The CSULBSA kicked off its Shields Summer Racing Series on June 7th with all three active boats taking to the waters of Long Beach Harbor.
With a steady 12-14 mph breeze from the Southwest, the start/finish line for the windward-leeward course was set off the southeast corner of Island Chaffee at spar buoy 38.
The one and only race of the day was a long one — 6.5 miles round trip — upwind to the western-most spar buoy (36) off Queen’s Gate, a port rounding, and a spinnaker run downwind to the finish.
(Check out the course map here.)
The three racing teams who stepped up for Day One were:
Sopwith Camel Racing (fmr Abbott Racing), sailing Dark Horse
Charlie Abbott (S), Tatiana Misares, Estela Tejidor
Denito Syndicate Racing, sailing Isabelle
Dennis Trombley (S), Jake Hawkins, Chris Hill, Hayle Sheldon
Sail Team ‘Murrica, sailing Karen
Mike Fratantoro (S), Gwynn Markle, Jim Todd, David Woerner
Watch footage of the race here.
Skipper Dennis Trombley and the Denito Syndicate won the start on starboard tack, as port-tacked Sopwith Camel Racing (SCR) had to duck them and came perilously close to making contact with the starboard end of the gate. Sail Team ‘Murrica was a close third, and immediately tacked onto port after the start, trailing SCR upwind.
Despite a slightly-favored wind position to port tack, Denito opted to hold starboard, and shortly after the gate SCR tacked to follow.
Meanwhile, Team ‘Murrica held on port, and it proved to be the difference maker on the upwind leg as they pulled ahead to a 20-boat lead over SCR (who was able to cross Denito midway through) nearing the windward mark.
But then, disaster. ‘Murrica skipper Mike Frat misread the upwind mark and took his team around spar buoy 30, about half a mile short of the real windward mark (#36). Luckily the team recovered from his mistake, and continued upwind, but their 20-boat advantage was cut down to 5, with SCR closing in from behind.
At the windward mark ‘Murrica rounded first, but now only 15 seconds ahead of SCR, who took the mark and immediately popped their spinnaker on starboard tack. In another controversial decision, Team ‘Murrica chose to hold their spinnaker hoist and headed downwind on starboard tack, watching Abbott catch and pass them to leeward.
SCR managed to build an 8-boat lead, continuing downwind on starboard. Then finally, with the wind now lined up behind them to the finish gate, ‘Murrica jibed to port and popped its spinnaker, running dead downwind to the finish.
Meanwhile, SCR held starboard past the lay-line and had to jibe to port . When they did, their spinnaker luffed and wrapped on the forestay, and they were unable to free it.
‘Murrica successfully held their run to the gate, crossing the finish line for the win and taking the first 3 points of the season. Sopwith Camel Racing finished second (2 pts), followed by Denito Syndicate Racing in a close third (1 pt).
Shields Summer Racing – Series One
Current Fleet Points: (as of June 9, 2014 – Revised)
- Sail Team ‘Murrica: 1 pt
- Sopwith Camel Racing: 2 pts
- Denito Syndicate Racing: 3 pts
The next scheduled race day is Saturday June 21st at 11:00 am, when SCR and Denito will have a chance to respond to Team ‘Murrica’s strong start.