The 2017 International Masters Regatta kicked-off on Friday, October 20 with a long day of sailing in South San Diego Bay. Twelve teams of seasoned master sailors completed the first four races of the three day regatta hosted by San Diego Yacht Club (SDYC) in J/105 sailboats.
Competitors were eager to get going, however racing was delayed due to a J/105 breakdown on the way out to the race course. Luckily a replacement boat came quickly and Race Committee was able to start race one at 12:30pm. With some slight changes, Race Committee ran course 4 throughout the day in mostly 10 knots of wind and flat water.
According to PRO Susi Graff, "We had a great day today because there was a lot of wind, and at one point we saw 18 knots of breeze. The wind direction kept swinging from 250 to 280, but we were able to basically put the course where we wanted to. I think the racers had a good time. They were fast!"
Dr. Laura Schlessinger (Santa Barbara Yacht Club), the only female skipper in this year's Masters Regatta, said she experienced a bit of a learning curve on the first day of racing. "These guys are formidable and I better have a bigger breakfast tomorrow. I'm not used to the J/105s, they are a completely different animal to me, but I sure liked when the wind came up. When I heel, I'm happy!"
David Irish (Little Traverse Yacht Club) traveled to San Diego all the way from Michigan to compete in the Masters Regatta, and is keeping a positive attitude after day one. "Today had its moments. We had some good results and good performances and some disappointments. We're doing a lot better than last year though and we enjoyed a good, long day of racing."
Though racing was tight, local Bill Campbell (SDYC) was undoubtedly the star of the day, winning three out of four races. Dave Perry (Pequot Yacht Club) was the only skipper able to beat Campbell, though Campbell remained close behind him and ultimately finished that race in second place.
Perry recounted the day and what happened in race three, his winning race. "Today was perfect racing conditions with a lot of close competition. For race three, we were in an orange boat and that boat was sailing really nicely. We had a good start, went out to the left, rounded the mark behind Doug Rastello's team, passed them right before the gate, and never looked back."
Campbell is at the top of the leaderboard after day one, with John Andron (St. Francis Yacht Club) in second, and Doug Rastello (Newport Harbor Yacht Club) in third.
Results after day one are available here. Racing will continue tomorrow at 11:30am followed by the regatta banquet later that night. The awards ceremony will take place on SDYC's front deck after racing on Sunday.