Tag Archives: 70s

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