Tag Archives: Tom Walker Photography

Forces Fuse for Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week Finale

LONG BEACH, CA 24 June 2018 – – It all came together on the final day of Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week. The wind blew, the sun shone, dolphins leapt, and racers smiled.

On the last of three days of highly competitive racing, in this popular perennial regatta hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club and Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, sailors got ‘the whole enchilada.’

A gentle breeze from the south filled in, bringing with it a mild sea state – nothing like Saturday’s churning grey waters. Marine life came out to play, and sunny skies warmed the sailors’ backs. And from the standpoint of the sport, the heat was on!

The always-intense racing for the Catalina 37 National Championship title resulted in a three-way tie going into the final race of the series. Team ABYC Juniors, Dave Hood’s LBYC entry, and the Southwestern Yacht Club team were neck-in-neck entering Race Seven.

The local Long Beach clubs had faced a strong challenge by SWYC’s team, headed by Shala Youngerman, who showed winning form right out of the gate. With “great starts, tactics and clean roundings,” they took first in the opening bout of the event, and two more bullets in Races Five and Six. On a winning streak, they were within striking distance of the title.

But Team ABYC Juniors had a different idea.

“The pressure was definitely on,” said skipper and commodore Kevin Brown. “In this fleet, anything can happen: it’s so tight you can go from first to last, pretty quickly!”

“We were able to keep calm and keep our heads in – and out – of the boat; keep our focus, and keep our fingers crossed. Because even when you sail clean, you need a little bit of luck,” said Brown. They held off their rivals on the final twice-around course, to win the Championship. It marks the first time since 2014 ABYC has won the Catalina 37 title; and more than half the winning team members were Juniors.

SWYC was competing as part of the Yacht Club Challenge with neighboring San Diego Yacht Club; as several members of Youngerman’s team got a head start practicing for this fall’s Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One Design (LEMWOD) challenge. Raced in these same custom, equalized Catalina 37 keelboats, getting time onboard is key.

Another team with their eyes on the future, representing California Yacht Club, finished fifth. “We brought our team to get more time in the boat (Catalina 37) and a little more race-ready for the LEMWOD,” said crew member Mary Stuyvesant. “The high level of competition we experienced here is definitely making us better racers.”

Things were a bit more clear-cut in the Schock 35 division, where Code Blue blew away the competition: defending their Pacific Coast Championship title with a nearly perfect race record of 1-1-1-1-1-1-2.

Bob Marcus has owned Code Blue since 2007, although he’s participated in Race Week since 1988. “It’s always a blast, so we keep on coming back.” He lauded the Race Committee, saying, “They communicate well, give us all sorts of heads up and warnings, nice and crisp. It makes for a great regatta.” Marcus added, “I’ve had the same team for three years. They’re all terrific sailors and work with great synergy and very little direction. I just drive.”

Hundreds of competitors representing 51 yacht clubs from up and down the Pacific Coast, and four nations, competed in the 2018 Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week.
“We’re proud to be a long-time sponsor of this event,” said Bruce Cooper, principal of Ullman Sails Newport Beach, and event sponsor for more than 30 years. “We believe in supporting local sailing, which is easy to do when there are great regattas like this.”

Attributing the success to the excellent venue, and expert race management and organization by ABYC and LBYC, he said supporting it provides “the perfect opportunity to show our appreciation to the competitors.” Catering to a diverse fleet, from Viper 640s to Pac 52s, Cooper called the three-day regatta “a premier event” – and he would know. He has competed world-wide, and recently returned from the Newport, RI to Bermuda Yacht Race.

“What makes this event special is it combines really great competition with a chance to catch up with old friends. Everyone I’ve seen has a smile on their face. They come with a smile and leave with a smile.”

As title sponsor, Cooper spent several years driving the media boat, visiting the three courses each day, and checking on clients and friends along the way. When he became active in the J/70 fleet though, he added another hat – joining the fray as competitor. “Moving from a sponsor-spectator, to competitor, I’m definitely burning the candle at both ends – racing during the day (on his J/70 USA 32) and handling sail repairs at night! But it is worth it. It’s like Christmas morning, when you know you’re going to get to do race week. Whether there’s a lot of wind, or not, it’s always some of the best racing you’ll have all year.”

Other results include: in the thrilling Pac 52 class, top three finishes in all seven races led Vesper to a first-place finish. Margaritaville clung to the top of the leaderboard in PHRF A; while Kite35 turned the tables on Picosa to win PHRF B/C and earn Boat of the Week honors. Rival was unrivalled, in PHRF D; with five bullets over three days, Caper triumphed in J/120s. Random leg entries, competing in one race a day saw Todd Wheatley’s Gator edge out Dos Amigos Dos in RL-D. DistraXion, with two bullets, won the tie-breaker over Aussie Airwaves in RL-C. Elyxirheld off attack by Triumph, to win RL-B; also acing the Golison and Kent Family Trophy. Bretwalda, with a perfect 1-1-1 record, won RL-A. And recogized as the team traveling the furthest distance was Aussie Airwaves, representing the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.

