Putting dinner on the table

Rich Roberts looks ahead to Alamitos Bay Yacht Club's Turkey Day dinghy regatta

Wednesday November 14th 2007, Author: Rich Roberts, Location: United Kingdom
The US' largest holiday season regatta will see small boats from throughout California racing for turkeys, not trophies, in Alamitos Bay Yacht Club's annual Turkey Day Regatta this weekend.

A year ago there were 279 entries in 20 classes, the second largest turnout for an event of its kind since 305 boats sailed the inaugural event in 1969. Instead of the usual hardware the tradition calls for gobblers and pies as top prizes, with an eye on the Thanksgiving holiday next Thursday.

The competition ranges from three generations of sailors in 8-foot Naples Sabots and Lido 14s on the inside bay to Cal 20 and Olson 30 keelboats and high-performance F-18 catamarans, 29er skiffs and International 14s on two courses on the outer harbor. The fleets also include three Olympic classes: Finn, Laser and Laser Radial.

Racing will start at noon each day, conditions permitting. Winds are forecast to increase into the weekend to as strong as 15 to 20 knots with temperatures in the low 70s. All classes are scheduled for six races over the two days.

There will be a turkey dinner for competitors and guests Saturday starting at 4:30 p.m.

Last year's event featured some of the closest competition ever. Jack Driscoll and crew Cody Shevitz of San Diego YC won the closest class overall - the 29ers- where the five boats finished one point apart per place, first through fifth. As many as 15 29ers will race this year.

Keith Ives and Chuck Stevens beat Larry Harvey by two points in an all-ABYC, six-race Cal 20 battle, while in the Olson 30s Todd Downey and Larry Spencer of Oxnard's Pacific Corinthian YC slipped past ABYC's Allan Rosenberg on a tiebreaker in a continuance of their annual shootout.

Downey said afterward, "You know, Allan is 71 now, and he's still a wonderful competitor. He's the reason we come here."

At 72, Rosenberg figures to be just as tough.

For entry and race information see: http://www.abyc.org/event.cfm?id=247

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