July 16, 2012

Art Melendres becomes two-time winner of Cal 25 Nationals

Written by: Rick Roberts

Art's Cal 25 One Time has a 100% Ullman Inventory

Long Beach, Calif.—Art Melendres, LBYC, became a two-time winner Sunday in a closely fought Cal 25 Nationals hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club.

Having won the Nationals in 2005 Melendres found out that a repeat win is not as easy as one would think.

One point was all that separated Melendres’ Cal 25, One Time, and second place finisher Don Reiman’s, Rhyme-N-Reason, in this three-day regatta that saw breeze anywhere from 0 to 11 knots with a few showers thrown in for good measure.

“I feel humbled,” Melendres said, “to win a regatta at this level of competition and with this crew.”

Melendres’ crew includes a couple of family members with son Scott calling tactics, daughter Monica Oviedo, son-in-law Chris Lopez, Pat Graham and James Yano.

“I’ve been racing Cal 25s for 40-plus years and it wasn’t until my kids got older and began racing on our boat that we started winning.

“My hat is off to Rhyme-N-Reason,” said Melendres, “who took off like a rocket ship and out-sailed us today, and to [third-place] Tiburon who have made huge improvements in the last few years.”

Reiman never finished worse than fourth and, with everyone allowed one throw-out in the regatta, came very close to stealing this away from Melendres.

“I want to hand it to my skipper Bob Anderson,” Reiman said, “and the rest of my crew. Of the three days, Sunday’s race was the most fun when we were about 400 yards ahead of everyone at the first mark.

“I’ve had this boat since 1978 and co-own it with Ron Duphily and Scott Kramer. I used to teach sailing at the US Sailing Center [Long Beach] and taught both of them how to sail. Now we’re all members of Alamitos Bay Yacht Club and get to race together all the time.”

Third place went to Rick Sottile and Felix Basadre’s, Tiburon, who were only three points out of first place.

“Rhyme-N-Reason was almost unstoppable today,” said Sottile. “They sailed flawlessly against One Time and it was lucky for us that they usually don’t sail well in light wind.”

Representing the east-coast contingent was Charlie Husar from Annapolis Yacht Club where there are more than a dozen Cal 25s that race regularly come snow, rain or shine.

“I’ve been racing on these boats since the early 80s,” said Husar. “Early on it was a hot-shot boat when others were racing on Pearson 30s.

“The nice thing about these boats is that they’re made of basic materials that are easy to fix and, as time passed, the boat has become more affordable. We have 14 Cal 25s on our dock in Annapolis.

“Kids nowadays are looking for J-boats and other faster boats, but what they don’t know is that a lot of the legends in racing started on Cal boats like the Cal 20s and Cal 25s. Unlike some of the bigger boats where you have extra crew, everyone works on these boats and everyone learns.

“From November through March we run our AYC Frostbite Series and usually have around 15 regulars that go out. Sometimes it’s only 20 degrees and we’re shoveling snow off of the boats, but we still go out racing. It’s a very popular series.”

Fortunately, Melendres and his crew didn’t have to deal with harsh conditions in winning this year’s Nationals. 

Commenting on his crew’s performance he said, “They never quit and came from behind a couple of times. I have the greatest crew and the results speak for themselves.” 

1. Art & Scott Melendres, Long Beach YC, One Time
2. Donald Reiman, Alamitos Bay YC, Rhyme-N-Reason
3. Rick Sottile & Felix Basadre, Seal Beach YC, Tiburon
4. Dennis Diem, LBYC, The Iguana
5. Don Albrecht, South Shore YC, Valkyrie
6. Charlie Husar, Annapolis YC, Chicken Little
7. Marie Rogers, Los Angeles YC, Esprit

Complete results are available at www.lbyc.org .

Rick Roberts
Mobile: 310.367.9079