Put your big boy foulies on. 2020 is almost here, the calendar is filled with opportunities to hone your skills, show off your talents or just have fun on the water.
Sailing competitions at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are scheduled to take place from July to August at the Enoshima Yacht Harbor.
Over the weekend, I saw 23-year-old Riley Gibbs who is our home–grown Long Beach member of the 2019 U.S. Sailing Team. He is a youth worlds silver medalist in the 29er class and has competed at the highest level in a wide variety of fast, high-performance classes, including the Nacra, 18-foot skiffs and even Formula Kite, in which he claimed fourth place in the 2017 World Championships.
More recently, Gibbs has shifted his focus to competing in a multitude of multihull and foiling classes. He competed at the Red Bull Foiling Generation World Finals in 2016, and served as the wing trimmer for the USA SailGP team.
According Gibbs's and teammate Anna Weis's website (www.gibbsweisracing.com) “Our goal is to qualify and win a medal for the United States at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.”
When I spoke with Gibbs Saturday night, his focus is on learning during the journey. Both he and his teammate have suffered some physical setbacks, but have not lost sight of their goals. Gibbs’s humble, positive attitude where he is open to learn from each experience should inspire us all. It is the temperament of a true Olympian.
In addition to the Tokyo Olympics, 2020 sailing calendars include:
• The 2020 America’s Cup World Series will see all participating teams race their AC75 America’s Cup class yachts. The first ACWS event will take place in Cagliari, Sardinia, in April, the second in Portsmouth, then concluding in Auckland as part of the Christmas Race in December.
• In September, Alamitos Bay YC will be hosting the 2020 505 North American Championship. (Riley Gibbs was the youngest skipper to win the Championship in 2016).
• The 56th annual Congressional Cup, organized by Long Beach YC, will play host to the opening event of the 2020 World Match Racing Tour season April 29–May 3.
• The Southern California Yachting Association's (SCYA) 91st Midwinter Regatta will take place Feb. 15 and 16. Over the years, organizers estimate that more than quarter million sailors have taken part in this amazing event.
• The 73rd edition of the 2020 Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race (N2E), has a 2020 start date of April 24. First raced in 1948 with entries that included Hollywood stars like Humphrey Bogart, Spencer Tracy and Errol Flynn, this classic ocean race is organized by the Newport Ocean Sailing Association (NOSA).
• May 28 marks the start of the 2020 transpacific race to Tahiti: 3,570 nautical miles of trade-wind sailing. The current record, set in 2008, is 11 days 10 hours 13 minutes 18 seconds. The race is run every four years between Los Angeles and Tahiti.
Sailors like Michelle Kringen have big goals for the year ahead: “2019 was really fabulous for me, including being at the helm of a 55-foot Beneteau Oceanis for the win for two major races (Newport to Ensenada and Seal Beach to King Harbor). But what I am looking forward to the most this upcoming year is putting together an all-female race team that does more races than just the Linda Elias Memorial Regatta.”
Mike O’Toole has goals that will benefit our community, make us proud and entertain us: “1. Keep working with the city to adopt a waterfront masterplan that will make us a world class waterfront. 2. Represent Long Beach as the only America Gondola racing team in our 35th consecutive Vogalonga in Venezia, Italy and 3. Make at least 20 trips to Catalina in 2020 and sail my double sabot around Alcatraz.”
My favorite goal is from Christi Kolisnyk — “Take the boat out even more. Especially to Catalina for days and weeks.”
No matter what your dreams are for the year ahead, I hope we can all spend more time on the water.