The West Coast's largest keelboat regatta
United Kingdom, Mexico line up for Ullman Sails LBRW
Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week is on its way to becoming as international as its continuing title sponsor, which now has lofts in 21 countries.
This year on the first weekend of summer, June 24-26, there will be well over 140 boats in 18 classes in the West Coast's largest keelboat regatta, hosted by the Long Beach and Alamitos Bay yacht clubs, including entries from Great Britain and Mexico, as well as the Western states.
They are drawn by the upscale competition and the prospect of exhilarating weather conditions and nightly parties. The online entry process includes payment of entry fees and arrangements for free docking or mooring for out-of-town boats.
A team from
will join the strong Farr 40 fleet led by Jeff Janov's Dark Star that dominated the class's North American Championship on the same lively waters four weeks earlier. Mexico
Matt Ciesicki, who manages the Flojito y Cooperando sailing operations for Mergenthaler and Minkow, said, "We have three Farr 40s in Acapulco, so for us it's a good chance to see what we have to learn.
will have good racing and good breeze." Long Beach
From another continent, Neil Martin and David Anderson of the South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club in the
county of Cheshire in northwest have charted a boat in the Catalina 37 fleet. They will christen it "Brits on Tour" for the occasion … and there's a connection here. England Mark Townsend, the ABYC member who is the event's principal race officer, has British roots and is an old mate.
Martin said, "We are all friends and have known each other since we sailed together in Snipes in our teens."
Townsend's American wife, Robin, said, "He was our best man 28 years ago."
Martin: "I was last in
in 1979 when I came to watch Mark, Stuart Totten and Gary Lewis sail the Snipe Worlds. Mark met Robin and the rest is history." Long Beach
Martin also noted, "We are coming with a full
team." United Kingdom
Robin: "Should be fun with 10 houseguests for a week!"
Martin, the skipper of Brits on Tour, currently campaigns his J/133 Jammy Dodger around the
UK and Europe and has competed in Key West Race Week several times in his J/80 of the same name. He is a seven-time British Snipe national champion and consistently finishes in the trophies in the IRC class of Cork Week, Cowes Week and IRC Nationals.
Anderson, an accomplished businessman, has been sailing since school, competing in numerous dinghy and keelboat classes.
The Catalina 37s, best known for their presence in the Congressional Cup match racing classic for two decades, are still available for charter from the Long Beach Sailing Foundation and automatic participation in the Yacht Club Challenge as one of a club's three entries.
Ullman Sails is the title sponsor. Other sponsors and supporters are DISC Sports and Spine Center, Gladstone's Restaurant, West Marine, EFG Bank, Open Sailing USA, Ayres Hotel Seal Beach, Mount Gay Rum, The Pirates Lair, the Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine Bureau, and Long Beach the Aquatic Capital of America.