Tag Archives: Long Beach Aquatic Capital of America


Photo Credit: Tom Walker

Day 3 Quick Update

LONG BEACH, CALIF 20 APRIL 2018 – –With only two flights left in the 54th Congressional Cup regatta’s Round Robin series – to determine which skippers will advance to the semi-finals – the hard-hitting competition escalated. Dean Barker (USA) and American Magic remained on top, with Taylor Canfield (USA), Johnie Berntsson (SWE), Sam Gilmour (AUS) and Ian Williams (GBR) all within striking distance of qualification.

Congressional Cup Day 3, Long Beach Yacht Club, April 20, 2018 ©Tom Walker

Watch today’s racing live at the Long Beach Belmont Pier or online here: TheCongressionalCup.com

Cover Photo Credit: Tom Walker Photography



LONG BEACH, CALIF 19 APRIL 2018 – – More round-ups than a Western movie thrilled spectators, and challenged competitors, on Day Two of the Long Beach Yacht Club Congressional Cup regatta. Dean Barker (USA) and Team American Magic continued to hold the reins at the top of the leaderboard, as racing continued into the second Round Robin.

As the breeze rocketed up to 18 knots, there were wipe-outs, collisions and protests galore. Johnie Berntsson’s (SWE) Catalina 37 was so damaged during contact, it began to take on water; they transferred to the backup boat. And Harry Price (AUS) proved how close race action is to the audience on the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier; when his boat knocked a lamppost off the corner of the wharf. It will now be known as ‘Price Point,’ sailors jested.

2018 Congressional Cup – Photo Credit: Sharon Green

Despite chaos and crashes, Chief Umpire Russell Green announced, “Today is one of the best days match racing has seen. Congratulations to all the competitors.” Green has been a World Sailing International Umpire since 1991, involved in the Olympics, America’s Cup and the foremost racing events around the globe. His accolade is a testament to the high level of competition and professionalism exhibited at the Congressional Cup regatta. Racing continues through Sunday, April 22, in the waters off Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, starting around 11:30AM daily.

This afternoon’s thrilling conditions unfolded after a rainy, stormy morning. Strong breeze and significant chop mixed with bloodthirsty sailors – hungry for a spot in the semi-finals – to create a thrilling atmosphere. With seven races remaining in the Round Robins, Barker remains on top at 10-1; suffering his first defeat of the series, to Eric Monnin (SUI). Sam Gilmour (AUS) is in second, 7-4; followed closely by a trio at 6-5: Johnie Berntsson (SWE), Taylor Canfield (USA), and Ian Williams (GBR).

2018 Congressional Cup – Photo Credit: Sharon Green

A collision during the Berntsson vs. Barker match, with both boats heeled way over in the breeze; caused Berntsson’s boat to get holed below the waterline. The slow seepage forced the team to swap to a backup boat. The Long Beach Sailing Foundation maintains a fleet of 11 equally equipped custom-made Catalina 37s specifically for one-design and match racing. The 37-foot keelboats are maintained to identical standards in all performance areas: weight, equipment, rig tuning and sails; to put the onus on the skills and strategies of the competitors.

“We thought the Catalina 37s were unsinkable,” Berntsson said, passing a case of Stella Artois to the repair boat crew, and thanking them for their assistance.

Despite contentious racing, most of the sailors are fairly chummy, frequently traveling to the same events around the world.

2018 Congressional Cup – Photo Credit: Sharon Green

“We’re really good friends actually,” said Canfield, after his rousing bout with Chris Steele (NZE); playing golf and socializing in between M32 racing events in Miami.

That friendship brings with it a good deal of familiarity, though.

“It’s always a challenge trying to figure out where to jibe; if you go to early the trailing boat can take advantage of that.” But with Steele on his tail, he said, “We picked a good spot to jibe, and made his decision very hard. In that situation, you’re almost hoping he tries to roll you, because then he’s stuck out to the right side of the finish line; and that’s just what played out. He got a bit too close, which gave him a penalty.”

“It’s quite funny, because you know what he’s thinking, and vice versa,” added Steele. “It goes back and forth. You gain a little advantage, then give a little way to the other guy. The result can go from what looks like a really comfortable win, to slipping away from you.” Steele lost that match, and sits at 4-7. “We lost three that could have gone our way; which is very frustrating. But it’s exciting racing; it’s all really good fun and all the guys are in really good spirits.”

Double Round Robins continue tomorrow, advancing to semi-finals, petit final, and final racing through Sunday April 22, when the winner hoists the silver Congressional Cup and dons the prestigious Crimson Blazer.

