Three days of distance and buoy racing attracted eight California crews to the 2019 Express 37 Nationals hosted by Berkeley Yacht Club on October 4-6. Lingering summer-like conditions brought light but shifty winds ranging from 3 to 14 knots.
On Sunday, with two races to go, Shawn Ivie and crew on Limitless led the fleet racing with a tally of five points (2-1-1-1). In the first heat of the day, Kame Richards on Golden Moon sailed to a first. Mark Chaffey’s Loca Motion followed a scant five seconds afterward. Bob Harford’s Stewball placed third, and Limitless crossed the line fourth. Limitless, edged down in the ranks, was then squarely tied for first with Golden Moon. “It took that final race to determine an Express 37 champion,” said Ivie, whose strategic maneuvering immediately north of the start aided his crew. “Kame came to the line a bit early. We got into position, then stalled to windward 30 seconds before the horn. This allowed us to nail the pin end and get a strong leap.”
Limitless went on to earn the Nationals title with 10 points. Second place went to the San Francisco Bay Area Golden Moon crew. Loca Motion, up from Monterey, rounded out the podium in third.
Ivie, whose boat is based in San Pedro, has participated in 2017, ’18 and ’19. Limitless has a winning pedigree. Ivie references the Express 37 Nationals’ silver trophy cup, adding that this hull has claimed the Nationals title on more than one occasion and for more than one owner. This year’s win was a repeat for Ivie.
In 1984, designer Carl Schumacher and builder Terry Alsberg of Alsberg Brothers Boatworks in Santa Cruz developed the Express 37. This masthead-fractional design attracts active fleet participation on both the East and West Coasts.