The first step for many sailors on the road to the 2013 Congressional Cup regatta will be taken this weekend at Long Beach Yacht Club.
LBYC will be the first event in the California Dreamin’ Match Race Series 2012-2013. This is a combination of match-racing regattas in Long Beach and San Diego for sailors seeking to advance in the competitive world of match-race sailing, the one-on-one style of racing seen in the America’s Cup.
The first event is called the 2012 Long Beach Yacht Club Butler Cup Stop. There’ll be one in 2013 as well. On this stop, scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 6 and 7, the racers will compete in the fleet of equally matched Catalina 37 sloops owned by the Long Beach Sailing Foundation, used in the Congressional Cup regatta and designed and given to the LBSF by Frank Butler, the legendary founder of Catalina Yachts for whom the Butler Cup is named.
The San Diego Stop is scheduled for January.
Scores will be cumulatively maintained for participants on a high-point system — the overall winner of a stop earns 100 points, second place earns 80 points and so on. The overall winner of the California Dreamin’ Match Race Series will receive an invitation to LBYC’s Ficker Cup regatta, a match-race series next April. The winner of that event earns an invitation to compete in the Congressional Cup regatta later that same month.
Racing will take place off the end of the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier, the same location used to run the Ficker Cup and Congressional Cup events. Racing starts around noon each day. Check on the Long Beach Yacht Club website, www.lbyc.org, for information. Click on the Sailing link at the top of the homepage and find a link to the California Dreamin’ Match Race Series info on the Sailing column to the right. Or call LBYC at 598-9401.
A sure sign of the end of summer is the running of the last weekend of the Long Beach Yacht Club Catalina Island Series.
Since May, racing sailors in offshore-capable boats have been starting races in the Long Beach Outer Harbor off the Peninsula on a Saturday that finishes at some location on Santa Catalina Island. They start a race there on Sunday and finish back in Long Beach. The fun of these races — and I have done plenty of them myself — is the overnight stay.
In spring and fall, the races go to Long Point, which is closer to Avalon, the main city on Catalina Island. The racers get a chance to head there to find overnight moorings and sample the nightlife of this lovely little town. Or they can stay in one of the half-dozen or so coves that dot the island between Long Point and Avalon and enjoy an early-fall evening and night aboard. I have done both, and both have their charms. My preference is for the latter, but the beauty is that both options exist.
The Catalina Island Series is raced among boats that compete under the Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF) handicap system for mono-hull boats, under the Ocean Racing Catamaran Association (ORCA) handicap system for offshore-capable multi-hull boats and under the XS Racing handicap rule for high-performance boats.
For more details on the Catalina Island Series, follow the same links to the Long Beach Yacht Club website as above. There is a link entitled “2012 Upcoming Races” that has a list of upcoming regattas, and this one is on that list. Or call LBYC at 598-9401.