HOW TO WATCH  Enjoy stadium viewing of the Congressional Cup free at Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, 15 39th Place, Long Beach, Calif. Live commentary by celebrity announcer Tucker Thompson is accompanied by large screen TVs featuring multiple camera angles, for a fully immersive and entertaining experience. Parking, facilities and food service are available. Races are also live-streamed on Facebook @CongressionalCup and YouTube: visit www.thecongressionalcup.com for full information.

THE CONGRESSIONAL CUP is one of the most prestigious top-level yachting events in the world. Established by LBYC in 1965, it is recognized as the “grandfather” of match racing, pioneering the concept of on-the-water umpiring 30 years ago. Each year, this World Sailing Grade One competition features an elite delegation of the world’s best sailors competing in five days of rousing matches, in the waters off Long Beach, Calif.

2018 Congressional Cup – Photo Credit: Sharon Green


Dean Barker (USA)                           10-1

Sam Gilmour (AUS)                          7-4

Johnie Berntsson (SWE)                  6-5

Taylor Canfield (USA)                      6-5

Ian Williams   (GBR)                          6-5

Harry Price    (AUS)                          4-7

Eric Monnin  (SUI)                            4-7

Chris Steele  (NZL)                           4-7

Joachim Aschenbrenner (DEN)     4-7

Scott Dickson (USA)                        3-8


LONG BEACH, CALIF  14 April 2018 – The breeze on Day Two of the Ficker Cup may have been shifty, but “steady” was the name of the game for Dean Barker and team American Magic, as they clung to the top of the leaderboard, with six wins and no losses in the series’ second Round Robin.

The Ficker Cup is a World Sailing Grade Two regatta – prestigious in its own right, but significant as a stepping stone to the Congressional Cup. Founded in 1980 to honor Bill Ficker, a legendary yachtsman who helmed Intrepid to victory in the 1970 America’s Cup and won the Congressional Cup in 1974, it offers world-class match racing action in an equalized fleet of one-design Catalina 37s yachts.

And today, all eyes were on the scoreboard, as Dean Barker, USA, solidified his first place position and advancement to the semi-finals tomorrow, along with Johnie Berntsson, SWE, 5-1. Chris Poole, USA, and Leonard Takahashi, JAP, both 3-3, also proceed to the semis – edging out competitor and LBYC Staff Commodore Dave Hood, defeated in the tie-breaker.

Ficker Cup racing will continue tomorrow Sunday April 15 at approximately 11:30AM off the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, where spectators can watch the action live. While today’s breeze built to 11 knots from the southwest, tomorrow’s forecast is for slightly lighter wind conditions.

The top two Ficker Cup finalists will advance to the Congressional Cup, the ‘granddaddy’ of modern world-class match racing, founded by Long Beach Yacht Club in 1965.

“What The Masters Green Jacket is to pro golfing, the Crimson Blazer is to yacht racing,” explained Congressional Cup Chairman Eric Dickinson. “The Congressional Cup is one of the most prestigious yacht racing events in the world and a gateway to the America’s Cup; and the members of Long Beach Yacht Club are proud to present this premier event for the 54th year.”

Full further information and results please visit www.lbyc.org; for information on the Congressional Cup visit www.thecongressionalcup.com


Results  Day 2





1 Dean Barker USA/– 6-1 6-0
2 Johnie Berntsson SWE/154 6-1 5-1
3 Chris Poole USA/54 4-3 3-3
4 Leonard Takahashi JAP/14 4-3 3-3
5 Dave Hood USA/136 2-5 3-3
6 Peter Holz USA/24 2-5 2-4
7 Maxime Mesnil FRA/4 3-4 1-5
8 Vladimir Lipavsky RUS/16 1-6 1-5

Team LBYC Wins the Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One-Design Challenge


Pos,Sail, Boat, Skipper, Yacht Club, Results, Total Points 
1. 7, LBYC Women’s Sailing Team, Wendy Corzine / Lisa Meier, LBYC, 5-4-2-5-2-1-1- ; 20
2. 3, California Yacht Club, Marilyn Cassidy, CYC, 2-1-1-7-1-5-8- ; 25
3. 1, Southwestern Yacht Club, Shala Youngerman, SWYC, 6-2-9-1-4-4-3- ; 29T
4. 4, Team SDYC, Kris Zillman, SDYC, 3-6-4-4-5-2-5- ; 29T
5. 2, San Francisco Yacht Club, Vicki Sodaro, SFYC, 4-7-7-2-7-3-4- ; 34
6. 8, WSA SMB, Karyn Jones, WSA of SMB, 1-3-8-10-6-10-2- ; 40
7. 10, Gybe Ho’s, Alexia Fischer, CYCT, 8-8-3-6-3-8-6- ; 42
8. 5, Salty Bitches, Debbie Kraemer, LBWSA, 7-9-6-3-8-6-7- ; 46
9. 6, She Devils, Julie Coll, KHYC, 11-5-5-9-11-9-10- ; 60
10. 11, OSEAS, Terri Manok, WSAOC, 10-10-10-11-9-7-11- ; 68
11. 9, Wahines, Jane Thomas, CIWSA/CIYC, 9-11-11-8-10-11-9- ; 69

