BULLETS FOR BLADE II & CATAPULT, IN CAMPBELL CUP AT LBYC

LONG BEACH, Calif., October 20, 2019 – – Light conditions persisted, as did the frontrunners in Farr 40 and WC 70 divisions, on Day Two of the Long Beach Yacht Club Campbell Cup Regatta.

Joel Ronning’s WC 70 Catapult added two more bullets to the scoreboard, finishing ahead of competitors with a solid 2-1-1-1-1 score to win the Campbell Cup perpetual trophy. Meanwhile, Mick and Marlene Shlens defended their championship title aboard Blade II over a half-dozen Farr 40 competitors, battling through lead changes at both windward marks and downwind gates.

Ten teams turned out to race in this year’s Campbell Cup, which was originally organized in 2006 by LBYC member Mike Campbell. Campbell successfully campaigned two 70-raters: Victoria, designed by Alan Andrews, and the Kernan 70 Peligroso; and created the fall regatta to spotlight big boat racing. When Campbell passed away two years later, the event was renamed as a tribute to his accomplishments in and support of sailing. His wife Victoria was on-hand Sunday at the prize-giving to carry on the Campbell legacy.

Traffic Alert! There was a pile-up of Farr 40s at the weather mark in the last race of the 2019 Campbell Cup. Photo by Laurie Morrison for LBYC

Conditions were mild for the two-day regatta with idyllic temperatures and southwesterly breeze topping just eight knots today.

“It would have been a good day for golf,” said Ronning, whose Minneapolis-based crew of Catapult have more than a just weekend in California to brag about, having won the regatta in a near sweep.

“But it was a great day of sailing,” Ronning conceded, and one of the reasons Long Beach is one of his favorite venues to sail. A veteran and second-place finisher in Transpac 2017, Ronning admitted he prefers sailing around the cans to blue-water racing and hopes to encourage other WC 70 owners to come out and play. He says he’ll return to the west coast next year for the Hot Rum Series and Yachting Cup, and will definitely be a boat to watch on the circuit in 2020.

While the WC 70s ran a 1.5nm course off Sunset Beach, the Farr 40s windward-leewards were 1.25nm, twice around.

Marlene Shlens, co-owner of Blade II, gave credit for their win to, “our outstanding crew, and a great tactician who was really on his game,” referring to Peter ‘Pedro’ Isler. “The boats were very competitive and positions changed a lot,” Ms. Shlens said. She noted a port/starboard situation at the start of Race Two which mandated a 360-degree penalty turn, during which her foot got tangled in a sheet. Despite the bumble, which saw Blade II dip to fourth around the windward mark, the team fought back to a second-place finish: giving them a solid seven-point lead over second-place Dark Star. Foil finished third.

The Crew of Blade II forges ahead and makes it work – finishing the regatta with three bullets, one second and one fourth-place finish to win the Farr 40 Class at the 14th annual Campbell Cup regatta. Photo by Laurie Morrison for LBYC

Although the Farr 40 fleet is roughly two decades old, that pedigree is what makes the boat so enjoyable to race, said Blade II’s Tony Rey. “The boats are all a little older – but in good shape – and have varying levels of newer or older equipment and sail inventory.” At any moment, he noted, “any of us could be the fastest boat out there,” with the optimal suite for the conditions. “If you’re in the right corner of the racecourse and set up well; right in the sweet spot of your jib or spinnaker, you can be the fastest boat, regardless of equipment. It’s more about sailing skill, and that’s what makes it a high -level racing.”

Long Beach Yacht Club was lauded by competitors for “running great events, with a fantastic Race Committee.” Keen hospitality was extolled too, as sailors were hosted to morning breakfast and post-race beer, and beefy hors d’oeuvre buffets post-race. Race Chair was Cheri Busch, with John Busch as PRO, assisted by Race Director Jess Gerry.

