Longtime members of the host Alamitos Bay Yacht Club and a horde of intruders from San Diego’s Mission Bay YC ruled the roost on the first day of ABYC’s portion of the Southern California Yachting Association’s 86th Midwinter Regatta Saturday.
Skipper Jay Golison with Steve Flam and ABYC commodore Chuck Clay as crew swept all four races in the premier Viper 640 class; veteran Chuck Tripp, age 59, paces the Laser Masters fleet (age 35+) after adding four handicap points, while Jay’s brother Bruce and crew Dina Corsi lead the dozen Lido 14 A class boats and Bill Moore and Nicole Webb the B class racing inside on the bay.
Sailors representing Mission Bay YC lead the other four classes: Gary Lee in the 5-0-5 high-performance skiffs, Stephen Stroebel in F-18 catamarans, Matt Struble in A-Class Cats and Stu Robertson in Cal 20s.
Tripp and Jay Golison said it wasn’t a typical Long Beach day, with a moderate, shifty southerly breeze of 6-12 knots blowing toward shore over the fleet of thirty-some cargo ships anchored for a backdrop inside and outside the breakwater as the West Coast labor dispute apparently neared resolution.
“It was difficult,” Tripp said. “Maybe it was the wind blowing off those ships out there. You had to keep your head out there.”
Tripp (3-2-3-3) didn’t win any races, “but I was consistent,” he said with satisfaction.
Jay Golison is defending the SCYA title he won when the Vipers raced at Marina del Rey last year.
“We were sailing heavier this year, but it doesn’t seem to matter in these boats,” he said. “The boats jump when the wind picks up. We said our key number was 575—our total crew weight.”
ABYC is among a couple of dozen clubs from Ventura to San Diego that are hosting more than a hundred classes from dinghies to ocean racers, including multihulls.
The final racing Sunday will start at noon, conditions permitting.
ABYC member Howie Hamlin, a multi-world champion in three classes, is not defending his 505 title of last year because while competing in the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs worlds at Sydney, Australia. He was in second place entering the final day.
First staged in 1928, the SCYA Midwinters are the longest-running regatta in Southern California, surviving the Great Depression, a full range of weather and interrupted only by World War II. SCYA and the Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce teamed up in 1928 to sponsor the first Midwinters in L.A. Harbor, which was promoted as the sports “paradise” that Southern California offered in the winter. Until the 1960s all the boats were wooden but some of the sailors were legendary. Humphrey Bogart sailed his Santana to second place in a handicap class in 1947
Information from ABYC press release