Alamitos Bay Yacht Club hosted the Sabot Junior Invitational last weekend. The regatta takes place in conjunction with the Southern California Yachting Association Racing Association (SCYYRA) North Series. There were 64 boats completing in five fleets, with seven competitors registered from Long Beach area yacht clubs.
Long Beach sailors who raced in the B fleet included Hannah Crompton taking first, Michael Sentovich placing second and Madison Mansour, who clinched fifth.
Brynn Jolly placed fourth in the C2 fleet. Jolly took three firsts over the course of the two day regatta. As is the ABYC’s tradition, sailors registered under the club’s burgee who don’t have a podium win are acknowledged for winning individual races. In the early days the club award would be blue ribbons with unique medallions and even has a perpetual trophy for the most individual firsts over the course of a year.
Rear Commodore Brooke Jolly also unofficially presented a “Chutzpah” shout out to San Diego YC’s Oscar Parzen, sailing aboard the green-hulled vessel cleverly named “The Grouch.” During one of the races, he fell out of his boat just short of the weather mark.
He managed to get back in and in the process he fouled a competitor. He cleared the foul, and as he was headed downwind he submarined. With a never give up attitude, he bailed the boat out and finished the race.
Before racing on Sunday, 11-year-old Hannah Crompton, a sixth grader at Ad Astra School in Hawthorne and I sat on a bench at the end of Alamitos Bay’s Basin 4. She was in first place after the first day of racing and all indicators were that after just racing for a year she would be advancing to the top A fleet.
LBYC Staff Commodore and yacht racing legend Mike Elias and his wife Leanne power walked by offering Hannah the following sailing advice, “Do what you have been doing.”
Next, Cindy Bambam walked by with her dog, offering Hannah congratulatory words and reminded Hannah of when she hated sailing. Hannah explained she had grown comfortable sailing her first boat “Little Nellie” in the calm morning hours — and progressed to a new racing sabot and started sailing in the afternoons.
The combination of heavy winds, a new racing rigged boat, and a light sailor resulted in a humiliating capsize in front of Long Beach Yacht Club. At that point she hated the boat and became afraid of the wind.
Sunday after she took first in one of the most challenging sabot fleets, it appears Hannah was able to overcome her fear by a combination of things. After all, any kid who attends a school named for a Latin phrase meaning "to the stars" must be destined for more than capsizing.
Accordingly she named her boat “Odysseus,” not the Greek sailor who was lost at sea — but after a dwarf hamster at her school that is “fast and feisty.”
In November, when the Whitbread Round the World Race “Maiden” called upon local waters she toured on board — and said she loved the pink helm and the opportunity to meet the skipper of the all-women crew for the 1987 race, Tracy Edwards. Edwards told her what she likes most about sailing, “getting away from everyone.”
I asked Hannah if sailing in another type of boat was in her future.
Hannah said she did race on an FJ with Chloe Pearl in ABYC’s Boxing Day Regatta — “We shared helm time — but I like to skipper better and Chloe is a great crew. She has strong boat handling skills and knows what she is doing. But I still want to keep sailing sabots.”
Congratulations Hannah and Odysseus, go show the A fleet how it’s done.