About Linda Elias:

Linda Elias (1951 – 2003)

Linda Elias, one of Southern California’s most successful female sailboat racers, passed away on January 3, 2003 after a nine year battle with ovarian cancer.  She was 52.

As winner of the Peggy Slater “Yachtswoman of the Year Award” she raced the Transpac in 1989, 1991, 1993 and 1999.  Her women’s sailing team is three time champion of the Women’s One Design Challenge sponsored by LB/LA Women’s Sailing Association and Long Beach Yacht Club.

2017 30th Annual Jessica Uniack Beach to Bay Race – Results Posted!


The Annual Jessica Uniack Memorial Beach to Bay Race features over 150 Jr. Sailors from throughout Southern California enjoying a 5 nautical mile race in several dinghy classes from Shoreline Beach to Alamitos Bay, with the finish line right off LBYC.

Festivities kick off with a Skippers meeting and conclude at Long Beach Yacht Club for a Burger Bash and Trophy Ceremony!

Current Entries


My son Paul Washburn finishing in 2006.

Premier one-design sailing event attracting racers from 14 countries to ABYC

29er World Championships

LONG BEACH, Calif., June 30, 2017 – Nearly 250 competitors from 14 countries will descend on Alamitos Bay Yacht Club July 27 to August 5, 2017, for the Zhik 29er World Championship Regatta.

Competitors in the 17th annual world championship event will arrive from Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Canada, France, Spain, Brazil, the British Virgin Islands, Argentina and Hong Kong, in addition to representatives from Ireland, Czechoslovakia and South Africa. At least 40 teams will come from across the United States, spurred by a sailing clinic at ABYC and the 29er U.S. Nationals July 25 to July 28.

The majority of 29er teams are expected to be comprised of two young men, but many co-ed and all female teams will compete as well. Trophies will be awarded to the top team overall, the top youth team, and the top girls team. U.S. entrants are hoping for a hometown advantage that will enable them to best third place, the highest position a U.S. team has ever achieved in this world championship event.

The 29er
The 29er was designed by Australian multiple national and world sailing champion Julian Bethwaite, and first produced in 1998. It is raced in 53 countries and considered a stepping stone to higher level sailing, producing many World and Olympic champions in other classes.

This lightweight one-design boat is just 14 and a half feet long – and tippy. When not racing, both crew members have to stand to keep the boat from capsizing. When underway, one crew is extended beyond the hull on a trapeze, as the boat quickly accelerates; often exceeding wind speed both up and downwind. At the 2005 Worlds in San Francisco – the only other time the event has been held in the U.S. – these water darts were clocked at 20 knots of boat speed. Swift and skittish, 29er competition puts an emphasis on agility, skill, and brisk decision-making.

“These boats fly across the water and kids have fun; but like any other race, winning will come down to boat handling,” said Jerelyn Biehl, executive director of the 29er Class. While the 29er is considered predominately a youth boat, sailors often continue racing the class if they can maintain the optimal crew weight (240-300lbs).

Biehl, who grew up racing in this area, knows what the kids are in for: ocean rollers with lots of wind. “It’s going to be a great event. The kids are so excited to come to California, and I know the Club is going to do a great job,” she said.

Race Format
Following an opening ceremony Sunday, July 30, a qualifying series will run Monday, July 31 to Wednesday, August 2. The finals series of races will run Thursday, August 3 through Saturday, August 5. Judges from Canada, Australia, Brazil, Mexico, New Zealand will oversee racing. All boats will be monitored via TracTrac so families around the world can watch the action online, and racers can later review their performances replayed on ABYC’s TVs.

After a 9:30AM competitors briefing each morning at ABYC, racers will compete on one of three possible courses at the East end of Long Beach Harbor, starting at 11:55AM. According to International Race Officer Mark Townsend, the races will take place on the Pacific Ocean off Long Beach unless winds exceed 20 knots, when they will be held behind the federal breakwater.”

Both Qualifying and Final Series are scheduled to consist of 10 races each.

