Day Three, Long Bach, California, Report by Jeremy Leonard
The Globaltech F18 Worlds in Long Beach, CA now in its 3rd day, has been one of those sailing events that people remember and talk about for a long time afterwards. The results from yesterday determined which sailors would be designated to sail in the Gold Fleet and which sailors would be sailing in the Silver. With over 120 boats registered, you can bet that the competition was fierce all over the track. The start of the first race for the Gold Fleet was one of the most aggressive, well-sailed starts that I’ve ever witnessed in sailboat racing. The fleet was tight, and just about every boat was exactly on the line as the gun fired. The caliber of sailing skill is extremely high here in Long Beach, just as you would expect at a Worlds event.
The wind has ranged from light, around 6 knots on the first day, to two epic days of perfect sailing conditions breeze in the high teens, sun, and a slight wind chop. The breeze has been in the range where one error can cause a spectacular wipe out. Sailor john Bauldry pitched his boat so violently, that the mast broke as it slammed the water. To make matters worse, as the boat tumbled, the mast caused a minor injury to one of the other boats sailing nearby. Luckily the injured crew is OK and recuperating well. Bauldry received a new mast, and with the help of many of his competitors, was able to get his boat back together and will be sailing tomorrow. There have been a handful of breakages, crashes and other damage that have been keeping the on-site fiberglass repair guys in work.
The Alamitos Bay Yacht Club has been an epic host to the madness that several hundred cat sailors can bring, and the RC has done a great job keeping the race courses together. The hospitality of the club combined with the sand, sun and weather, you really can’t go wrong.
The first of four legs of the Great Texas 300 sailed Wednesday June 13th was a 100 mile drag race up the coast of South Texas. The leg was won by local Texas sailor and four time previous winner John Tomko with crew Ian Billings on a C2 F18. Right on John's heals (only 1 minute 27 seconds after 100 miles) was John Casey and Dalton Tebow from Orlando sailing the Cirrus F18.
Read more for leg one race results and schedule.
Let's face it, sailing is a male dominated endeavor. The America's Cup, the supposed pinnacle of sailing, has nary one female to be found racing; something I'd personally like to see change. With the Nacra 17 being chosen as the multihull for the next Olympic cycle, and the requirement for it to be sailed with a mixed male/female crew, it's definitely a step in the right direction. Last weekend the F18 fleet in The Bay had two female sailing rock stars join the racing out of the San Francisco Yacht Club. Our good friend Phillip Meredith, who has been racing F18s for almost a decade, weighs in.
It is something you don’t see often enough in our local F18 races. Women racers.
We know the San Francisco Bay Area has a depth of talented racers, both male and female. It is the latter that always seem in short supply at the races. So it was a great boost to the SFF18 fleet to have a couple of really talented women join in the fun at this year’s San Francisco 18 Foot regatta hosted by the San Francisco Yacht Club.
Long time Bay Area Sailor Jody McCormack, who will generally sail on anything, but usually sails on the 18 Foot Skiffs, helped to rocket one of the class stalwarts to a second place finish in race 4. When Jody got off the water, she was all smiles, and obviously excited about sailing the F18, “I was originally going to help with race committee for the F18s, and one of the crew became ill. It was 10 am, the same time as the skipper’s meeting, and I was asked to crew. I got in my car, went home, and got my skiff gear.