Jack Reiter of San Diego Yacht Club and his teammates Jack Egan and John Masenik pulled off a three-peat this past weekend in winning the 2017 Junior Match Race Invitational sponsored by Kaenon and hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club.
This year’s regatta presented a bit more of a challenge for the competitors. LBYC’s fleet of fixed-keel Solings were used as the racing platform as opposed to the smaller CFJs, used since the regatta began in 2013.
“We’ve not sailed in the Solings before,” Reiter said. “We’ve been practicing on J/22s for the last few weeks because match racing is definitely different in a keel boat.”
In addition to SDYC, the five teams represented in this year’s regatta were; Trent Turigliatto, LBYC; David Wood, Balboa Yacht Club; Cameron Feves, Cabrollo Beach Yacht Club and Gavin McJones of California Yacht Club.
Turigliatto finished second in the regatta after the single round robin format and then the closely-fought finals with Reiter.
“This regatta keeps getting better every year.” Turigliatto said. “I know that when we started racing this regatta in the FJs we thought ‘Wow’, this is amazing.
“This gives a lot of kids that are fleet racers, normally not exposed to match racing, an opportunity to learn match racing and maybe get to the Govenor’s Cup, the Rose Cup and maybe to the Ficker Cup and the Congressional Cup. The doors are open and there are so many opportunities in this side of the sport.”
It has been suggested that this regatta become a West Coast series with yacht clubs hosting their own Junior match race regattas on their club-owned boats, similar to the very successful California Dreamin’ Series hosted by LBYC, SDYC and St. Francis Yacht Club.
Turigliatto agreed and added, “I think this should be a two-day regatta. That would give the teams a chance to develop their match racing skills on the first day and maybe do better on the second day. It would make their commitment to match racing stronger.”
With Southern California’s June gloom settled in for the day, the wind direction was shifty, but the five - seven knots gave the race committee team enough breeze to run the regatta without delays.