Regatta Season

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Weeks ago I mentioned we were off to an enthusiastic start of the sailing season. Lately the wind has been cooperating with the many local regattas.

Last weekend saw a successful Senior Sabot Nationals held out of Lido Isle Yacht Club. A large fleet was in full force. Nancy Mellon from Balboa Yacht Club won in the Grand Master Fleet. Senior Fleet champion was Mark Gaudio from Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. Mark has also excelled in the Cal-20 fleet. Tom Newton of Alamitos Bay Yacht Club won the Masters Fleet. Lido Isle Yacht Club will host the Lido 14 Championships this weekend.

As you read this column, the Starboat Nationals are being held out of Newport Harbor Yacht Club. This five day regatta will include the best of the best to tune up for the Starboat World Championship to be held this summer in San Diego Harbor.

As I’ve written about in previous columns, as a 10 year old I remember being a non-calm at Newport Harbor Yacht Club and with other non-calms we were part of the spectator fleet cheering on Bill Ficker, among others, who around 1960 won the Star Nationals. This allowed us to again the following year watch Mr. Ficker win the Star World Championship off the Balboa Peninsula.

Star sailboats were raced in the Olympics for many, many years. The Gold Medal winners and the Star World Champions were the premier skippers who would go on to captain sailboats in all the elite sailboat races all around the world. They also were the skippers who were sought out to campaign for the America’s Cup.

This is exactly what Bill Ficker was to later on accomplish. “Ficker is Quicker” was not only a banner atop a Newport Center high rise, but the slogan used by the crew of Bill Ficker when they won the America’s Cup in the early seventies.

Balboa Yacht Club this weekend will host race seven of their Ocean Racing Series. This race will be held on June 8 in Lasers, and will start out of Alamitos Bay Yacht Club and finish off of Balboa Yacht Club. These Laser skippers are a hearty lot!

Sea Ya around the waterfront.

Skipper Steve

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