Match Race From the Past Set for Wooden Boat Fest

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The Exy Johnson and the Irving Johnson, the LA Marine Institute’s twin 90-foot brigantines that will be in Newport Beach next month for a match race at the Wooden Boat Festival.

On Sept. 18, members of Balboa and Bahia Corinthian yacht clubs will square off in one of the more unique match racing events to be sailed locally in the last 100 years – literally.

Both clubs have been invited to put together teams for a fundraising match race in identical 90-foot brigantines that each carries more than 5,000 square feet of sail.

The Los Angeles Maritime Institute will be bringing its two identical boats, the Irving Johnson and the Exy Johnson, to Newport Beach for the annual Wooden Boat Festival.  The American Legion Yacht Club challenged local yacht clubs to put together sailing teams, and BYC and BCYC were the first two clubs to respond.

Long Beach Yacht Club has volunteered to run the races.

This special event is part of a larger fundraiser for the Marine Institute.

Racing will start off Balboa Pier, and the tentative course will likely include a short upwind leg followed by long reaching legs up/down the coast (these boats like reaching a lot more than close hauled sailing).  Unlike modern AC catamarans that are getting all the press these days, these boats have no winches, and none of the 37 halyards are marked or color coded.  There is a cannon on board the Exy Johnson but at press time is was not clear how this helps her in full sailing trim.  Nevertheless the BYC team is rumored to be looking for a back-up cannon should they draw the Irving Johnson during the race.

Both teams will likely field large crews of 20-plus sailors.  During this special event, keep your eyes open for international America’s Cup Teams out scouting for new sailing talent; after all, after match racing a winchless 100-ton brigantine schooner, sailing an ultralight 45-foot catamaran has to be a piece of cake.

Look for more information about this upcoming fun event in future editions of the Newport Beach Indy.

Other Upcoming Events:

Aug. 20 – BCYC Angeleman Series #3 (PHRF)

Aug. 26-28 – BYC/NHYC – Long Point Race Week (PHRF)

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