LONG BEACH — Shala Youngerman and her team from Southwestern Yacht Club won the 23rd annual Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One-Design Challenge Sunday, Oct. 19 in this two-day fleet race regatta organized and sponsored by the Long Beach/Los Angeles Women’s Sailing Association and hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club.
Eight west coast teams from San Diego to the Seattle, Washington area competed on the Long Beach Sailing Foundation’s Catalina 37s in moderate breezes of 6 to 11 knots in chamber of commerce conditions with blue skies and temperatures in the low 70s.
Youngerman has distinguished herself in the Southern California racing scene with success in both fleet and match racing and has raced in this regatta before, but this is only the second time she has skippered.
“This team is made up of different yacht clubs,” Youngerman said, “and has never sailed as a team before. Kris [Zillman] has been the tactician on this team for the last four years and I’ve raced with Tracy [Nackel], Tammy [Fowles] and Summer [Green] before.
“We even have Alamitos Bay YC’s [Junior sailor] Sara Williams with us. We feel it’s important to bring along Junior sailors when we can,” she added.
Additional members of the Southwestern YC team are; Jenn Garvey, team captain and pit; Sandra Shorman, spinnaker trimmer; Tammy Fowles, main trimmer; Tracy Nackel, trimmer; Heidi Taylor, trimmer; Summer Green, bow; Marnie Buddo, mast and Kati Morton, rover.
Second place in the regatta went to the Jane Hoffner and the team from Corinthian YC of Tacoma, Washington. They called themselves, Team Gybe Ho.
Hoffner is a local from Bahia Corinthian YC and regularly races on the Catalina 37s in Long Beach YC’s Wet Wednesday series with her “Jane’s Addiction” team.
“This team was incredible,” said Hoffner. “Most of them are from the Seattle area and I’ve got a couple of my teammates from Jane’s Addiction here this weekend. They all did a really great job.
“In the fourth start yesterday we were blocked out at the committee boat and had to fight our way back. We picked off four boats by the time we got to the leeward mark,” she said. “Today in race two we got inside of boat 10 at the windward mark but couldn’t take it as deep as we’d have liked to. It was a drag race coming down to the finish and we finished second.”
Two-time winner (2008 and 2009) Casey Hogan and her team from Newport Harbor YC finished in third place, only three points back from Hoffner. Allie Blecher’s team from Cal YC took fourth place for the regatta.
Southwestern YC’s team captain Jenn Garvey put together a questionnaire and asked the team members to write what they felt the team mission statement should be.
Tactician Kris Zillman said it best, “To sail the cleanest and smartest and have a great time on the water. We know these boats, and every person on the team is strong. We will do our best for each other.”
Youngerman was awarded the perpetual Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One-Design Challenge trophy, donated by Al and Vicki Shultz and the Catalina 37 Women’s One-Design Challenge, LB/LA Women’s Sailing Association trophy.
She also received a $1,000 scholarship check from the Linda Elias Sailing Scholarship.
Youngerman reflected on the weekend’s racing, “as always, these are great competitors and it’s fun to be out with all of these girls. I was having such a good time I kept laughing. I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time.”
The Women’s One-Design event began 23 years ago and Linda Elias—the namesake for the current regatta—won the championship three of the first five years. Elias passed away in 2003 and the Long Beach/Los Angeles Women’s Sailing Association rededicated the event to her memory.
1. Shala Youngerman, SWYC, 5-1-1-1-4-3-1, 16 points
2. Jane Hoffner, Corinthian YC of Tacoma, 3-4-2-4-3-2-2, 20
3. Casey Hogan, NHYC, 2-5-3-2-2-6-3, 23
4. Allie Blecher, CYC, 1-2-4-3-6-5-4, 25
5. Karyn Jones, Women’s Sailing Association
of Santa Monica Bay, 6-3-7-5-1-1-6, 29
6. Lisa Meier, LBYC, 4-7-6-6-7-4-7, 41
7. Kathy St. Amont, Long Beach/Los Angeles
Women’s Sailing Association, 8-6-5-7-8-7-5, 46
8. Jane Thomas, Women’s Sailing Association
of the Channel Islands, 7-8-8-8-5-8-8, 52
Complete results are also available at lbyc.org .