This weekend’s impressive fleet of determined sailors came to the 2018 International Masters Regatta ready to race. Five time Match Racing Champion Dave Perry came to race too, but like a true Master, his preparation began the moment he received his invitation. Perry started the regatta off strong and in the lead on Day One. Finishing the day in a tie with Tad Lacey, Perry’s win in Series Race 3 was the tiebreaker that put him in first place and set the bar for the rest of the weekend. Come Day Two, Perry never let the momentum die. Numerous sailors jumped the gun and were forced to restart while Perry’s seasoned skillset and stacked San Diego crew got off the line clean and kept Perry at the top of the score sheet.
When asked about the most important aspect of his win, Perry responded, “The day I put together my crew.” Perry had several local SDYC members return from last year and added previous friends he has sailed with in the past. “When they all said yes was the best day of the regatta,” he continued.
Perry came to the San Diego Yacht Club this weekend from Connecticut where he sails at Pequot Yacht Club. He is known all around the country as an expert on the racing rules of sailing and as a Match Racing guru. Perry is a member of the Sailing World Hall of Fame and has dedicated much of his career volunteering with US Sailing, currently serving on its Board of Directors. He is a true ambassador for the sport of sailing.
“I’m at the [San Diego Yacht] Club a lot but I’m usually here to teach, not to race… Similar to match racing, there were so many situations just one on one in this regatta… like coming into the start and coming into the windward mark. If you teach something, you’re always thinking about it. I have a good visual image of the race course,” Perry explained.
The breeze for Day Three started off similar to Days One and Two with light winds from the south. The morning’s foggy skies burnt off just in time for the regatta, but made for some unique photo opportunities on the way out to the course. The wind picked up and peaked at 9 knots midday, again making for ideal racing conditions on South San Diego Bay.
Two new skippers to the International Masters Regatta also proved themselves with smart, intense sailing this weekend. Andy Roy, coming from Royal Canadian Yacht Club, started off Day One in fourth place and moved one step up the ladder each day, finishing in second place and earning his spot on the podium. California Yacht Club’s Bill Peterson saw a similar climb finishing in third place by the end of the regatta. Both sailors are new to the J/105.
Roy returned to the docks after the races thrilled with his position. “We’re really blown away. I’ve never been in a J/105 until the regatta. I owe this success to the crew, these guys are really good and they made it all happen. It was a bit of a learning curve for me. I learned a lot the first day about handling the boat and picked it up the second day. If I get invited again, I’ll absolutely be back.”
The real win here at the 2018 International Masters Regatta was watching old friends sail and race against each other in friendly competition. In a San Diego Yacht Club Sailcast episode with Dave Perry a few weeks prior to the Masters, he touched on the event. “It’s all about people who have played the sport intensely in their youth. We all have families and businesses now, and this Masters event helps us all come back together. It’s like we’re all twenty again. We go out there, bash heads and sail hard. We’re all kids again, but we have a lot more stories to tell.”
After the final race, all 12 J/105s sailed back to the Club to clean up before the Awards Ceremony where Commodore Dorgan presented the trophy. “The regatta was fantastic. It’s an honor to have twelve incredible sailors join us for this prestigious event at the San Diego Yacht Club. The volunteers around the Club made for a seamless weekend and the shore side crew did a fantastic job equalizing all the J/105s. Thank you to the owners of the Tug Tussler and the Dock Crew who managed the floating dock allowing for quick, easy rotations in between races.”
Race Chair Alli Bell worked behind the scenes all weekend to put together an outstanding weekend for the visiting Masters and thought the entire weekend was phenomenal. “It’s pretty cool to see a home town crew win. Dave came pretty close last year and had an unfortunate breakdown in one of the races, taking him out of the top three. I think this is some really good vindication for him and I’m really happy to see someone who’s a big contributor to the sport of sailing do so well this weekend.”
Next weekend, Chair Alli Bell and SDYC will be hosting the Sir Thomas Lipton Challenge Cup with a similar format in the same J/105s.