Saturday, October 24, 2015

J/105 Masters Regatta Preview

J/105 Masters Regatta- San Diego, CA
(San Diego, CA)- The International Masters Regatta was established in 1975 by St. Francis YC member, Don Trask. For years, the world’s greatest master sailors such as Elvstrom, Buchan, Burnham, Tillman, Trask, Irish, Harken, North, Holland, Hinman and Dickson had competed in this prestigious international sailing event on San Francisco Bay. After a three-year hiatus, the San Diego YC ushered in a new era for the event and hosted for the first time in 2012.

From October 23rd to 25th, the SDYC will again host the Masters for the third consecutive year in a fleet of matched J/105s supplied by the generosity of their local fleet.  A dozen legendary master sailors from around the world will sail buoy races inside the beautiful bay alongside San Diego╩╝s gorgeous waterfront.

Regatta Chairman Jeff Brown will have the help of Joanne O’Dea (Regatta Coordinator), Jeff Johnson (Regatta Manager) and a small army of SDYC’s famous volunteers (50+) to roll out the red carpet and look after the needs of the famous participants.  Helping to support that effort are sponsors JK3 YACHTS, McCarthy Holthus and TESLA Motors (sprint laps around the parking lot, perhaps?).  Everyone is invited to join the teams, sponsors and club members at the amazing 5th annual Taste of Point Loma at SDYC! It takes place on Thursday, October 22, starting at 5pm.

Joining regatta founder Don Trask from St Francis YC will be a host of top West Coast sailors who’ve made their mark in a wide variety of classes from Stars to Farr 40s and the “Congo Cup” to the Transpac Race.  Don’s fellow StFYC members joining the event are John Kilroy of SAMBA PA TI fame (past winner of the Masters) and Jon Andron (most recently a top Masters Team Racing champion).

The SoCal gang is well represented with long-time regatta supporter Malin Burnham (Star World Champion) and friends from San Diego YC, including Chuck Nichols and Sandy Purdon. In that mix of talent is Newport Harbor YC member Dennis Durgan- himself a famous offshore and match-racing champion.

The East Coast contingent will see the return of the “Cuban Comet”. Returning from Miami, Florida for a second shot at the title is Defending Masters Champion Augie Diaz from Biscayne Bay YC.  Other Easterners accompanying him to the Left Coast include Collegiate Sailor of the Year and America’s Cup veteran Gary Jobson from Storm Trysail Club, Maxi-sailor Jeff Neuberth from New York YC, and offshore champion John Rumsey from South Carolina YC.

The lone foreigner tossed into the frying pan of such amazing talent happens to be the lovable character known simply as “Fish”.  For those in America’s Cup circles over the past half-century, you’d recognize Bob Fisher from the United Kingdom as the leader of the British media contingent poking fun at every sacred cow imaginable in the yachting world. Forewarned is forearmed, Fish claims he can “see” this year after some surgery- that may be a liability! He mentioned in passing he can see “skirts” from at least 500 yards away!

While the skippers are all exceptional in their talents and how they have contributed to the sport of sailing, what is perhaps most frightening from a competitive standpoint is to see the formidable teams they have assembled to do battle on the placid waters of San Diego Harbor!  At last count, those crew members include several World Champions, Olympic Medalists, North American Champions, College All-Americans and Collegiate Sailors of the Year, match race champions (Congressional Cup, etc) and silverware from the marquee West coast offshore events such as the Transpac Race, Ensenada Race, Rolex Big Boat Series and Cabo San Lucas Race.  Should make for interesting conversations at the leeward gate!
For more J/105 International Masters Regatta sailing information