Alamitos Bay Yacht Club
Championship regatta host clubs are typically picked about three years out, said Biehl, and ABYC submitted their bid for the 2017 event in 2014. The 29er organization looks for locations around the world where the most sailors will have a chance to compete, at facilities able to handle the crowd, with sufficient ability to efficiently launch the boats. In addition, they seek a superior Race Committee, with experience in high-level events.

ABYC has a world-wide reputation as a premier small boat club, with not only the capability, but also the desire to host and promote these types of events, and encourage the development of the sport, according to Townsend. He said this summer’s event is roughly the 20th world championship regatta ABYC has hosted.

ABYC was first formed in the mid-1920s, when racing was held in the Bay – establishing its foundation as a small boat club, with vessels suitable for the shallow waters. When yacht racing exploded in the years following WWII, ABYC began to host larger sailboats as well. The Club’s reputation for superior race management was first recognized in 1968, when ABYC became the first yacht club in the United States to win the St. Petersburg Yacht Club Trophy: an award presented by US Sailing for excellence in race organization and management.

ABYC won the St. Petersburg Yacht Club Trophy again in 1981, and more recently in 2016, for the Laser Mid-Winters West. ABYC and its members were also instrumental in the organization and running of the Olympic Sailing Events at the Games of the XXIII Olympiad (1984). More than ABYC 100 volunteers will participate during the week-long 29er Worlds this summer, serving an estimated 5,000 meals to the competitors, their families and coaches.

Mike Segerblom of the US Sailing Center in Long Beach, said the organization is very excited to see the 29er Worlds come to Long Beach; providing great opportunity and exposure for the region, state and nation. He acknowledged a Downing Family Foundation grant to the Center, which was earmarked for ABYC’s running of the 29er event.

The championship promises a lot of thrills and spills: as the club buzzes with enthusiastic racers, and the vibrant fleet of 29ers darts across the waters of Long Beach.

Long Beach is known for brisk and steady afternoon breeze, which will provide optimal sailing conditions for these high-performance double-handed skiffs, with their colorfully trimmed transparent sails – and exhilarating viewing.

A spectator boat will be available every day for $20 per person, which includes lunch and beverages. The boat is limited to 20 people per day. An advance sign-up form is at the Worlds online site.

Zhik, the title sponsor of the event, is an Australian sailing apparel manufacturer known for innovative gear for all aspects of sailing; combining design with technical proficiency and style.

For details please visit www.29erworlds.org.


JUNE 25, 2017  LONG BEACH, CA – – Sporty sailing conditions by day, spiced rum and dancing by night: Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week delivered 24/7, for the hundreds of sailors who turned up to race in the waters off Long Beach, Calif. this weekend.



“Alamitos Bay Yacht Club and Long Beach Yacht Club team up to put together this event each year, merging our forces and using our years of experience and knowledge from this event, and others, to provide the best regatta possible for our participants,” said co-chair John Busch, of LBYC. “This year we were blessed with strong winds, fair seas, excellent competition and great parties. And we couldn’t do it without sponsors like Ullman Sails and all the others who support this great event.”

Photo Credit: Cynthia Sinclair

Three stellar days of breeze and sunshine rounded out this annual funfest of racing and parties. Over 100 teams, hailing from Montana to Mexico, competed in one design and PHRF racing, on both windward-leeward and random leg courses along the Southern California coast.

“We were a little worried initially, when we didn’t see the number of entries we’d like early on,” Busch admitted, “but as usual, people wait to sign up.” Traditionally, numbers are lighter in Transpac years, as those racers are tied up with final preparations for the Los Angeles to Honolulu Race which starts next week.

“But we ended up with 122 boats, and some really strong fleets, like the J/70s, Viper640s, and Pac52s; plus the weekend warriors who come out to play and make it such a fun event,” said Busch.

Photo Credit: Cynthia Sinclair

There were thrills and spills, in today’s 15 to 20 knot breeze and chop. Despite the sporty conditions, the Pac52 BadPak made a comeback, nudging Invisible Hand out of the lead by one point. Temptress triumphed in the lively Farr 40 competition, while Caper won solidly in the J/120 fleet.

Chris Snow’s Cool Story Bro iced the 26-boat J/70 fleet, never finishing lower than fifth place; Pat Toole’s 3 Big Dogs topped the Corinthian entries. Code Blue blew away the Schock 35 division, with top three finishes in all seven races, to earn the Pacific Coast Championship title.

Rival won PHRF C; E Ticket aced PHRF B; and Kuai took the Sportboat division; while Boomslang prevailed in the Viper640 Class, and earned One-Design Boat of the Week honors.