FINAL RESULTS

Catapult has no illusions about having a great race and winning Long Beach Yacht Club’s Campbell Cup Regatta. Credit: Laurie Morrison for LBYC

CATAPULT, BLADE II LEAD LBYC CAMPBELL CUP

Long Beach, Calif., October 13, 2019 — The Long Beach Yacht Club Campbell Cup Regatta got off to a late start today, but there was no holding back on the fun and spirited competition, in the 14th running of this treasured event.

Light conditions had PRO John Busch postpone racing until 1:00 PM when southwesterly breezes finally materialized. That was enough for the fleet of seven Farr 40s and three WC70s to pull off three races. But fickle breeze produced fickle results.

Mick and Marlene Shlens’ Blade II clung to first place at the end of today’s races, followed closely by Dark Star and Foil.

“We went out there expecting a light breeze to fill in and build and go right as it always does here: classic Long Beach conditions,” explained Tony Rey, racing on Blade II. “Everybody thinks they know what to do in Long Beach, that you have to go right. But today was that day that left was actually pretty good most of the time,” Rey continued. “There were plenty of times you could find some real nuggets out there on the left, which made it interesting. We got it pretty wrong in the first race, but got lucky and got it right and won the next two.”

Even so, Rey expects the podium spots will be ‘wide open’ tomorrow, in a fleet which is already primed from the recent Farr 40 Worlds.

Just three WC 70s graced the racecourse, where true to their names, Bolt bolted to the top of the leaderboard after Race One, but Catapult catapulted to the lead after Races Two and Three.

Catapult skipper Joel Ronning, sailing under the St. Francis Yacht Club burgee, said Catapult has “a good bloodline” – originally Pyewacket: a four-time winner of this event. A strong proponent of the 70s, Ronning credited tactician Peter Isler with “beating the drum” to rally the 70 Class to compete in the Campbell Cup. “This is a great boat and a great class,” Ronning said. “There are a lot of 70s still on the West Coast – maybe nine or 10 – and we want to get back out there and race. I want to get to know the other skippers and keep helping to promote and progress this class.”

For decades the ULDB 70s dominated and defined West Coast racing. After the heydays of the 1980s and 1990s, the sleds split off to ports afar and other performance fleets moved in.

To spotlight and support the fleet, LBYC member Mike Campbell launched the 70s Invitational in 2006, providing the big boats a fall race venue at LBYC. After Campbell’s untimely passing in 2008, the regatta was rededicated in his honor as the Campbell Cup.

“Our good friend Mike was the guiding force behind this event and we are dedicated to keeping it going strong and committed to his memory,” explained LBYC Commodore Camille Daniels. “It’s great to see the 70s out here; it brings back good memories. We’re really hopeful the 70s are successful in pulling the fleet back together; it would be fantastic to have more return, plus the 52s and any other big boats that want to come join us in the Fall.”

Today’s racing took place in the ocean off Seal Beach beneath sunny skies, with southwesterly breezes ranging from five to 12 knots. Competition continues tomorrow, Sunday, October 20, starting at noon. After the conclusion of two more planned races, a prize-giving reception will be held at LBYC at approximate 4:00 PM.

Day 1 Results

BOLT comes in for a striking finish during a race at the two-day Campbell Cup Regatta in Long Beach.

Photos by Betsy (Crowfoot) Senescu for LBYC

Blecher’s CalYC & Team Wins 28th Annual LEMWOD

A second close day of racing brought rankings and women together 

Long Beach, Calif., October 13, 2019 — Yesterday’s three bullets made all the difference for California Yacht Club’s Allie Blecher, who won the 2019 Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One Design Challenge by a mere two points. Blecher finished the regatta in the Catalina 37 fleet with a total of 22 points. Liz Hjorth, competing for Women’s Sailing Associate of Santa Monica Bay was just a gust behind with 24 points while defending champion Casey Hogan, sailing for Newport Harbor Yacht Club, moved up the ranks to finish in third place with 29 points.

It’s been a good year for Blecher. In August, she won the 17th U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship. Beka Schiff, who sailed with Blecher in that event, served as main trimmer this weekend. Blecher’s name will go onto the perpetual trophy for a second time. She also won this event in 2013.

