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International Masters Regatta

The International Masters Regatta is sailed in J/105s in a round-robin format on windward/leeward courses in view of spectators along the San Diego waterfront. 

© 2016 Cynthia Sinclair

San Diego Yacht Club hosted the International Masters Regatta on October 21-23. Local sailor Chuck Nichols, winner of the 2013 edition, describes it as “a bunch of old characters that come back and tell you about sailing. It reminds you of how great they were and still are.” The minimum age to skipper is 60, and crewmembers must be at least 45. Entry is by invitation only. Among the 12 skippers competing, the ‘International’ flavor was provided by Dick Tillman from Melbourne, Australia, and Bob Fisher from Royal Lymington YC in the UK.

Bill Menninger, Richard du Moulin and Jon Andron went into the final race on Sunday in a three-way tie. So eager was the competition that half the boats were over early, but Menninger’s was not among them. He was able to lead all the way to the finish line.

Bill Menninger’s crew in action on Saturday.

© Cynthia Sinclair

“My overall strategy for these three days was to get better every race," reflected Menninger. "Sailing aside, my favorite part of the Masters Regatta is the camaraderie of the guys that you’ve raced against your whole life, or new guys that you haven’t sailed against yet.”

Menninger, with Jon Pinckney as tactician, sailed for Newport Harbor YC. Bill and his son Michael will crew on Pinckney’s NHYC Lipton Cup team at SDYC this weekend. Like the Masters, that regatta will be sailed in J/105s.

The competition was nothing if not tight.

© Cynthia Sinclair

Don Trask, with Paul Cayard and Chris Snow by his side, sailed for St. Francis YC. Trask founded the Masters Regatta in 1975 at StFYC, and for years it was sailed there on J/24s. But the smaller boats were getting too tough on the aging sailors. So Trask came up with the idea to hold the regatta in J/105s. It moved to San Diego in 2012.

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