November 9, 2019 – San Diego, CA
Shane Young, Returning 2017 Champion, Wins Series Final Regatta
Long Beach, Calif., Nov. 3, 2019 —Returning California Dreamin’ Series winner Shane Young had trouble getting his motor running – 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 J22, 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 37’s, 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.
Dair & Young Debut in 1st and 2nd
The 3-regatta series concludes today November 3rd
Long Beach, Calif., Nov. 2, 2019 —California Dreamin’; indeed! Greg Dair, a former Alamitos Bay Yacht Club coach, competing in his first California Dreamin’ Series event, won six of the day’s seven matches to debut in first place. Long Beach Yacht Club’s Shane Young, the 2017 series champion returned in a big way, also making his 2019 series debut with a 6-1 record. But the loss to Dair dropped him to second via the tie-breaker.
The LBYC event is the last of three regattas that comprise the California Dreamin’ Series. The first event was hosted by St. Francis Yacht Club in March. San Diego Yacht Club hosted the second regatta in October. Both of those events were sailed in J22’s. Today’s racing, aboard Long Beach Sailing Foundation’s Catalina 37s, is a World Sailing, Grade 3 event.
Nicole Breault, of StFYC and Christopher Weis, of Del Rey Yacht Club, went into today’s races tied for first place in the Series, both with 100 points. Breault, the series highest-ranked World Sailing competitor (61) won the first event with an all-female crew, while Weis won the second regatta. Today was the first time the two have sailed against each other. Weis, the second highest-rated competitor, at 83rd, took the match.
Competitors earn points at each of the three events based on how they finish. Liz Hjorth, who started the day overall in third place and Marilyn Cassedy are the only two competitors who will have sailed in all three regattas. The overall series winner will be announced at the end of racing tomorrow, along with recognition for the winner of this weekend’s racing.
Breault, said she’s sailed the Catalina 37s annually since 2012, and that each time there is a reacquaintance period involved. But thanks to the practice time yesterday, she’s confident it will not take her core Bella Racing Team crew and three men – honorary Bellas – long to get back up to speed with the boat. “The boats are a handful,” she said, “But I’ve got a really good group here and they work well together. The goal is to get stronger and stronger each race.”
The highly ranked Alexis Gesualdo, (93) also made her series debut; and like Dair and Young, started at the bottom of the series leaderboard with zero points. Representing North Port Yacht Club of Long Island, New York, Gesualdo, and her crew flew in late last night. This morning, she met up with her secret weapon – Scotty Dickson – who will be sailing with her this weekend. Dickson famously led his LBYC crew to second place in this year’s Congressional Cup. This summer he has been coaching Gesualdo and has been a “massive source of information and growth,” she said.
Also on the water tomorrow is Dave Hood, LBYC’s celebrated Staff Commodore. Hood won this leg of the event last year and went on the finish second this year at Butler Cup and the third at Ficker Cup. Both those events are held here and raced in the storied Catalina 37’s. Tomorrow, Hood will be on the water not as a competitor, but as an umpire.
Head Umpire Randy Smith explained that top match racers make excellent umpires, and that umpiring makes competitors better match racers. “It really opens your eyes, provides a 180-degree angle on aspects of racing that you thought you knew,” Smith said.
Racing started late today thanks to a no-wind delay. Light, atypical conditions persisted throughout the day, with boats returning to the docks shortly before dark.
Tomorrow’s first race is scheduled to start at noon off the Belmont Veteran’s Memorial Pier.
Day 1 Results
1 Greg Dair
2 Shane Young
3 Bruce Stone
4 Christopher Weis
5 Nicole Breault
6 Liz Hjorth
7 Alexis Gesualdo
8 Marilyn Cassedy
Cover Photo: California Dreamin’ – 7 competitors from all over the state – and 1 from New York – took to the water off Belmont Memorial Pier today to race the third of three regattas known as the California Dreamin’ series, a World Match Racing Grade 3 event.
Photo by Demain Photograph