“We had some ups and downs today; tried to make things harder on ourselves, but in the end, the team as a whole made it work. Thankfully, our team is solid – you can’t win without your team – and uniquely for Marina del Rey, we really shine in a stronger breeze,” she said.

Following an hour weather delay, the day’s three races started in only 6 knots of breeze that picked up only for the last race.

The lighter winds were an advantage. For some.

Lighter conditions, which Annie Gardner requested, resulted in a better day for her – placing 2, 1 and 7 to position her team to finish in fourth place.

Her Hawaii Yacht Club team was organized by Alle Tsai, on pit, as a means for women to grow, and the chance to experience high-level competition. Although there were several new racers aboard, Gardner has been sailing with Katie Pettibone, her tactician and another member of the America3 team, since 1995. “In terms of opportunities for women sailors, it’s cool to see how far we’ve come,” Gardner said.

Although winds built, and rankings shifted, Hjorth, who also had an up and down day, held onto second place. How did they do it? “Channel girl power!” said Stine Cacaras, tactician and team manager. “As a WSA team, whose entire purpose is to promote women in sailing, our crew has a wide variety of experience,” she said.

“We’re always working with new people, coaching and teaching; bringing them up to a top-notch level of sailing.” Moving the sailors to different positions on the boat, building skills, and teamwork is part of that process,” she said.

The addition of the Cal20 fleet in 2018 is a symbol of that progress. Meeting the needs of a growing number of competitors interested in sailing is part of the organizing party’s commitment to serving the women’s sailing community.

As an added incentive, the organization also offered a new team trophy awarded to the yacht club with the best results in both Catalina 37 and Cal 20 fleets. This year, San Francisco Yacht Club was the proud recipient.

“The Cal 20s were offered primarily as an additional opportunity for women who wanted to advance into one-design sailing,” said Co-Chair Cyndi Martinich. “The growing waitlist indicated to us that there were more women who wanted to sail at this level, so we started looking for a fleet.”

They found the Cal20s, cared for and managed by Shoreline Yacht Club, now considered part of the trilogy of clubs supporting this regatta.

In this year’s race, Long Beach Yacht Club’s Satia To took her first opportunity as a new sailor to skipper – and blew away her competitors. In windy conditions, in light conditions, and even in the last race when organizers added an extra lap, To recorded bullet after bullet. She finished the regatta with 8 points. It was only in the second race Saturday when she scored a second-place finish – the result of being struck by another boat at the start. No damage was done, but the defensive measures set her back.

She credits the win for her and her team being in sync and tremendous support from her fellow sailors at LBYC who has coached and mentored her since she started sailing, just three years ago.

After a few times sailing with others on Taco Tuesdays, at first To did not get it. But last year, she started sailing in the club’s fleet of Solings and it clicked. “I just got out there, for small daily practices and races and started to feel more comfortable,” To said. “I asked a lot of questions, and everyone from my husband to club members at LBYC, and coach Ernie Richau were all greatly supportive.”

Being eager to learn and asking a lot of questions was key. As was a great crew. “I had a great tactician, Leah Ford, a former UCLA Sailing Team Captain,” she said.

To’s success speaks to the heart of this regatta and the WSA’s mission. Skippers come to win, but also to share their experience, their passions; their joy of sisterhood and support for each other.

One of To’s coaches and mentors, Lisa Meier, regatta Co-Chair who sits on LBYC’s board of directors also sailed in the Cal20 fleet as tactician for 11-year old Madison Mansour. Team “Small but Mighty” battled their way to third place; finishing one point out of second place with 22 points. Pinching is when you are heading up too high and sails luff a bit, slowing you down. Blair Carty, LBYC’s Port Captain also crews with the young sailing star.

Mansour’s parents were introduced to the junior sailing program when they joined LBYC. It was love at first sail. Although moving up to bigger boats is the goal (FJ’s are her next target) the LBYC junior club champion wants to master the Sabot and get up to the highest level of sailing in that class.

