June 30, 2013

Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week-Mid Regatta Report

Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week (LBRW) is in full swing and the action on the water is coming to a climax with one more day of racing left.  Saturday's racing saw wind in the teens and some reports of puffs in the low 20's.  LBRW is Southern California's premiere regatta and plays host to some of the hottest boats around the area.  2013 is also a great year for one design racing as ten closely contested fleets are battling it out on three different race courses.  Erik Shampain, on board the dominant Dark Star in the Farr 40 fleet, had this to say, "The racing has been extremely close with multiple boats being overlapped at every mark rounding.  We have managed to stay out in front by staying out of trouble and having clean races.  The new Ullman 1.5s Spinnaker is proving very fast and has certainly helped us extend on the downwind legs."  With two races to go Dark Star has a ten point lead over her nearest rival.

John Laun on his J-120 Caper is searching for boat of the week honors as his team have won every race in the 11 boat fleet.  Sean Smith from team J Almighty claimed this was the largest J-120 fleet he has sailed in.  LBRW is part of the J-120 fleets yearly series.  They combine buoy and coastal races to make up a rather interesting and competitive high point series.

The addition of random leg courses has breathed life into PHRF and added another dimension of racing.  From TP-52's to Cal 2-29's there is a place for everyone in this regatta.  The random leg courses see boats travel around Los Angeles harbor and up into the legendary Hurricane Gulch where the wind always seems to be a little stronger.  Jack Mayer on his Express 34 are winning class 3 in this division and are looking forward to one more race and a podium finish.

The largest fleet at LBRW is the popular Viper 640 which happen to be hosting Viper 640 North American's in 2014 on the same race course.  The highly competitive fleet is stacked with match racing pro's, I-14 rockstars and local gurus.  Last years champion Jim Sears is sitting in fourth while relatively new owner Kevin Taugher is showing how consistency wins regattas as he is constantly challenging for the top spots.

Sunday is shaping up to be a great day and nothing is for certain as the top boats need to perform well in order to stake their claim as champions.  For full results click here...

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