Thursday, May 12, 2016

J/35 RIVAL Crowned Overall Yachting Cup Champion!

J/53 RIVAL crew win Yachting Cup overall (San Diego, CA)- San Diego Yacht Club’s signature spring regatta, the Yachting Cup, was sailed for the 44th time April 29- May 1. There were eighty-eight boats participating, with thirty-three J/Teams (38% of the fleet) that sailed in offshore PHRF handicap and in four one-design classes (J/70, J/80, J/105 and J/120).

J/35 RIVAL sailing San Diego YC Yachting CupThe highlight of the regatta for one J/crew was the result of a clean sweep of all three races on the final day of racing Sunday.  RIVAL, a J/35 in Division C skippered by David Boatner, was declared the Overall Champion of the regatta after he eclipsed Dennis Conner’s MENACE XVII!  Here is how it all went down for the three days of racing.

On the first day of racing Saturday for all J/classes, the Race Committee fit in 4 races on Courses A and B, but only 3 races on Course C due to shifty winds and 4-5 foot swells.  The beginning of the day looked bleak when competitors woke up to an uncommonly rainy San Diego morning. However, the day cleared up and the sun managed to greet the racers for the 11:30am starts. All three courses experienced similar but slightly different weather patterns.

Commented one sailor about Course C, “the winds were between 10-13 knots out of the South, which was strange.  The waves were atrocious and Race Committee had to postpone the first start twice.”

J/70s sailing San Diego Yachting CupVictor Diaz De Leon, aboard Jeff Janov’s J/70 MINOR THREAT and part of the winning crew in the 2015 J/70 North American Championship, commented on the conditions on Course A: “The wind made it difficult because the typical San Diego rules didn’t apply. It was pressure on both sides that made it really tricky. It was still a fun day to sail. The competition within the J/70 fleet was really close with different wins for different boats.”

After a spirited Cinco de Mayo Party on Saturday night, the crews woke up to a much different day on Sunday. After a tiring, bumpy day on Saturday, many competitors were relieved that Sunday’s races were back to familiar conditions. On all three courses, most competitors looked less stressed and pleased to see smoother seas.

J/70 sailing Yachting Cup off San Diego“Sunday was much nicer than Saturday,” confirmed Joanne O’Dea on the J/105 VIGGEN, which took fourth place in the J/105 class. “The breeze was perfect and steady at 220-225 on Course A for Sunday’s three races. Our crew had not all sailed together since the New Year’s Day Race and it was so nice to be with them this weekend and get back into a groove. Our roundings were perfect, the mechanics on the boat were great and though our starts were shy at first, they steadily improved each race.”

Sunday’s winds were slower to accelerate, starting at around 5 knots at 220. Luckily, they picked up to about 10 knots with gusts at 12 by the start of the second races. The wind was consistently shifting right all day, so many San Diego sailors were thankful to be back in their everyday conditions.

J?105 Sanity sailing Yachting CupThe J/105 class saw a repeat winner, Rick Goebel’s SANITY counted all top three races enroute to a very closely fought two pt lead.  Second place was determined by a tie-breaker between two other championship J/105 teams, with Dennis Case’s WINGS taking that match-up over the Hurlburt/ Driscoll crew on the bright-orange JUICED.  Fourth was Dag Fish’s VIGGEN and fifth was Scott McDaniel’s OFF THE PORCH.

Winner of the J/70 fleet was a family affair with Shawn Bennett and Ullman Sails Newport Beach loft owner Bruce Cooper taking first in class with their sons Conner (12) and Morgan (16).  However, their win did not come easy, even after closing the last two races with two bullets.  Just one point back, tied at 14 pts each, were Jeff Janov’s MINOR THREAT and Chris Raab’s SUGOI, the tie-break going to Janov’s team.  Dave Vieregg’s SOGGY DOLLAR won a race and counted all top five finishes to place 4th.  In fifth place was Steve Wyman’s NUNUHUNU.

J/120s sailing San Diego Yachting cupContinuing their amazing combination of speed and smarts was John Laun’s crew on CAPER, counting just 1sts and 2nds to win the J/120 Class by a comfortable margin.  Hoping to slow them down and catch CAPER after winning two races in a row was Chuck Nichols’ CC RIDER.  But, a last race bomber cost them their bid for the top of the podium, settling for the silver.  After starting off strong and tied for the lead after the first two races, a 1-2 tally, John Snook’s gang on JIM just could not get it consistently together for the balance of the series and had to hang on for third position.

J/125 Resolute sailing San Diego Yachting CupIn the world of PHRF handicap, the J/125s were at it again.  Tim Fuller’s J/125 RESOLUTE took first place in Division A despite being down two crew members on Sunday.  “We were neck and neck with Rock & Roll this whole weekend,” explained crew member Patrick Murray on RESOLUTE. “But our fast boat speed and good starts helped us overcome the fact that we didn’t have our full crew. We were able to pull off a win and that really solidified the whole regatta experience for us.”  After starting the regatta in 2nd place after the first two races, Mark Surber’s J/125 team on DERIVATIVE faded down into fourth overall.

The big winner on Sunday was David Boatner’s J/35 RIVAL in Division C.  On Saturday, Dennis Conner’s MENACE XVII took three bullets to easily lead their division, for the time being. However, it was RIVAL’s turn on Sunday, matching Conner’s triple bullets and taking both the class win by a point and being declared the Yachting Cup overall regatta champion- not bad for a nearly 30 year old boat! No question, the infamous “DC” was not happy being beaten by a JBoat!

After Sunday’s races, competitors gathered on the Sail Wash Lawn for the award ceremony where Commodore Doug Werner and Regatta Chair Julie Servais presented awards.  “For many reasons, Yachting Cup is one of my favorite regattas at the club,” expressed Werner. “It has a great liveliness which wouldn’t be possible without our incredible regatta chair, Julie Servais. I’d also like to thank the Race Committee, Protest Committee, SDYC staff, all the competitors and our event sponsors. The success of Yachting Cup is truly a team effort.” Sailing photo credits- Bronny Daniels/ JOY   For more SDYC Yachting Cup sailing information