For the first time in five years, Shields Fleet 20 and the CSULBSA competed in Alamitos Bay Yacht Club’s (ABYC) Halloween Regatta on Saturday October 25. Two CSULB race teams entered, but Up Hill Sailing (UHS) and skipper Chris Hill took home the class win with three consecutive victories.
The regatta featured three ocean classes, including Shields, Cal 20, and 29er classes. Southwesterly winds topped 18-20 mph by the start of Race 2, doubling the 8-10 mph forecasts for Long Beach Harbor.
The course was set west of Island Chafee, near spar buoy 38, with three different windward-leeward combinations for Races 1-3. Despite a competitive showing from Sopwith Camel Racing (SCR) and skipper Charlie Abbott, Up Hill Sailing’s dominance upwind was too much to overcome.
Click here to see the overall race course.
Both teams had clean starts in Race One, which called for a one-lap [W1-G-Finish]. Up Hill Sailing and helmsman Camille Hambly opted for an early tack to play the starboard side of the course and it paid off, as they went ahead by 3-4 boat lengths at the first cross.
From there they opened their lead to the windward mark and rounded 6-8 boat lengths ahead. SCR managed to close the gap on the downwind leg, and when UHS chose the West side of the leeward gate, helmsman Charlie Abbott rounded the East side of the gate and quickly tacked.
The short upwind beat to the finish saw SCR cut the lead down to about 10-15 seconds, but they ran out of time as Up Hill Sailing crossed the line for their first win.
For Race Two the committee boat signaled for a [W1-G-W1-G-Finish] course, which added a second lap as the wind picked up to 15-18 mph, still holding from the Southwest. SCR and helmsman Mike Fratantoro nailed the starboard pin-end start and held Hambly to leeward, but UHS had too much speed and slowly opened up enough separation to tack and cross in front of SCR.
UHS was again ahead by 6-8 boat lengths at Mark 1. SCR reeled them in once more on their spinnaker run, and the boats crossed just inches apart at the start of beat #2. But UHS pulled back ahead upwind, and despite tearing their spinnaker on run #1, Hill and crew were able to open up the gap wide enough to sail without it on the second downwind leg.
SCR closed in toward the finish, but UHS tacked and covered their wind and finished two boat lengths ahead to seal win #2.
Even though UHS sealed the class win in Race Two, the boats went at it again in the third and final race with a Commodore vs. Former Commodore showdown. Current club commodore Tatiana Misares took the helm for SCR against former commodore Hambly in the [W2-G-Finish] short course.
And yet the showdown was over before it began, as both teams had difficulty with the committee boat’s starting signal. UHS went over a minute early and circled back, while SCR was a minute behind the gun. Up Hill Sailing led wire to wire and closed out the regatta with 3 total points (1-1-1) to SCR’s 6 points (2-2-2).
ABYC Halloween Regatta, Final Results – 10.25.14
3 pts – Up Hill Sailing, sailing Isabelle
Chris Hill (S), Camille Hambly, Jake Hawkins, Gwynn Markle
6 pts – Sopwith Camel Racing, sailing Karen
Charlie Abbott (S), Mike Fratantoro, Kyle Henneberque, Tatiana Misares
Fleet 20 will enter the ABYC’s Turkey Day Regatta on November 22-23.