The 2017 sailing season continued this past weekend, January 28 & 29, in La Playa for one of SDYC’s signature events - the 6th annual Club Championships. As always, competitors brought their energy, talent, and competitive spirit to the race course (and the race dock). The event featured 60 races over two days that were exciting for both participants and spectators.
The wind was a little shy at the beginning of the regatta on Saturday, starting off light from the south. The Race Committee optimistically started a race, but it was abandoned when the wind shut off completely. When the breeze picked up out of the south again, racing resumed. Once again the southerly died after the second start of the first race, but this time the normal westerly had begun to fill and competitors were able to finish the race. The westerly stayed around for the rest of the day and the Race Committee was able to get 28 races in. Sunday’s racing was postponed until just before noon when the wind picked up out of the west. After that, Sunday was a perfect day, with decent wind between 3-8 knots throughout most of the afternoon and temperatures in the mid-70s.
More than just an excuse to race in SDYC’s J/22 boats, Club Champs is an event inclusive of all members to promote racing among club fleets and families, and to celebrate friendly rivalries around the club. World Champion sailors compete alongside novice racers and SDYC juniors, some as young as 13 years old. Fun and membership camaraderie are main components of the weekend. For those thirsty for more than competitive racing, Bay City Brewing Company was out on the race dock and present at the post racing celebrations with some of their most popular beers on tap for participants of age.
The Catamaran Fleet, skippered by Bill Hardesty with crew Mandi Hardesty and Ty Reed, took the 2017 title after winning 11 of their 15 races. Of course, winning is nothing new for this team - Mandi has been on the winning Club Champs team for the past 3 years, while Bill was the winning skipper in 2015. The Catamaran Fleet actually finished in a tie for first place with the Star Fleet. Race Committee determined The Catamaran Fleet the winner after considering who beat whom in the last race – and therefore, second place went to the Star Fleet, consisting of skipper George Szabo and crewmembers Craig Moss, Stacey Szabo, and Julie Mitchell. In third place was Team Reynolds with skipper Greg Reynolds, and crewmembers Matt and Jake Reynolds.
Mandi explained why she keeps racing Club Champs each year. “I've sailed the Club Champs for the past three years because it's such a great event sailed right off the docks allowing for wonderful spectating and camaraderie. My family and friends and especially my son could watch the action close up. And it's exciting - this year the title came down to the last leg of the last race. We were fortunate to come out on top against so many accomplished sailors from one of the most competitive yacht clubs in the world.”
Thank you to all of the racers, support crew, and spectators who help to make this annual event fun and inclusive to all members, fleets, and families. Big thank you to the SDYC staff in the Sailing Office, catering, and the kitchen that work tirelessly and collaborated to help keep events running smoothly.
Many people have volunteered numerous hours of their time to make this another successful Club Championship Regatta including:
Regatta Co-Chairs: Joanne O’Dea and Tiffany Billings
Regatta PRO: Susi Graff
Race Committee and Regatta Support Volunteers: