November 4, 2015

ABYC Halloween Regatta Report | A Legend Returns

Lido 14 Report By Keith Magnussen

The ABYC Halloween Regatta is a day of fun, fair, and positive sailing.  The emphasis is on competitive racing with the lighter side of Halloween taking a role in leveling out the day.
Jeff Lenhart and crew waiting for some wind

Inside the bay the Lido 14 class was treated to the return of a true Southern California legend, Jeff Lenhart.  Jeff has been cutting and hand making Lido 14 (and almost every other small boat) sails for around 35 years at Ullman Sails Newport Beach.  Jeff has returned to the water after taking a few years off from the sailing circuit to do whatever it is Jeff does when he is not sailing!

Lenhart has been working on his boat and this was his debut back in the class.  His crew, Jeff Petersen, got out early and had some light air practice before race one.  It took about 2 minutes to realize that it was going to be hard to beat Jeff.  Consistently being in the right place and going fast saw him break out to an early lead and take race 1 with a convincing finish.

October and November are known for light air in Southern California  and October 31st was not an exception.  The next two races were some what tedious but the team of Jeff's performed well and took the day!  Congratulations to Jeff and Jeff.  Truly a proud day for Jeff and Ullman Sails as the entire fleet were using sails made by Jeff Lenhart!  100% Ullman Day.

Ocean Course Report By Mike Price

While there were many sailors wearing their creative costumes as they launched their boats to sail in the annual Halloween Regatta hosted Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, one aspect of the regatta seemed to be in short supply- the wind!!

Cal 20's Downwind
While On the “ocean course,” set up in Long Beach Bay, inside the break-wall, the racers had their hands full in the challenging conditions of light air. At only three to five knots of breeze at any given time, the fleet of Cal 20’s, Viper 640’s, and 29ers did their best to make their boats move around the short, grand prix course. After an hour-and-a-half of postponement, the breeze stabilized at three to four knots and it was enough to begin racing.

The five-boat Viper 640 fleet enjoyed brisk sailing. Although a quick glance at the results shows that the regatta was dominated by Kevin Taugher, who posted three bullets for the day, each win was hard-earned with skippers Craig Walker and Tim Carter always close behind.

Craig Walker and his Viper 640 team
Stu Robertson and crew, Scott Atwood captured the top podium spot for the ten Cal 20’s who came to play. The fleet of twenty-foot keelboats that has been an active one-design since the early 1960’s worked very hard and many leeward roundings were three-boats-deep, complete with plenty of yelling at low speeds. Local diver, Keith Ives took the second place spot and the father-and-son team of Dave and Matt Rustigan claimed third to round out the podium. 

Peter and Jack Joslin, from San Diego, won the dozen-boat fleet of 29ers in conditions that were so challenging that it was not an uncommon sight to see a skiff outrun his own gennaker on the downwind legs. The fleet enjoyed very tight racing and even opted to race a fourth race after other fleets concluded at three. Kyle Collins and Luke Pond from King Harbor sailed hard to a second place position, one point behind the leaders, and the team of David Eastwood and Wells Drayton, from Santa Barbara, took third to complete the leader-board.

Win or lose, a common scene on the water that day was smiles.  Not many places in the country could be enjoyed in shorts and a t-shirt, let alone with such a beautiful day on the water.