‘Stars’ Shine at Long Beach Race Week

Byline: Rick Roberts

‘Stars’ Shine at Long Beach Race Week

LONG BEACH — The “stars” were out under a clear blue sky for Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week June 22-24, but please don’t ask skipper Jeff Janov for his autograph.

Janov’s Dark Star dominated the Farr 40 class with six wins in seven races, and the humble skipper from Malibu was almost happy to surrender the glare of a sweep with a lone loss to Ray Godwin’s Temptress in the first of the two windup races June 24.

“They sailed really well,” Janov said of his Long Beach rival. “This fleet is really tough. Anytime you do well, it’s very rewarding.”

Three others completed perfect weekends in the event, co-hosted and organized by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club and Long Beach Yacht Club: Larry Spencer’s Blue Star, in Olson 30s; Mark Surber’s J/125, Derivative, in PHRF-2, and John Sangmeister’s Morelli ProSail 40 catamaran, in the Random Leg 1 class. Each day’s offshore races covered from 18.5 to 27.5 nautical miles.

Then there was Jim Sears, co-host of the daily television show “The Doctors,” who won the 15-boat Viper class. He had to make a hard choice between skipping a couple of races June 23 or attending the Daytime Emmy Awards affair in Hollywood that night. He found a substitute skipper and attended the Emmys, seeing as how he was nominated for two of them.

“We won the regatta, but lost the Emmy to Regis Philbin,” Sears said.

Sears has been sailing a Viper for only a year, finishing seventh at last year’s Long Beach Race Week.

Gladstone’s, the only multihull among 133 boats in 15 classes, won the Random Leg A-class title and outdid the horse named I’ll Have Another by scoring sailing’s version of the Triple Crown. Rather than retiring to the barn after two runaway wins, the Morelli ProSail 40 catamaran returned June 24 in winds that followed the pattern of the three-day weekend: light to moderate early and building into the mid- to upper teens by mid-afternoon.

Bob Lane — whose Andrews 63, Medicine Man, finished second in Random Leg with a 2-3-2 scoreline — said that on Saturday, “we led (Gladstone’s) at the last mark (8.5 miles south off Newport Beach), but then they just blew away from us.”

Mark Townsend, principal race officer for the big boat course, said, “They crossed the finish line doing about 20 knots.”

Janov and others were pleased with the breeze.

“We love Long Beach,” he said, voicing the common theme.

Surber, from Coronado Yacht Club, said, “It’s the best sailing in Southern California. That’s why we come up here.”

It was Surber’s third title in the regatta, following Boat of the Week honors in 2009 and a Fast 40 victory in 2010.

Janov’s crew was from an elite list of area veterans of both genders, including Dave Ullman, his title sponsor tactician, and Doug McLean, bow; Travis Wilson, mast; Michael Bradley, pit; Kelly Buchan, mid-bow; Kaytlin Hall, floater; Andrew Estcourt, spinnaker trimmer; Yumio Dornburg, jib trimmer; and Randy Smith, mainsail.

“It was a very nice weekend,” Janov said. “The crew work was spectacular, and they liked the conditions.”

Godwin — whose Temptress finished third overall behind Viva La Vida, co-skippered by Jeff Shaw and Bill Durant — said, “We had a good start. There had been some pretty bad ones. But the crew was great, and we had a good tactician in Dave Millett.Best of all, the whole weekend was back up to ‘Long Beach weather’ after a couple of off years.”

Co-host Long Beach YC’s Team 1 won the regatta’s Yacht Club Challenge, combining Current Obsession’s victory with a second place to defending champion Alamitos Bay YC in Catalina 37s and Temptress’ third place in Farr 40s.

Newport Harbor YC was second, led by Taylor Grant’s Columbia 32, eXigent — which also won the Golison & Kent Family Trophy, with Grant’s brother, Larry, and son, Crosby, on board.

Boats of the Day were Spencer’s Blue Star June 22, Janov’s Dark Star June 23 and Kenney’s Mor Shenanigans June 24.

Team ABYC’s chartered Catalina 37 was One-Design Boat of the Week; while Steven C. Crooke’s J/109, Sugar, was PHRF Boat of the Week.


Class winners (Seven races; no discards):


Catalina 37 (9 boats) — Team ABYC, Chuck Clay, Alamitos Bay YC, 1-3-4-1-2-4-3, 18 points.

Farr 40 (7) — Dark Star, Jeff Janov, California YC, 1-1-1-1-1-2-1, 8.

J/105 (12) — Current Obsession, Gary Mozer, LBYC, 2-2-2-1-1-3-1, 13.

J/120 (8) — Caper, John Laun, San Diego YC, 1-2-1-1-1, 6.

J/80 (6) — Avet, Curt Johnson, California YC, 3-1-3-1-1-1-1, 11.

Olson 30 (8) — Blue Star, Larry Spencer, Pacific Corinthian YC, 1-1-1-1-1-1-1, 7.

Open 5.70 (21) — Mor Shenanigans, Tracey Kenney, South Coast Corinthian YC, 3-1-5-2-1-1-1, 14.

PHRF-1 (6) — Margaritavillle (Custom 52), Jay Steinbeck, Shoreline YC, 1-2-1-1-1-2-2, 10.

PHRF-2 (5) — Derivative (J/125), Mark Surber, Coronado YC, 1-1-1-1-1-1-1, 7.

PHRF-3 (8) — eXigent (Columbia 32), Taylor Grant, Newport Harbor YC, 1-6-1-1-1-4-1, 15.

PHRF-4 (8) — Tie between Lugano (40.7), Mark Stratton, South Bay Yacht Racing Club, 2-1-3-1-1-2-1, 11 (won tiebreaker vs. Rival (J-35), Dick Velthoen/David Boatner, Ventura YC, 1-2-1-2-2-1-2, 8).

PHRF-5 (8) — Sugar (J/109), Steven C. Crooke, Long Beach YC, 1-3-1-1-1-4-1, 12.

Viper 640 (15) — The F.N.G., James Sears, Alamitos Bay YC, 1-4-1-3-2-2-2, 15.

Random Leg 1 (7) — Gladstone’s Long Beach (Morelli ProSail 40 catamaran), John Sangmeister, California YC, 1-1-1, 3.

Random Leg 2 (5) — Victoire (40.7 monohull), Robert Atkins, Long Beach YC, 1-2-1, 4.

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