Sailors and spectators at San Diego Yacht Club were greeted by a fleet of Pac52’s and TP52’s med tied at the front dock from early last week through the weekend, and a fleet of Beneteau 36.7 boats, for the 2018 SCYA Midwinter Regatta. Racing was held on Saturday and Sunday with five races completed.
Nine boats sailed in the ’52 Class in a range of conditions from bumpy and windy on Saturday to smoother water, sunny skies and more moderate breeze on Sunday. The racing was tight as many lead changes occurred and finishes came down to a matter of seconds. Winning the regatta for the 52s was Tony Langley’s team of Land Rover/BAR Gladiator, with Langley on the helm and Sir Ben Ainslie calling tactics. The team from Great Britain is challenging for the America’s Cup, and is using the Pac52 class and also the TP52 SuperSeries as training grounds for their team.
Mike Whittemore from Coronado Yacht Club won the Beneteau 36.7 class on Melokia in almost straight bullets, winning 4 of the 5 races over the two day period. According to Whittemore, “Saturday’s conditions were challenging with the confused seas and plenty of wind. Sunday was a more typical San Diego ‘no Motrin needed’ day but still lots of fun. Our Tactician, Lauren (Bernsen) Wilson, in her first regatta since the birth of her son Charlie, made great calls that kept me out of trouble and put us in a position where we were competitive in every race. There was great trimming from Jim Mills on main and Dan Flynn and Dom Michaud on headsails kept our boat speed up. Technical work and screw up recovery was outstanding from our front end team of Joe Lerma on bow, Billy Jenkins at the mast and Sara Smith and Tammy Lee Morell in the pit.”
While the racing on the water was intense, the social scene at the dock brought the sailors together for great parties and a sense of camaraderie. Local legend Dennis Conner paid the 52s a visit on Sunday morning, visiting the teams on the dock and catching up with old friends. Mr. Conner, four time winner of the America’s Cup, commented that this was the nicest looking fleet he has ever seen at San Diego Yacht Club, both for the caliber of the boats themselves and also the sailors racing the yachts.