This celebrated regatta, hosted by LBYC and the Long Beach Women’s Sailing Association with the support of the Long Beach Sailing Foundation, is named after Linda Elias, one of Southern California’s most successful female sailboat racers, who died in 2003 after a nine-year battle with ovarian cancer. She was only 52 years old. The prestigious Peggy Slater “Yachtswoman of the Year Award” winner was an active leader of the Long Beach WSA and won this race as the Women’s One Design Challenge in1992, 1994 and 1996.

Martinich likened Elias to Billy Jean King in that she was very passionate about her sport; was funny, kind, and although didn’t set out to be a trailblazer, was.

As the winner of the regatta, Blecher gets to choose (per qualifying standards) where the $1,000 prize money from the Linda Elias scholarship fund goes. The foundation that assists promising sailors is supported by sponsors and fundraising activities each team participates in.

The regatta drew the biggest spectator fleet since the Congressional Cup series which carried friends and family who cheered on the teams over the two-day event.

FINAL RESULTS

Women Light Up the Water at LEMWOD

Allie Blecher Leads CYC Team to the top of the leaderboard.

Long Beach, Calif., October 12, 2019 — Three bullets and a fourth in the day’s fourth race scored seven points and secured Allie Blecher’s California Yacht Club team a day one first-place ranking at the two-day Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One Design Challenge. Blecher and 10 other teams sailed Catalina 37’s, as is traditional for this acclaimed race.

In the Cal 20 fleet – offered for the second year – Long Beach Yacht Club’s Satia To took a similarly commanding lead; finishing the day with five points. Fellow LBYC competitor, 11-year old Madison Mansour, finished the day tied for third place with 13 points.

The top rankings might sound like it was a runaway day for Blecher and To, but a large talented field of skippers and crew made for a close day of racing at the 28th running of this premier California women’s sailing event, the only of its kind for all-women crews in large boats.

Although dockside, the mood was welcoming and the chatter aplenty, these competitors came to win; or at least give it their best shot.

Each of the skippers, sailing in both fleets showed up Friday with their crews for the optional practice. At the skipper’s meeting, the room overflowed as crewmembers accompanied the skippers, most dressed in team colors and were prepared with questions for race management.

And this is a for women by women operation: three all-female chairs, two principle race officers and the chief umpire lead the LBYC team.

“These women are all part of our extended family, that come from all walks of life and several states from across the country. We’re like a fun family off the water, but on the water, our racers are some of the country’s most notable, experienced and competitive sailors,” said Lisa Meier, one of the chairwomen who is racing with Mansour.

The only woman not fully prepared to start the day was Mother Nature was who showed up in fine form after a one-hour delayed start. But she brought consistent 11 knots of wind that caused only one slight course change due to the swiftness of the Cal 20s.

Liz Hjorth, competing for Women’s Sailing Associate of Santa Monica Bay finished the day in second place. Hjorth competed here earlier this summer in a match racing qualifier, is a former Butler Cup winner and won this regatta in 1995 and 2002.

In third place is Summer Greene of Southwestern Yacht Club. She, along with Rebecca Ashburn are two of only 6 National Principle Race Officers in the country. Ashburn is overseeing the Regatta this weekend.

Annie Gardner (nee Nelson) a former Olympian in windsurfing and a member of the 1995 America’s Cup team “America3” with too many other titles and championships to mention, has won this regatta four times. “What I love about this event is that it is all about empowering women; seeing really qualified, experienced women mentoring and modeling the way for other women of all ages, bringing them to a higher level of skill, and providing additional opportunities is really the best,” she said. Sailing for Hawaii Yacht Club, Gardner said her 10-woman team has trained primarily in light air, so along with getting clean starts, the hopes for tomorrow is for slightly less breezy conditions.

Theresa Brandner, the first woman Commodore of St. Francis Yacht Club, sailing with only a crew of 7, said her team is comprised of about half of her usual old-school crew with the addition of some young collegiate sailors. “We’ve got a really good dynamic on the boat,” she said. “But with women today having so many responsibilities; kids, family, and jobs; finding those who want to race and have the time is challenging. But with support of regattas like this, where women are given the opportunity to show leadership in yachting, which is an important part of her personal mission, and that of SFYC can make a difference. Women have to make more effort to get things done and to be heard, but when they do, they are game-changers,” she said.

