I’m quick to judge.
Whenever I get on a boat, I hastily look who is onboard and think to myself, "if all hell broke loose, could I count on this person to save my life?"
Last Thursday, I tagged along with the team of Los Angeles Yacht Club (LAYC) members as they motored Long Beach Sailing Foundation’s Catalina 37s to Los Angeles in preparation for Harbor Cup. I got to the Alamitos Bay dock just as the last boat was leaving.
As I was literally pulled on board by LAYC volunteer Kenneth Corry, I knew instantly I was in good hands.
For the 12th annual collegiate regatta, Corry was in charge of securing the boats and their slips in LA, transporting them, overseeing the application of the sponsor labeling on the boats and returning the boats in good condition. This is the only charter where the boats are not returned to their home slips each day.
Leaving Long Beach for a three-day “overnighter” is a big deal and LAYC has a proven track record. Long Beach Yacht Club’s 55th annual Congressional Cup starts April 3, with the feeder regatta Ficker Cup starting March 28, there would be no time to complete any major repairs.
It was a simple short delivery but the outmost care was given. The experienced delivery team consisted of LAYC Commodore Marie Rogers, several staff commodores and some key volunteers.
Corry, who hails from Cork, Ireland, was familiar with the Irish team members, and in most cases, their parents.
You might recall, in August 2017 Cork sailor Johnny Durcan was trapped under his dinghy after capsizing during the Alamitos Bay YC-hosted 29er Worlds. He almost drowned and since then has totally recovered, thanks to the quick thinking of both competitors and first responders.
When the Catalina 37 caravan reached LAYC, we were greeted by Johnny’s twin brother Harry Durcan and team skipper Grattan Roberts — turns out the Cork is home to many great sailors — including Harold Cudmore.
Cudmore was the first non-American skipper to win in the 1986 Congressional Cup and cinched the coveted Crimson Blazer again in the Master’s Congressional Cup in 1995. Cudmore was an Olympic sailor and America’s Cup coach.
Cork Institute of Technology with Grattan and Harry on board took third at the 2019 Harbor Cup, Cal Maritime Offshore sailing finished second with Long Beach sailors Ryan Schack on mast and Hailey Thompson as pit assist, with College of Charleston claiming the victory.
Friday night, Cal Maritime hosted a reception celebrating the donation of an Andrews 77. The team will be competing in next week’s Cabo Race as well as the 50th Transpac this summer in the new boat.
Harbor Cup History
Back in 2007, then president of the California Maritime Academy, Dr. William B. Eisenhardt, flew in for his annual Long Beach visit with the chancellor of California State University, his longtime friend, LAYC Staff Commodore James M. Morgan.
On the ride to Morgan’s Belmont Shore home, the two discussed the need to transition young sailors from dinghies to keel boats and agreed a Southern California regatta was needed.
As they traveled along Second Street pondering what West Coast boats could be used, they passed over the Davies Bridge, and saw Long Beach Sailing Foundation’s Catalina 37s. Morgan contacted LBYC Staff Commodore John Strong to help seal the deal and the Harbor Cup was born.
David K. Storrs, 74, died on March 3. He was a 2017 Congressional Cup skipper, having earned his spot by placing second in the 2017 Ficker Cup. As a septuagenarian competitor, he inspired all of us. He earned his B.A. from Yale in 1967 and his M.B.A. from Harvard in 1971.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in David's memory to Columbia University Irving Medical Center Cardiac Amyloidosis Fund for Research, in care of the Trustees of Columbia University, Office of Development, 630 West 168th St., P&S 2-421, New York, NY 10032.