July 2, 2013

Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week 2013

Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week (LBRW) was a huge success with over 150 boats competing in the West Coasts largest keelboat regatta and Southern California’s premier racing event.  This year’s regatta had something for everyone, from the elite big boats to the ultra competitive Viper 640, no one was left out.   The very popular J-70 made their debut and the EFG Bank sponsored Viper 640 fleet were competing for one of 5 positions in this years Pan American Championship.  Once again the Catalina 37 fleet served up a competitive competition in a tight one-design configuration.  The addition of a random leg course has brought a new life to the event with everyone from local favourites Medicine Man to the Beneteau enthusiast taking part in this bay tour style course. 
LBRW 2013 was sailed in a variety of conditions.  A fog bank engulfed the courses on Friday and made navigation of the upmost importance.  On the Charlie Course the visibility was so low that boats were having trouble keeping track of where they were at on the race track.  Eventually the wind filled in and the fog cleared, thus making way for some typically awesome Long Beach racing conditions.

Viper 640’s had the honor of being the largest fleet at the regatta. Twenty-Five boats showed up to compete for the top prize in this ever growing one design fleet.  They also had the added bonus of qualifying for the EFG Bank Pan Am Championships.  The top five boats would qualify for this great event to be raced in Miami.  Racing was extremely tight as local favorite team Golison/Flam battled hard to jump into the top spot on the final day with some great tactical racing.  Glyn Locke and team ‘Fer de Lance’ captured second place with Kevin Taugher, Jim Sears and Ed Feo rounding out the top five.

A hugely popular fleet at LBRW is the Catalina 37 class.  These boats are available by charter and the crew’s get the chance to sail in a true one design fleet.  Racing was tight and not without the occasional bump and grind.   2013 featured on the water judging so everything was sorted out before the boats even crossed the finish line.  David Hood and his ‘DH3 Racing’ team battled back from a 10th in the first race to win the overall division with consistent finishes.

Olson 30’s hosted their National Championship regatta and were luck to be on the inside course where flat water and good breeze made these classic boats shine.  Larry Spencer once again dominated and retained his crown of National Champ.

PHRF 2 saw much drama as the J-133 ‘Tango’ appeared to spear eventual winner Soozal at the start of race 6.  Soozal had to withdraw as they had a gaping hole in their stern.  Race two also saw controversy as seven boats were scored DSQ for missing a mark after a course change.  I am sure that the owners and crews had their own versions of what happened.
Random leg action was strong as local boys team Medicine Man won the final race and scored a 1 point victory over TP-52 ‘Bud’.  It was exciting to watch these powerful machines tour the bay on the ever growing and hugely popular fleet.

Farr 40’s were once again proving to be one of the most popular and demanding one-design fleet on the west coast.  Jeff Janov’s ‘Dark Star’ dominated proceedings as tactician Dave Ullman helped steer them to another LBRW victory and maintain their lead in the West Coast Championship series.
Once again LBRW proved to be a fun and enjoyable regatta and seems to be growing in stature as boats are now traveling to the regatta from all over California and the World (thanks to Glyn Locke for coming from England). 

Look forward to the next event… Transpac!

Keith Magnussen
Ullman Sails Newport Beach