near and far that we don’t get see day-to-day. But you know your sailing family will be here every year: everyone comes. And the racing is fantastic too. ABYC and LBYC race committees really care about the sailors and put together good, square courses and great competition, the kind of racing the sailors have come to LBRW for.”

Photo by Tom Walker
Photo by Tom Walker

In addition to winning the J/70 Division, Flojito y Cooperando was also the One-Design Boat of the Week, and was recognized as the yacht having travelled the furthest distance to compete.

  • PHRF Boat of the Week was awarded to Todd Wheatley and his crew on the Frers-designed Gator, representing ABYC.
  • Relapse, in addition to winning the Flying Tiger division with an impressive 1-1-1-1-1-1-2 record, won the Kent Golison Family Trophy. It was sailed by Tom, Keenan and Kyle Hirsch of SWYC.

Ullman Sails LBRW is hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club and Alamitos Bay Yacht Club. Next year’s event will be held June 23 to 25, 2017.


Photo by Tom Walker
Photo by Tom Walker



JUNE 25 2016, LONG BEACH, CA – – Shark Week arrived a day early this year, muscling in on Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week (LBRW) with several great white sharks sighted off the peninsula this morning, prompting a marine safety advisory here. While the juvenile sharks (four to seven feet) fed in the shallows, there was another feeding frenzy going on offshore.

Click to View the Photo Gallery
Click to View the Photo Gallery

On “A” course, the Race Committee was on their toes as nearly four dozen Farr 40s, Fast 50s, J/70s and J/120s converged on the finish line almost at once, in Race Three. It was a testament to the tight racing LBRW is known for, which has drawn sailors from up and down the Pacific Coast for more than 35 years.

Ullman Sails

In the Fast 50s division Margaritaville was outfoxed by Victor Wild’s new TP52: they were in first and second place (respectively) at press time, pending a protest.

Competition was equally fierce in the Farr 40 division. Temptress was in second place after three races, until she retired due to a crew injury (not critical). Ray Godwin’s team expects to return to the course tomorrow, to challenge Insanity, who tops the leaderboard.

The J/35 Rival remained unrivaled in PHRF B, with five bullets; Relapse enjoyed similar results in the Flying Tigers class. In the 16-boat Viper 640 fleet, Jeff Grange’s Venom dominated, as they vie for the Pacific Coast Championship title. Also racing for Pacific Coast honors are the Schock 35s, with Robert Marcus’ Code Blue leading the charge.

Flojito y Cooperando moved to the top of the leaderboard in J/70s, with all top 10 finishes; five points ahead of second place Sugoi – a Corinthian Class boat owned by Chris Raab and Dale Williams.

Random Leg participants enjoyed a 25-mile jaunt to Platform Eva and back. Medicine Man was at the head of “RL A” class, while Shockwave and Gator tied for first in “B.”

In the Catalina 37 Nationals defending champion Dave Hood and his Long Beach Yacht Club Team clung to their lead by one point, holding off challenger Team Alamitos Bay Yacht Club.

Despite the clashes on the race course, competitiors agreed on one thing: it was a beautiful day on the water, with cooling southwest breezes in the eight to 12 knot range. Skies were hazy and temperatures sublime – particularly as it grazed 100-degrees inland.

LBRW racing will continue tomorrow, Sunday June 26, for 120 yachts in 14 classes, beginning at 1155AM. Prize-giving will follow at approximately 5PM at Long Beach Yacht Club.

Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week had its origins in 1980 and is a perennial favorite of sailors up and down the coast, thanks to thrilling competition, warm hospitably, and parties that are lively and fun. Ullman Sails LBRW is hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club and Alamitos Bay Yacht Club. For more information and complete results, go to, visit Long Beach Race Week on Facebook, and follow online @lbraceweek #UllmanLBRW.

Tracy and Christy Usher’s J70 from StFYC – Photo by Tom Walker Photography



JUNE 24 2016, LONG BEACH, CA – – Like the parting of the Red Sea, the overcast skies opened just long enough for Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week (LBRW) to pull off the first two races of the annual three-day event. With the sun came the breeze: a modest six to 10 knots, but enough for lively and competitive racing.

This popular regatta is co-hosted by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club (ABYC) and Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC) – who coincidentally ended the day in first and second places (respectively) in the coveted Yacht Club Challenge.