Busch added, “Our Random Leg classes have continued to increase in size over the years; we are seeing more competitors who like to do distance races, in addition to windward-leeward. We see it as the best of both worlds.”

In those categories, Dream Catcher got three bullets in RL-C, while DistraXion also took three firsts, in RL-B. Peligroso took RL-A1, and Elyxir held off Stray Dog to triumph in RL-A2, winning PHRF Boat of the Week. Elyxir, sailed by Skip and Stacy Ely, along with daughter Amy Ely and crew, also won the Golison and Kent Family Trophy for the highest placing boat with a minimum of three family members aboard.

In the battle for the Catalina 37 National Championship title, Newport Harbor Yacht Club’s Team Ayres/Satariano ousted four-time winner DH3, who took second; while Jane’s Addiction took third. But Dave Hood’s DH3, Bruce Cooper’s J/70 entry USA-32, and the Farr 40 Temptress teamed up to defend LBYC’s title in the annual Yacht Club Challenge.

“Ullman Sails is excited to sponsor this event once again, and to support great sailing, competition, and camaraderie at this fantastic venue. We appreciate the host clubs, all the volunteers, and of course the racers who continue to show up each year,” said Ken Cooper, of Ullman Sails.



JUNE 1, 2017 LONG BEACH, CA – – The early bird discount isn’t the only reason Corinthian Yacht Club’s Gardyloo Traveling Road Show Team was the first to register for Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week, June 23, 24 and 25, 2017.

“The racing is top shelf, the competition is really good, and the parties – oh the parties! – are excellent,” says skipper Eric Nelson, who will return with his Tacoma, Wash. team for the sixth year.

Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week has been a perennial favorite of west coast sailors since the 1980s. It features one-design and PHRF racing on windward-leeward or random leg courses, on the exhilarating waters of Long Beach, Calif.

Classic fleets, like the Schock 35s, will use the event to crown their Pacific Coast Champion; while J/70, J/105, J/109, and J/120s boost their standings in the Southern California High Point Series. Other classes include the Farr 40s, Viper 640s and the exciting new Pac52 fleet.

The highly competitive Catalina 37 fleet will battle for the National Championship title. Nelson and crew hope to better their top finish – fourth place in 2015 – and stand on the podium this year. He credited the Long Beach Sailing Foundation with, “keeping the boats in good shape and making it so easy for those of us from out of town to come to the regatta, essentially hop on the boats, and go race.”

Plus, he added, “It’s Southern California, in June … After this winter and spring in Tacoma, where we have seen over 45 inches of rain in the last six months, wouldn’t you want to go to the sun?!”

Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week enjoys reliable prevailing westerly breezes that spur on the racers during the day. Parties at hosts Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, and Long Beach Yacht Club, spur them on at night. Roughly 1,000 sailors on 150 boats are expected to compete in this action-packed event.

Early entry deadline June 5!

Enter on or before June 5, 2017 and get a handy discount on fees – which incorporate race entry and slip or dry storage, plus complimentary hors d’oeuvres each night; ABYC After Race Dance Party Friday; LBYC After Race Mt Gay Rum Party Saturday; and Sunday Trophy Presentation Party at LBYC –

with free water taxi service between the clubs each evening.

Close of entries is Tuesday June 20, 2017 at 1800PST – so act now! Visit www.lbrw.org for full race details and to register online.


Schedule of events

Thurs. June 22

12:00 pm: Registration Opens at LBYC
6:00 pm: Registration Closes at LBYC

Friday June 23, 2017

8:00 am: Free Gourmet Coffee Bar at LBYC
8:00 am: No host breakfast at LBYC & ABYC
10:00 am: Registration Closes at LBYC
10:30 am: Competitors Briefing at LBYC
1:00 pm: Races start
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Water Taxi Service
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Party at ABYC

Saturday June 24, 2017

8:00 am: Free Gourmet Coffee Bar at LBYC
8:00 am: No host breakfast at LBYC & ABYC
12:00 pm: Races start

4:30 pm – 9:00 pm: Water Taxi Service
5:00 pm – 7:00 pm: Cash bar opens at ABYC
5:00 pm – 9:00 pm: Mt Gay Rum Party at LBYC

Sunday June 25, 2017

8:00 am: Free Gourmet Coffee Bar at LBYC
8:00 am: No host breakfast at LBYC & ABYC
12:00 pm: Races Start
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm: Cash bar at ABYC
3:00 pm – 7:30 pm: Cash bar at LBYC
4:00 pm – 7:30 pm: Water Taxi Service
4:00 pm: Food, drinks, cash bar at LBYC
5:00 pm: Trophy Presentation at LBYC