SAN DIEGO — The International Masters Regatta took place Oct. 23 and was hosted by San Diego Yacht Club for the fifth consecutive year. The races were close with Bill Menninger (Newport Harbor Yacht Club) winning both races on the final day as well as the regatta overall.
Weather conditions were unusual for San Diego, featuring cloudy and sporadically rainy skies with little wind at noon. Racing was delayed for about an hour and a half due to 100-degree wind shifts, making the Race Committee unable to set a course. Eventually the wind settled to more typical conditions, and the Race Committee was able to run two of the four scheduled races.
Race one got underway just before 2 p.m. once the wind was up to 5 to 6 knots. Menniger had the lead at the first weather mark and was able to keep his lead throughout the entire race as the wind picked up to about 10 knots. Jon Andron and Don Trask, both with St. Francis Yacht Club, were behind Menninger and eventually finished second and third.
Three skippers – Menninger, Richard du Moulin (Storm Trysails Club/Larchmont Yacht Club) and Andron – were in a three-way tie for first place overall going into the last race. Menninger gained a commanding lead. Menninger was able to keep this lead and sailed across the finish line as the 2016 International Masters Regatta champion.
This is Menninger’s first time winning the International Masters Regatta and also the first win from a Newport Harbor Yacht Club skipper. Menninger will be back at SDYC next weekend for the 102nd Challenge for the Sir Thomas Lipton Cup, where he will crew for Jon Pinckney on the Newport Harbor Yacht Club team.
Menninger reflected at the end of the weekend: “My overall strategy for these three days was to get better every race. My starts were not very good at the start of the regatta, but they got a lot better by the end. Sailing aside, my favorite part of the Masters Regatta is the camaraderie of the guys that you’ve raced against your whole life, or new guys that you haven’t sailed against yet.”