August 23, 2010

J/105 SoCal Championship - Gary Mozer wins with solid team

Picture by Rick Roberts

After posting three first-place finishes in a row on Saturday, local favorite Gary Mozer’s J/105 Current Obsession 2 hung on Sunday to take first place honours in the second annual J/105 SoCal Championship hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club and sponsored by Ullman Sails, Other Sailmaker, West Marine and JK3 Nautical Enterprises.

In the final two races, Mozer finished third and sixth keeping a four point spread between himself and second place finisher Dennis and Sharon Case’s Wings. With consistent winds of 10-14 knots throughout the weekend, the competitive 17 boat fleet enjoyed long legs, lots of passing opportunities and tight racing.

'Today we enjoyed a much deserved victory,' Mozer said. 'Twice in the last nine days I’ve been in the hospital with sciatica and in a lot of pain. It was my team that deserves the credit.' Mozer’s team of John Busch, Robert 'Peaches' Wittle, Whit Batchelor, Peter Isaac and Liz 'Tinkerbell' Tran kept the boat in the fight after he began to have severe back and muscle pain near the end of the day Sunday. "My back was hurting so bad I had trouble concentrating,' said Mozer, 'but the key was the years of teamwork we have had together and our consistency. We also had a little help from someone you may have heard of. 'Dave Ullman went out with us earlier in the week during one of our practices and his coaching helped us a lot.' A good part of the fleet is from the San Diego area and, two years ago, a call from fleet member Dennis Case started the ball rolling to create this event. Long Beach Yacht Club found a date for the regatta and it has now enjoyed two years of great racing and great racing conditions.

The reason they wanted to race in Long Beach? 'Well, there are two reasons we chose Long Beach,' explained Case. 'The first reason is that Long Beach is pretty much the center of the West Coast J/105 fleet. We figured boats coming from either down south or up north would have to come about the same distance.

The second reason is the great sailing conditions. The wind is reliable and we race inside the breakwater in fairly flat seas that allow us to enjoy close, fast racing. We are delighted with what we experience here and couldn’t ask for anything better.' With his second place in the regatta Case feels he and his team did quite well in the local conditions. 'We tried to slow him [Mozer] down a bit,' said Case. 'I held him down as much as possible on the starts, but by doing that it put us in a world of hurt for boat position on the fleet. He was untouchable on Saturday so we tried to catch up today by staying ahead of him. Local sailing legend Barney Flam and his boat Flambuoyant sailed to third place in the regatta with his equally skilled son Steve calling tactics and handling main sheet duties.

'It was consistency in that last race that helped us a lot,' Flam said. 'The race was well run and the race committee work was very good.' At the end of the two-day event, there was a three-way tie for fourth place. The tie-breaker was the first place finish in race five by San Diego’s Chuck Driscoll and Tom Hurlburt’s boat Blow Boat. 'We tightened the rig and did a few things which helped us to sail better,' Driscoll said. 'Saturday we were weren’t quite right and after the adjustments we were able to finish first in the last race today.' 'We never sail in really good breezes like this and we worked on getting good starts this weekend.' Giving a final comment on their success this weekend Mozer said, 'It’s all the little details… and consistency that wins races.'

Final Results

1. Gary Mozer, LBYC, 'Current Obsession 2', 1-1-1-3-6, 12 points

2. Dennis & Sharon Case, SDYC, 'Wings', 2-6-2-1-5, 16

3. Barney & Steve Flam, LBYC, 'Flambuoyant', 6-2-4-2-3, 17

4. Tom Hurlburt & Chuck Driscoll, SDYC, 'Blow Boat', 4-7-6-6-1, 24

5. Jon Dekker, SDYC, 'Air Boss', 7-4-7-4-2, 24

6. Doug Werner, SDYC, 'Javelin', 5-5-3-7-4, 24

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Thanks to Rick Roberts for the report.