Nice ASP nipped It’s All Good in Viper 640s, by one point. Following a lengthy protest hearing, Argyle Campbell’s Sox maintained footing at the top of the J/70 fleet, with Midlife Crisis second and Minor Threat third. Pat Toole’s 3 Big Dogs topped the Corinthian fleet, and was also an impressive fifth overall.

Coquille was disqualified in Race Six moving Blade 2 to the top of the Farr 40 class. ABYC unseated friendly foe LBYC in the Yacht Club Challenge, based on the cumulative score of three pre-designated yachts, which must include one Catalina 37.
For a complete list of results please visit www.lbrw.org.

2016 BYC 50th Annual Gov Cup Alumni Day

July 16, 2016 – Balboa Yacht Club

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Balboa Yacht Club put on quite the show Saturday, hosting Governor’s Cup past winners, sailing alumni, sponsors and volunteers for a full day and evening of festivities.  Your SCSN Editor won the Gov Cup representing Long Beach Yacht Club in 1975,  and was extended an invitation by BYC to attend the Gov Cup and its many events this year as a guest.  An invitation that was gladly accepted!

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Celebrating its 50th year,  BYC started the event a few days early to introduce the new Andrews Gov Cup 22 boats just built by Westerly Marine and having twelve Gov Cup Alumni sailors race them in the Alumni Regatta.

Click to View the Photo Gallery of Saturday's Events
Click to View the Photo Gallery of Saturday’s Events

The day started off with a breakfast meeting to introduce the Alumni Skippers and go over housekeeping items.  The crews were selected from this year’s attending sailors, and were pulled from a hat to crew for the skippers.  A good time was had by all as young national and world champs were being announced and allocated to crew for the alumni.

A major driver behind the Gov Cup's success, Andy Rose presiding over the morning meeting and the assembling of the teams.
A major driver behind the Gov Cup’s success, Andy Rose presiding over the morning meeting and the assembling of the teams.  Photo Credit Tom Walker Photography

 

Bill Ficker, America's Cup and Congressional Cup Champion attends the festivities.
Bill Ficker, America’s Cup and Congressional Cup Champion attends the festivities. Photo Credit Tom Walker Photography

Once the teams were assembled, they were released to the Gov Cup 22’s to rig them and sail out to the course off of the Newport Beach Pier.

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Photo Credit Tom Walker Photography

 

Photo Credit Tom Walker Photography
Photo Credit Tom Walker Photography

Three fleet races were completed to determine the top four for some match racing finals.  The top two sailed one sudden death match race for the win and the third and fourth place finishers sailed for third place.

Photo Credit Tom Walker
Photo Credit Tom Walker

Alumni Fleet Race Results:

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BYC’s own Mike Pinckney defeated Taylor Canfield and is the 2016 Alumni Champion.  Dennis Durgan defeated Jack Franco in the Petit Final to take 3rd place.

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Gov Cup 2016 Alumni Champ Mike Pinckney.  Photo Credit Tom Walker Photography

But the day did not end there!  A Gov Cup reception took place at Lido Village’s West Marine parking lot where hundreds of Gov Cup sailors, BYC Members and volunteers, guests and other invitees enjoyed an evening of relaxing, eating and visiting.  Then all walked over to the Lido Theater for the premiere screening of Gary Jobson’s documentary that he produced, created and narrated on the 50 year history of the BYC Governors Cup.

Photo Credit Tom Walker Photography
Photo Credit Tom Walker Photography
Click to View the Photo Gallery of Saturday's Events
Click to View the Photo Gallery of Saturday’s Reception and Movie Premiere

The movie was widely accepted and appreciated by all, a very well done production.  It will be shown on the ESPN Classic Channel in August.  Details to be announced this week and will be published here.

Gary Jobson (l) and Andy Rose MCing at the movie premiere.
Gary Jobson (l) and Andy Rose MCing at the movie premiere.

In conclusion, just a fantastic day at BYC kicking off this year’s 50th Annual Governor’s Cup.  Racing commences Tuesday and concludes on Saturday.  Complete coverage here at SCSN.

EVENT WEBSITE

Photo Credit Mary Longpre
Photo Credit Mary Longpre

 

 

GOOD WINDS, GOOD TIMES AT CONCLUSION OF ULLMAN SAILS LONG BEACH RACE WEEK

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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.

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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.

CUMULATIVE RESULTS

Photo by Tom Walker
Photo by Tom Walker

ULLMAN SAILS LONG BEACH RACE WEEK DELIVERS “BEAUTIFUL DAY ON THE WATER” – BUT A GOOD DAY TO STAY OUT OF THE WATER

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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 www.lbrw.org, visit Long Beach Race Week on Facebook, and follow online @lbraceweek #UllmanLBRW.

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

CLOUDS PART FOR DAY 1 OF ULLMAN SAILS LONG BEACH RACE WEEK

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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 www.lbrw.org 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.

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