Thursday, May 26, 2016

Win The SHOE Regatta? Get New Flip-Flops!

JBoats Shoe Regatta (Seabrook, TX)- Lakewood Yacht Club’s Race Committee Chairman Larry Rogers was looking forward to hosting the 34th Annual Shoe Regatta.  The regatta was held over the weekend of May 14-15th.  Bay Access, a not-for-profit organization that supports amateur racing, is the organizing authority of the races.

The Shoe Regatta, which is open to the public and raced on Galveston Bay, is a favorite among local racers because, in the past, each crew member of the winning boat in each class was awarded a certificate for a pair of Sperry deck shoes; hence, the name of the event- “the SHOE Regatta!”  This year, every crew member of the winning boat of every class received a pair of premium Musto Sailing Shoes with exceptional grip for the serious sailor! That’s why Mr Rogers was so excited; he was hoping to get his own pair of Musto’s!

The Shoe Regatta is for one-design, handicapped offshore sailboats.  The one-design classes sail as many races as conditions permit, the J/22s and J/70s both sailed seven races while the J/105s & J/109s sailed six races.  The PHRF Spinnaker buoy racing class also managed to sail six races.

On Saturday, the racing was postponed on shore because of no breeze.  However, the fleet went out by noon to a light breeze that built quickly to 15 kts- much more than predicted.  Lots of good racing, the J/22s and J/70s both got off four races in quick succession.

The largest class in the regatta was the up and coming class in Texas- the J/70s.  What may have supported the fourteen boat turnout was the fact a fair number of out-of-town teams were likely practicing for the upcoming J/70 North Americans to be held at the same club and in the same waters in Galveston Bay.  Winning class was Bennet Greenwald’s PERSEVERANCE from San Diego YC, taking class by just two points.  Winning the tie-breaker at 29 pts each was Matt Romberg’s USA 175 over Lakewood YC’s own Doug Strebel on BLACK RIVER RACING.  Fourth on two more pts back was another LYC team, Chris Lewis’ GB and in fifth was Glenn Darden’s HOSS from Fort Worth Boat Club (the current J/70 Midwinter Champion in St Petersburg, FL).

The next biggest class was the J/22s, with eleven boats in the fleet. The fleet has “re-exploded” on Galveston Bay, with 34 race-ready boats!  Stuart Lindow’s SOUTHERN BELLE took class honors will all top four scores- winning class with 19 pts.  Taking the silver was Mike McGagh’s USA 388 with Vincent Ruder’s USA 365 in third.  The balance of the top five was Robert Allen’s CLASSY WITH K in 4th and Larry Blankenhagen’s PARROT TALES LIGHT in 5th.

Winning five races on their way to a class win was JB Bednar’s J/105 STINGER.  No one else came close to that performance.  John Barnett’s VICI took second followed by Uzi Ozeri’s INFINITY in third place.

The J/109s saw a nip and tuck battle taking place between the top two boats all weekend long.  However, it was the last race that determined the final standings, with Albrecht Goethe’s HAMBURG winning the race and the J/109 title.  Second was Tom Sutton’s LEADING EDGE and third was David Christensen’s AIRBORNE.  LEADING EDGE could not overcome blowing a jib on race 1, earning a DNF or they may have stunned the J/109 Galveston Bay World with a win over Hamburg!

JD and Susan Hill’s gorgeous J/122 SECOND STAR dominated PHRF with 5 straight bullets after a first race 3rd place to take the big trophy with 8 points.  For more Musto SHOE Regatta sailing information