Saturday, April 30, 2016

Yachting Cup Preview

J/105s sailing Yachting Cup (San Diego, CA)- San Diego Yacht Club’s signature spring regatta, the Yachting Cup, will be sailed for the 44th time April 29- May 1 and many prominent sailors are eagerly awaiting and training for the event. There are eighty-eight boats participating, with thirty-three J/Teams (38% of the fleet) competing in offshore PHRF handicap and four one-design classes (J/70, J/80, J/105 and J/120).

Many of those registered for the 2016 Yachting Cup have a history with the event, including Curt Johnson from California Yacht Club, skipper of the J/80 AVET.  “This is probably our tenth or twelfth Yachting Cup we’ve competed in. The spring conditions in San Diego, in addition to the stellar competition and race management, make it a ‘must do’ event for us. SDYC often adds a new element to keep the regatta fresh and interesting, whether it’s a new format for Friday racing or a new social activity. This all adds up to a terrific experience that keeps us coming back year after year.”

The event will feature three days of racing. One design and handicap racing fleets compete on courses in the ocean or in San Diego Bay, usually in ideal sailing conditions normal for this time of year. After racing, crews gather at race parties at SDYC’s beautiful Club facilities for socializing and planning the next day’s strategies.

Many previous winners of Yachting Cup have their goals set high, especially the regatta’s 2013 winner, Tim Fuller on the J/125 RESOLUTE. "The Yachting Cup is the premier fleet racing event in San Diego, and the Resolute crew will do all they can to fly the winners flag."

J/120 CC Rider sailing Yachting CupSDYC Staff Commodore John Laun, winner of the 2012 Yachting Cup and owner of the J/120 CAPER, is also registered for this year’s race. “The level of competition is typically been very high, in fact, J/120 class winners have been named the overall winners of the Yachting Cup for all classes competing 3 times since 2006. As a SDYC signature regatta, it’s always one we aim for on CAPER every year, and this year will be especially fun and focused since it is essential that we win to be in the hunt for the overall series championship. We always look forward to the close competition and excellent camaraderie in the J/120 fleet.”

Another SDYC Staff Commodore and past winners, Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER, will be chasing CAPER around the track along with John Snook’s JIM, Ernie Pennell’s MAD MEN and Rudolph Hasl’s HASL FREE.  Missing is the Manok’s POLE DANCER since they just completed the Ensenada Race.

J/105 SANITY sailing Yachting CupThe J/105s have nine boats on the starting line and they will be missing some of their friends from the Los Angeles area.  Nevertheless, in the last event, the San Diego NOOD Regatta, it was a duel to the finish in the final race for Rick Goebel’s SANITY and Dennis Case’s WINGS.  Watch for them to get all tangled up again this weekend.  Meanwhile, other fast teams can slip through the fireworks and score some good races, like Steve Howell’s BLINK or the Hurlburt/ Driscoll duo on the bright safety orange-colored JUICE!

Like the J/105s, there could be some “wash, rinse, repeat” scenarios in the J/70 class after the SD NOODs. With several more new teams showing up on the starting line, veteran teams like Dave Vieregg’s SOGGY DOLLAR, Bruce Cooper/ Shawn Bennett’s USA 32, Jeff Janov’s MINOR THREAT and Eric Kownacki/ Tom Jenkins’ DFZ are hoping to stay in contention for a podium finish.

J/70 sailing Yachting CupFinally, as outlined above, the J/80s will no doubt have a tough time with Curt Johnson’s super-fast AVET, but Suzuki Yusuke on SAVAGE and Wayne Zittell’s J/WORLD I are looking forward to their three-way cage fight for first!

In the offshore PHRF categories, the dueling J/125s, Tim Fuller’s RESOLUTE and Mark Surber’s DERIVATIVE, will spar with one another for handicap honors along with the J/46 ANONA sailed by Fred Hawes in the big boat class.  In the mid-sized PHRF class, two 35-footers will be at it hammer and tong, the classic J/35 RIVAL (David Boatner) vs. the J/109 GERONIMO (Gene Pitkin).

The awards ceremony will be held at San Diego Yacht Club after the completion of races on Sunday, May 1 where prizes will be awarded by class.

The Yachting Cup would like to thank its sponsors: Pirates Lair, Ballast Point, SunBum, Helly Hansen, North Sails, North Sails Graphics, SD Boatworks, Tesla Motors, Anchor Gloves and Lemon & Lime.   For more SDYC Yachting Cup sailing information