Macho Men’s Regatta Returns in Clever Form

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Andrew Luttrell, the winner of the Sabot race, picking up a card to prove that he rounded mark 6.

By Nancy Mellon | Photos by Bronny Daniels

Balboa Yacht Club was buzzing with activity as competitors arrived for the revived Macho Men’s 3-Mark Fiasco last weekend.

When registration closed at noon, there were 31 entries in four classes. A skipper’s meeting on the Flag Deck was led by Regatta Creator and Chair Lynn Acosta, who explained the challenges ahead. The Macho Men’s Regatta has a long history at BYC, but needed revitalizing and Lynn was the one to add the excitement that brought out so many racers, including some of their best juniors.

The basic premise of the event was that competitors had to sail two laps around three different marks. Seems simple enough – until you are told that competitors were free to sail around the marks in any order they chose and could even cross the starting line in either direction.

Let the fiasco begin!

The Lasers, with 12 entries, were first to start. All but one chose mark 6, halfway out the harbor entrance, to round first. As the 11 Lasers quickly approached, the chase boat stationed there had its work cut out for it. You see, another aspect of the race was that competitors were given a different playing card at each mark rounding. Lynn Acosta struggled to catch the speedy Lasers and pass out the playing cards. Keeping track of which boats rounded that mark, as well as taking photos, was Bronny Daniels.

The Lido 14’s, with three entries, started second and all of them headed to mark 6, as well. With fewer boats at slower speeds the card passing went a little more smoothly. Third to start was the Twichell 12 fleet with seven entries, followed by the Sabot fleet with nine entries. The Twichells and Sabots split up a bit and some boats headed to the other marks first.

The chase boat stationed at mark O, up near the ferry, was driven by Diane Kent while card passing was handled by Janette and Dana Johnson. The third mark was a temporary mark positioned in front of Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. Beverly Roberts drove the chase boat at that mark, while Nancy Mellon kept the records and Celia Niemerow passed out the cards.

Competitors completed their first lap by crossing the start/finish line positioned off the Race Tower. The race committee was able to watch the confusing event from the tower, as well as keeping track of the racers through the fog. Pinky Greene led that committee, aided by Deanna Rollins, Pat Heath and Betty Andrews.

As the Lasers approached mark 6 for the second time, there was still a close battle for the top three positions while in the Sabot fleet the younger skippers were fighting it out for the lead.

In the end, Gator Cook prevailed in the Laser fleet with Ross Nemeroff (SBYC) in second and Alan Andrews in third. Chris Killian dominated the Lido 14 fleet. In the Twichell 12 fleet, Don Stoughton took the win with Dudley Johnson finishing second. In the Sabot fleet, the battle for first continued down to the last leg of the race. Finishing just a few feet apart were junior racers Andrew Luttrell followed by Christophe Killian.

As the competitors stowed their boats, the South Yard was again buzzing with stories of who sailed which direction and why it worked or didn’t.

After handing out trophies to the class winners, Lynn Acosta closed the awards by announcing the rules for the poker game. The skipper whose six cards added up to the closest number to 36 won. Mark Rosene’s cards added up to exactly 36 and he was awarded a Popeye the Sailor Man spinach can.

As always, it takes a large team of volunteers to make racing possible, and noteworthy were Sailing Director Becky Lenhart for race management and Greg Newman and Marc Acosta for assisting with mark set.

The Lido 14s approaching a mark together


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