The regatta is named after Linda Elias, one of Southern California’s most successful female sailboat racers, who died in 2003 after a nine-year battle with ovarian cancer at the age of 52. She was a winner of the Peggy Slater “Yachtswoman of the Year Award”, was an active leader of the Long Beach WSA and won this race as the Women’s One Design Challenge in1992, 1994 and 1996.

The regatta is hosted by LBYC and the Long Beach Women’s Sailing Association with the support of the Long Beach Sailing Foundation.

Remembering Linda ELias ahead of the LEMWOD Regatta THis Weekend at LBYC

Linda Elias

Your SCSN Editor had many joyful years of personal life sailing experiences with Linda and her husband Mike for 20+ years starting in the late 70’s. Special people.

Here is an article from thelog.com that is a nice representation of what Linda was all about:

LONG BEACH — Hundreds of women have raced in the Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One-Design Challenge regatta at Long Beach since it was renamed for the special lady way back in 2003 — and the event just celebrated its 20th anniversary Oct. 22-23 (see the related racing story). Perhaps some of the younger competitors may wonder now: Who was Linda Elias?

READ MORE…………………………………………………….

2019 Firefighters Smoke Rivals in LBYC’s ‘Heroes Regatta

LONG BEACH, CALIF – Long Beach Firefighters smoked the competition in a series of four races at the Long Beach Yacht Club Heroes Regatta. Roughly two-dozen first responders teamed up with coaches and club members, for the sixth running of one of LBYC’s favorite one-design sailing events.

Competitors from Long Beach first responder agencies were invited to the annual regatta, which was raced aboard the Catalina 37 fleet. Following a morning briefing and chalk talk, the crews set out for a practice race, then three windward-leewards.

Long Beach Lifeguards made a splash out of the gate, winning Race One by just inches, hoping to defend their Heroes Regatta title of 2018.

But after three races around the buoys, it was LBFD Station One in command, with a score of five points; with LBFD Station Four close astern.

The scorching weather may have given the firefighters an edge. Soaring temperatures inland sparked a stiff onshore breeze and classic Long Beach conditions prevailed, according to Racing Director Jess Gerry, who reported a “perfect” 8 to 12 knot breeze out of the southwest.

The fourth and final race was a 6nm random leg course from the inner harbor breakwater into Alamitos Bay, with the finish inside the harbor in front of LBYC. LBFD Station Four rallied and blazed ahead – winning the tie-breaker with LBFD Station One, and the Heroes Regatta Championship Title.

Rick Brizendine, a coach aboard the victorious boat, said, “The firefighters were a joy to sail with. Each readily and willingly – and probably unwittingly – accepted the most challenging positions, including bow and helm.”

Of Kelvin McCaleb, recruited to do foredeck, Brizendine said, “Even a skilled bowman can make any number of errors in any one maneuver, but ours were almost flawless. And Wade (Haller) on the helm really got the hang of driving and found the groove.”

But it wasn’t the first responders having all the fun. “We sail so often the competitiveness sometimes overcomes the joy,” Brizendine added. “Sailing with our local heroes brings the joy back to the sport. We’ve all participated in this regatta before, and will do it again. There is no shortage of volunteers from LBYC when the call goes out to volunteer for the Heroes or Patriot (for active duty military) Regattas.”

The winning crew consisted of Kelvin McCaleb, Wade Haller, Chris Macy, Bob Piercy, Ken Mattfeld, John French, Blair Carty and Rick Brizendine. Race Chair was Christina Mansour. A post race reception was held on the LBYC pool deck, with burgers for the competitors and their families, coaches and race management. To three teams were presented Olympic-style medals, recognizing their Olympian efforts both on and off the course.

For more information please visit www.lbyc.org.

Photo Credits:         SeaToSkyImages: Mike Reed/Tom Heaton

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