“The pressure’s on!” said Chuck Clay, co-captain of Team ABYC. His club has won the Yacht Club Challenge five times since 2008 and is the current defending champion.

Ullman Sails

Awarded “based on cumulative scoring of teams composed of three yachts competing in three separate classes,” the Yacht Club Challenge rules stipulate one of the boats must be a Catalina 37. But because there are just nine of these particular one-design keelboats participating, they double-up. Team ABYC is competing as part of four different teams, putting the pressure on, according to Clay. “They’re all banking on us to do well.”

“It’s a fun one to win, for bragging rights – especially between ABYC and LBYC,” added Clay. “We have a great rivalry: we’re very competitive on the water, but friendly ashore.” ABYC’s strategy is, he continued, “you sail your own race the first two days and let the chips fall as they may,” and on the last day, count the points and hone in on who you have to beat.

Click to View the Photo Gallery
Click to View the Photo Gallery

While many of the Catalina 37 competitors sail these custom boats in weekly beer can races, ABYC does not. “Once a year, we just show up for this and kick butt,” Clay taunted. They finished the day with a slight two-point margin over LBYC, with a second LBYC team a close third.

Another 100-plus boats are also competing in LBRW, on three different windward-leeward and random leg courses. LBRW has been a popular event since 1980, with “tight racing and fun parties” according to race organizers – who go to great lengths to discourage protests. In addition to on-the-water atonement, the clubs mandate any protest first go through arbitration. “The parties are a lot more fun than the protest room,” reminded ABYC Commodore Latham Bell. At press time only one protest was being heard, pertaining to two Farr 40s; one other had been withdrawn.

In PHRF B class the J/35 Rival took two bullets while Relapse got the gun twice in Flying Tigers. Elsewhere results were mixed: please visit for a full tally of scores and event details; go to Long Beach Race Week on Facebook; and follow online @lbraceweek and #UllmanLBRW.

Racing continues tomorrow Saturday June 25 off Long Beach beginning with first warning at 1155.


Attention SoCal Youth Sailors!


Red Bull Foiling Generation to Feature US Qualifier and World Final in October 2016

NEWPORT, RI — Today’s youth may have easy access to the technological world but now those talented in sailing will race with the latest in sailboat innovation when the Red Bull Foiling Generation international competition stops in Newport, RI this Fall for the US Qualifier and World Final.

Applications are now being accepted until July 15, 2016 for the US Qualifier held October 11-16, 2016 followed by the World Final on October 18 – 23, 2016 at the Sail Newport Sailing Center at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for the rising generation of sailors who aspire to be at the top level of the sport of multi-hull racing and incredibly exciting to watch,” said Brad Read, Executive Director of Sail Newport. “We’re thrilled that Red Bull Foiling Generation organizers chose Newport as the only U.S. event which will fuel the marine and tourism economy in Rhode Island.”

Qualified youth sailors, born in 1996 through 1999 can apply as individuals or part of a two-person team. Those selected will first be trained by two of the most accomplished competitive sailors in the world, who are also the event’s founders. Double gold medalists, Austrians Roman Hagara and Hans Peter Steinacher, realized an opportunity for the future of high-level foiling and the need to increase the skills of today’s young sailors.

Red Bull Foiling Generation is about providing talented young sailors with the opportunity to advance their careers through high-level hydrofoil racing. These championships serve as training waters for the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup, which caters to competitors ages 19-25. Both competitions train youth sailors from all over the globe on smaller versions of catamaran racers with foils, like those used in one of the world’s most famous sailing competition – America’s Cup.

The event will be sailed in 18’ Flying Phantom catamarans designed with hydrofoil technology. Hydrofoil technology amplifies speed on the boats because one hull lifts out of the water, which alleviates drag.  As one hull is out of the water and “foiling”, the J-shaped foil keeps contact.

The seaside location of Fort Adams State Park in Newport Harbor is home to many sailing events and regattas because of its natural amphitheater on Narragansett Bay and legendary sailing waters. Red Bull Foiling Generation is working in partnership with US Sailing and the non-profit Sail Newport, New England’s premiere public sailing center, which will host the event.

Applications are being accepted until July 16, please visit: and for images/video, please visit