Byline: Rick Roberts
LONG BEACH — Alamitos Bay Yacht Club’s 65th Turkey Day Regatta, Nov. 17-18, not only showcased veteran sailors going strong, but also others who are just getting started.
Brothers Dane Wilson, 17, and Quinn Wilson, 15, of Ojai and Santa Barbara Yacht Club have their sights set on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016, when they will be just about old enough for a bid to reclaim some of the U.S.A.’s lost Olympic sailing glory.
“That’s what we want to do,” said Quinn, who steered a 29er skiff while big brother Dane did the crew work in a remarkable string of six consecutive first-place finishes — following a second place in the first race for the 10-boat fleet.
“Actually,” Dane said, smiling diplomatically, “we won that one, too — but there was a scoring mistake.”
Oh, well. They figure to win a lot more, and soon graduate into the 49er class for an Olympic campaign. As it is, Dane has sailed a similar 29er for only two years, while Quinn jumped aboard just this year.
Last summer, they placed fourth in the ISAF Youth Worlds in Ireland.
“The competition was super good,” Quinn said, “and it was cold — but we won two races out of 12.”
Back home, their victory here clinched California’s 2012 PCC Series for the Maxam Trophy, dedicated to Bill Maxam, who started the 29er class in the state. It wasn’t luck. “We sail as much as possible — about three times a week — and prepare for everything,” Dane explained.
They were certainly ready for Long Beach, which met them with a light southeasterly breeze Saturday followed by a brisk 12-knot southwesterly of 65 degrees Sunday under clear blue skies, rimmed by a parade of white cotton clouds.
Their nearest rivals were Campbell D’Eliscu and crew Conner Kelter of Newport Harbor Yacht Club and Alamitos Bay YC, respectively — nine points back with no finishes worse than third.
As for the old-timers, Henry Sprague, 67, held on to dominate the singlehanded Finns with wins in five of the seven races. Barney Flam, soon to be 88, and son Steve struggled a bit in the bigger breeze, but held onto fourth place overall among 14 Cal 20s.
The Cal 20 winners, as in the past, emerged as Keith Ives and Chuck Stevens of Alamitos Bay YC — with two wins and two seconds in the last four races.
The winners came from as far north as San Francisco and as far south as San Diego, all collecting the race’s traditional turkeys as awards, instead of trophies.
Altogether, there were 18 classes comprised of nearly 200 boats and 300 competitors racing on two ocean courses and the inside bay.
LASER FULL (20 boats): Stephen Long, Santa Barbara YC; 5-2-3-(22/OCS)-1-3-1, 15.
LASER RADIAL (31): Cooper Weitz, San Francisco YC/St. Francis YC; 1-(8)-1-2-2-2-2-7, 15. 29ER (11): Quinn Wilson/Dane Wilson; (2)-2-1-1-1-1-1, 6. CAL 20 (14): Keith Ives/Chuck Stevens, Alamitos Bay YC; 5-(7)-2-1-2-1-1, 14.
VIPER 640 (10): Kevin Taugher/Chuck Tripp, Alamitos Bay YC; (2)-1-1-1-1-2-1, 7, 5.
MERCURY (10): David West/Mark Roberts, Richmond YC; (5)-1-1-3-1-1-3-3, 9.
FINN (11): Henry Sprague; 1-2-1-1-(5)-1-1, 7.
FORMULA 18 (4): Stephen Stroebel/Matt Morris, Mission Bay YC; (4)-3-2-2-1-1-1, 10 (def. Alex and Bill Westland, Alamitos Bay YC, on tiebreaker).
INTERNATIONAL 14 (3): Brad Ruetenik/Kula Dog, San Diego YC; (1)-1-1-1-1, 4.
HOBIE 16 (3): John Hauser/Linda Hauser; (3)-1-2-1-2-1, 7.
PORTSMOUTH (9): Dominic Meo III/Deandra Morse, Alamitos Bay YC; 2-3-4-(6)-4-2-1, 16.
SABOT A (3): Joseph Hou, Newport Harbor YC; 1-1-1-1-(2)-2-1, 7.
SABOT B (7): Bradley Clinton, Alamitos Bay YC; (3)-1-3-1-2-1-2, 10.
SABOT C1 (15): Millie Dorgan, San Diego YC; (3)-1-1-1-1-1-1, 6.
SABOT C2 (9): Mac Brennan, Balboa YC; 2-2-3-1-3-1-(4), 12. SABOT C3 (4): Christina Van Dyke, Long Beach YC/Alamitos Bay YC; 1-2-2-(3)-1-1-1, 8.
LIDO 14 A (11): Mark Ryan, Cal State Long Beach Sailing Team; 1-2-1-5-(14/DNC)-1-1, 11.
LIDO 14 B (10): Ethan Michaelis/Ryan Schack, Alamitos Bay YC; 1-1-2-2-(3)-2-2, 10.