It took seven races to decide a Shields Class winner in this year’s ABYC Memorial Day Regatta, but after a two-day back and forth between skippers Dennis Trombley and Mike Fratantoro it was Mike Frat’s team, Strong Beach Sailing, who eked out a one-point victory.
The regatta was tied after six races but Strong Beach took first place in Race Seven for the regatta win, followed by Trombley’s Denito Syndicate Racing in second and Mossy Kennedy’s team in third.
The event was held from May 23 to 24, 2015, and notably it was the first time CSULB Sailing has ever entered three of its Shields in a regatta.
See the full gallery of photos at the CSULBSA’s Facebook page, here.
About a week before the race there was a random boat draw for the regatta: Dennis Trombley would sail Karen (sail #121), Mossy Kennedy would sail Isabelle ( sail #51), and Mike Fratantoro would sail Dark Horse (sail #35).
The overall regatta featured a dozen types of boats split into two race courses: Bay (Sabots/Lidos/etc), and Ocean:
*B: Hobie 16s
*C: Viper 640s
*D: Shields + Cal 20s + C-15s
*E: Lasers (standard)
*F: Lasers (radial)
The Ocean course was set off of Belmont Pier with an upwind mark near Island Freeman. On Day One, the CSULB Shields were grouped with the Cal 20 and C-15 fleets. On Day Two, the C-15s bowed out, which allowed the Shields and Cal 20s to have their own starts. All boats were scored separately, of course.
DAY ONE (Four Races)
Southerly winds were mild most of the day and the committee set a traditional upwind-downwind course with a leeward gate and upwind finish.
On Dark Horse, Strong Beach Sailing (Mike Fratantoro, Paul Sorenson, Estela Tejidor and Michelle Moss) jumped out to the early lead in Race One, which was a one-lap [W2-G-Finish] course. Despite some confusion over the windward mark, Strong Beach led wire-to-wire, followed by Denito in second and Mossy in third.
Team Denito (Dennis Trombley, Gwynn Markle, John Majkut and Tayfun Hekimoglu) tied things up in Race Two [W2-G-W2-G-Finish], with a come-from-behind move on the second spinnaker set to take the win, followed closely by Strong Beach. Team Mossy (Mossy Kennedy, Tatiana Misares, Kyle Henneberque and Tim Gallagher) was unable to finish Race Two, after accidentally wrapping their spinnaker.
Mossy’s spinnaker wrap forced them to miss the start of Race Three [W1-G-Finish]. Strong Beach pulled back into the lead thanks to a solid upwind beat to the finish line after being even with Denito at the leeward gate. For Race Four [W2-G-Finish], Denito again came from behind during their spinnaker run and took the win, which forced a tie on the leaderboard.
Denito (2-1-2-1) and Strong Beach (1-2-1-2) finished Day One tied at six points each, but two DNC’s pushed Team Mossy’s score to 14 points (3-4-4-3).
DAY TWO (Three Races)
The bad breaks continued on Day Two for Team Mossy (Tatiana, Kyle, and Hinz Abriam), as their skipper Mossy Kennedy injured his back and was forced to sit out racing. New skipper Tatiana Misares took over for the day and the team added Jake Hawkins as their fourth crew. But the day’s real showdown was between teams Denito (Dennis, Gwynn, John and Mickey Delmonico) and Strong Beach (Mike F, Paul, Daniel Yoder and Stephanie Lopez), who had three more races to decide a champion.
The Southwest breeze built steadily during Race Five [W2-G-Finish], which saw Team Tatiana take the lead all the way down to the leeward gate. There, some posturing by Denito moved Tatiana off the mark and Denito rounded ahead, then took the port tack lift to cross Strong Beach and win Race One by four boat lengths.
Strong Beach was able to even things up in Race Six [W1-G-W1-G-Finish], after skipper Mike Frat was able to tack on top of Team Denito. Denito put their bow down for speed but Strong Beach took the big port tack lift and opened up a 45-second lead at the first mark and added onto it the rest of the way.
With the scoreboard tied at 8 points after six races, Race Seven [W2-G-W2-G-Finish] would decide the winner. The winds jumped up to 15-16mph for the final race, and Strong Beach started with the early lead over teams Tatiana and Denito. But Strong Beach gave up the lead at the first windward mark after skipper Mike Frat continued past it toward W1. Team Tatiana rounded first, followed by Team Denito, then Strong Beach, who went from first to last, momentarily.
Downwind Leg 1 saw Team Tatiana pass through the leeward gate first, followed by Strong Beach after a solid run got them back into second. Strong Beach quickly took the lead for the second upwind beat, as port tack continued to be favored the remainder of the race. Team Denito was able to pass Team Tatiana on the second beat, but was behind Strong Beach by about a minute at windward mark #2. Strong Beach held on downwind and through the final beat to the finish line for the Race Seven win.
Overall, Strong Beach Sailing (8 pts) won the regatta by one point over Team Denito (9 pts), including one throw-out. Team Tatiana finished with 19 points, but was much improved on Day Two and even led during two of the three races that day.
ABYC Memorial Day Regatta, Final Results, Shields Class – 05.24.15
8 pts – Strong Beach Sailing, sailing Dark Horse, sail #35 [1-(2)-1-2-2-1-1]
*Mike Fratantoro, Paul Sorenson, Estela Tejidor (Sat-only), Michelle Moss (Sat-only), Stephanie Lopez (Sun-only), Daniel Yoder (Sun-only)
9 pts – Denito Syndicate Racing, sailing Karen, sail #121 [2-1-(2)-1-1-2-2)
*Dennis Trombley, Gwynn Markle, John Majkut, Tayfun Hekimoglu (Sat-only), Mickey Delmonico (Sun-only)
19 pts – Team Mossy / Team Tatiana, sailing Isabelle, sail #51 [3-(DNC4)-DNC4-3-3-3]
*Mossy Kennedy (Sat-only), *Tatiana Misares, Kyle Henneberque, Tim Gallagher (Sat-only), Hinz Abriam (Sun-only), Jake Hawkins (Sun-only)
( ) = one race throw-out
CSULB Fleet 20 is entering the Seal Beach Yacht Club’s weekly “Pop Tops” series, beginning Thursday June 4th.