Conditions were everything sailors had dreamed of and hoped for during the three-year wait for the return of Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week. Schock 35s and Viper 640s vied for their Pacific Coast Championships, and Catalina 37s competed for their National title.
On Friday, nearly 100 entries lined up on the waters off Long Beach in a moderate breeze that gusted to 21 knots. Formidable chop added to the challenges of the day.
Long Beach and Alamitos Bay Yacht Clubs have hosted USLBRW for nearly two decades. Nightly parties cap the three days of racing. Eight one-design classes and three PHRF divisions took on a pair of windward-leeward courses on Friday. A squad of random-leg challengers toured the bay in a 17.5-mile jaunt. Races are run on three different circles, made possible thanks to the collaboration between yacht clubs.
In Saturday’s brisk southwesterly winds, LBYC and ABYC organizers pulled off three races in the PHRF and one-design classes. Random Leg sailors enjoyed a boisterous romp over choppy seas on three different courses ranging from 16.6 to 18.8 miles.
The San Francisco-based Skeleton Key dominated the J/111 class with five straight bullets, matched by David Boatner’s J/35 Rival in PHRF-C. Elsewhere it was a scramble, with teams battling rivals in up to 17 knots of breeze.
Bruce Golison’s San Diego YC-flagged Midlife Crisis clung to the top of the leaderboard in the 16-boat J/70 class. “My normal crew is sailing the Etchells North Americans, so we got together a group of J/70 sailors — all friends who regularly sail against each other,” he said. “We’ve all put in a lot of time sailing J/70s in a breeze, so we got up to speed pretty quickly.” Golison has campaigned Midlife Crisis — hull #26 — since 2016. “I really enjoy the class. It’s a great mix of pros and amateurs and really good, fun racing.”
Golison’s roots in this event stretch back several decades. The original race week was a big-boat IOR event. “It was around when I was a little kid,” Golison explained. He started an event back to back with the IOR regatta in 1985, and after 20 years passed it off. “They still have the family trophy and team racing.”
Skeleton Key and Rival went on to notch the only perfect scorelines in the regatta. Each earned a picket fence of seven ones.
Jim Bailey’s 1D35 Destroyer out of Newport Harbor YC won PHRF-B. Bailey has owned only Destroyer since December. “We got it all tricked out and have gone from zero to 60,” he said. “It’s been a lot of fun!” His crew includes sons Charlie, Danny and William. Bailey took a 25-year hiatus in sailing while his kids grew up, but got back into racing at his sons’ request in 2017.
He reflected: “Hopefully more sailors will see how great this event is and say, ‘Gee, I wish I’d shown up this year,’ and decide to come next year. It is great to be back and we are hoping for even more competition in 2023.”
It’s been a bull market for Bear Boat news and black-and-white photos of sailboats in the pages of Latitude lately. After flipping through a recent issue, Geoff Capell sent us this letter:
“Your story in the May edition of Latitude 38 Sightings, Give a Bear a Chance, really shook me up. It opened the floodgates.
“My uncle — Wilfred ‘Cappy’ Capell — built #25 Nanook in his garage in the Richmond District, with the help of his brother, my father, Jeff Capell. On completion, they had to flatten the tires of the trailer and remove a beam to get her out of the garage.
“She was launched in 1944.”
“That boat was the start of our sailing life. Everything revolved around her: our weekends, our vacations, and all our fun times. It instilled in us the love of the water, sailing, teamwork, and skills that not many others have.
“Cappy Capell went on to sail and race a Hurricane, Flurry, and was commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club. Jeff Capell moved on and built a Spaulding 33, Leilani, winning several season championships. He was also commodore of the Golden Gate Yacht Club, as well as the San Francisco Yacht Club.”
“When I looked in the Bear register, Nanook was listed as missing. I contacted the head of the Bear Boat Association, Russell Katz, as well as Chris Ogilvie, for help finding Nanook. I know she’s been a long time missing, but I thought I would try, at least, to give her a final known resting place.
“They were very helpful, but we came to dead ends.”
If you have any information on Nanook — or memories of her — please let us know.
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Delivery skipper and Club Nautique instructor Larry Haynie has been traveling the waterfront in Europe in search of a boat and checking out the sailing scene. He reports the boat market in Europe is much like that of the US, with boats selling quickly and the right boat hard to find.
His travels took him to Cowes, where, as a member of the Point San Pablo Yacht Club in Richmond, he made use of reciprocal privileges to have lunch at the Island Yacht Club, which led to a new acquaintance who took him to the Royal London Yacht Club, then lunch at Royal Ocean Racing Club, which runs the Fastnet Race. Larry was also there to catch some of the Cornerstone Cup held May 31 to June 3 by the most prestigious club on the Isle of Wight, the Royal Yacht Squadron.
Larry wrote, “The Cornerstone Cup is a small regatta, but its size betrays its importance in the racing world: two boat vs two boat team-racing regatta, which includes teams selected from clubs like Saint Francis YC, New York YC, the Royal Thames YC and the Royal Yacht Squadron.” The races this year were on J/70s. The finals came down to a first to two wins showdown between Royal Thames and StFYC. StFYC won the first race but due to a breakdown by a RTYC boat (broken tiller extension), the race was re-sailed. RTYC went on to win the next two races and the Cornerstone Cup.
You never know where you’ll cross tacks with fellow San Francisco Bay sailors.
The final results from the four teams were: first – Royal Thames Yacht Club, second – St Francis Yacht Club, third – New York Yacht Club, fourth – Royal Yacht Squadron.
As Larry reports, the yacht clubs across the pond are full of pomp and circumstance, with many club members sporting blazers, white slacks and officers’ caps, and every event capped with tea. A taste of the royal yachting life in Cowes was greatly expanded with a membership card from the Point San Pablo Yacht Club in Richmond. As they say, membership has its privileges. Post-Cornerstone Cup, Larry is doing a European boat delivery and resuming his boat search.
[Ed] – Thank you to StFYC team member, Harrison Turner, for correcting errors in our initial story.
When we asked the question about which was the first Latitude 38 issue to have color photos inside, we were curious what kind of answers our readers would give. Max Crittenden read the question on our Facebook page and wrote, “Ah, jeez. Not even multiple choice?” It’s true, we didn’t offer any choices, or any clues. Perhaps we could have …
The most interesting response, however, came from Marceline Therrien, who wrote, “There’s color inside?” — Funny, Marceline …
Chuck Cunningham attempted to answer the question, and wrote “October 1983.”
The first issue of Latitude 38 to have color photos on the inside is July 2005. Take a look at a column we wrote in that issue’s Sightings, “True Colors.”
Though not all the photos in the July 2005 issue were color; the half dozen on pages 100 -101 were a test — a selection of photos from the previous month’s Singlehanded/Doublehanded In-the-Bay Race hosted by the Singlehanded Sailing Society.
Stay tuned for our next Latitude 38 Question of the Month!