The overall winner of the Ahmanson Series/NHYC Opening Day Race last weekend was Bob Kettenhoffen’s well sailed Dare, a Beck 62. Dare won the first two races by comfortable margins, and even a third place finish in the last race took little away from their overall win in this series.
The “Pursuit format” that had the smallest boats starting first has proven to be a popular format with many sailors. In a pursuit race, boats are staggered according to their handicap rating with the slowest boats getting a head start according to their rating.
All of this years racing saw generally light southerly winds. In the final NHYC Opening Day Race close-hauled conditions favored those boats with longer water lines and more traditional rigs. Accordingly we saw some of our harbors classic sailboat racers out in front in that last race; it was fun to see the classic S&S 67 Chubasco. (arguably one of the prettiest boat in Newport Harbor) out in front of the fleet for much of this race.
Local 2012 Olympic Connections
This week a couple sailors with local connections are in the final stages of trying to qualify for the London Olympics this summer. Unlike some Olympic sports, there is only one qualifier for each country in Olympic sailing, and winning the sole spot on the US Olympic Sailing Team is an incredibly challenging task.
Former NHYC Sailing Director Zander Kirkland, along his brother Jesse, are currently at the 49er World Championships in Spit, Croatia. The Kirkland’s have been pushing hard to qualify to represent their home country (Bermuda) for the 2012 Olympics for the last 2+ years. Halfway through the Worlds the Kirklands have four top ten finishes in five races, including a first place finish in their second race of the series. A total of five boats will qualify for this summer’s Olympics at this one event, and the Kirklands are hoping to be one of them.
Women’s Olympic Qualifier
Three years ago I had the pleasure of sailing with San Francisco’s Genny Tulloch in the 2009 Transpac Race on Ragtime. Genny is among the very best boat drivers I’ve ever sailed with (male or female). When Genny is on the helm, the gas pedal is always pushed to the floor, and she pushes everyone around her to keep the boat sailing at its max all the time.
I was disappointed to see this week that after a two year Olympic campaign, Genny finished a disappointing third overall in the women’s match racing qualifier for the US Olympic Team. Florida sailor Anne Tunnicliffe, who sailed in the Laser Radial class at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, won the trials and will go to this summer’s Olympics in London. Anne is currently the top-ranked women’s match racing team in the world. Just behind her was Wisconsin sailor Sally Barkow, who is sister to current NHYC Junior Sailing Director Emlie Barkow.
By most accounts, the level of competition during last week’s Olympic women’s match racing qualifier was ferocious, and speaks volumes about the depth of our country’s top women match racing teams. While disappointed that two boats with local connections didn’t come out on top, I will be looking for Anne and her team to be a top medal contender when they represent USA women sailors at the Olympics this summer. Anne will be one the strongest medal contenders on the US Sailing Team.
May 12 – Non Calm Bowl – NHYC (Juniors)
May 12-13 – Mallory Trophy – Seattle Lake Union (HS Fleet Racing Nationals)
May 19-20 – Leukemia Cup – BCYC (One Design)
May 19-20 – 66 Series 2, 3, 4 –BYC (PHRF)
May 20 – Lorin Weiss #3 – BCYC – (H20)
May 25-27 – Baker Championships – MIT, Boston (HS Team Racing Nationals)
May 26 – Around Catalina – CBYC/DPYC (Offshore/PHRF)