Competition Fierce for ‘The Barneys’

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Kurt and Ann Wiese rounding ahead of Lee Hope.

In one of the most competitive one-design regattas seen this year in Newport Harbor, 20 top one-design sailors turned out at NHYC to fight it out in the 56th running of the Lehman 12 Class Championships (aka “The Barneys”).

Once again, Jon and Gale Pinckney came out of retirement and were dominant – even with a 4-point average over the eight race series, they were still a dozen points ahead of runners-up Chris Raab and Jen Lancaster.  Beside Raab and Pinckney, no other boat was able to tally all-Top 10 finishes.  With his win, Jon Pinckney is now tied with Jim Buckingham as having won the most ever Lehman Championships (Buckingham finished third overall in this year’s regatta).

Mike Anderson having a fun afternoon.

In addition to the local fleet, seven top racers also came up from San Diego for the event.  Sailing was hyper-competitive.   To quote San Diego’s Bruce Sutphen (who finished fourth overall), “It felt like a top collegiate sailing intersectional regatta where everyone was good.”

It is probably not too surprising that all the top half of the fleet were former top high school and collegiate sailors.  This year’s fleet was littered with past Lehman champions and top one-design sailors.  This was definitely the best and most competitive Lehman regatta seen here in years, and organizers are already looking for ways to replicate this competitive event in the future.

The Lehman 12 is among the oldest one-design fleets actively raced in Newport Harbor today.  The simple single-sailed 12-footer requires great boat handling and tactics.  The boat was the result of a collaboration between Barney Lehman, a local star sailor, and W.D. “Bill” Schock, who in the early 1950s had started building boats in what is now Cannery Village.

It’s no understatement that this venerable class has a unique lineage, and Lehman 12 alums include a huge number of well-known sailors like Dave Ullman, Bill Ficker and Lowell North.  Even today the boat has a devoted following and attracts top sailors from throughout Southern California.

Harbor 20 Championships (Oct. 1-2, NHYC)

Bill and Diane Menninger put on a dominant performance to repeat as Harbor 20 champions.  The Menninger’s dominated a tough 17 boat Class A fleet, with straight bullets in every race; they didn’t even  need to sail the last rac.  The menningers were followed by Tom Schock in 2nd, and Terry Gloege in 3rd.  Helen and Warren Duncan were the top boat in a competitive B fleet.

Corintihian Cup (Junior Sabots, FJ’s, BCYC, Oct. 8-9)

A total of xx junior sailors came out for BCYC’s annual Corinthian Cup Regatta.  In addition to being a popular junior regatta, this event is also noteable in that it puts special emphasis on sportsmanship for junior competitors.

Top finishers in this year’s event included Derek Pickell and Conner Chung topping the CFJ fleet; Michael Sabourin won in Laser Radials; Ethan Michelis was top in Sabot A; Christian Rosene in Sabot B; Reid Wiley in Sabot C1; Rowdie Peats in Sabot C2; and Luc Lamontaigne in a big 34 boat Sabot C3 class.

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