North Sails Race Week preview

Rich Roberts previews the form for the US west coast's top regatta

Friday May 24th 2002, Author: Rich Roberts, Location: United States
Five defending champions and the event's "cover model" are among an initial flood of 41 entries for the 18th North Sails Race Week June 28-30 as the timer counts down to May 31, the deadline for avoiding late entry fees.

For the West Coast's largest inshore regatta, this year's total entries are projected to surpass the record of 170 boats. The three-day event will be run in the Long Beach outer harbor and on courses set outside the federal breakwater. Classes will include PHRF, one-design classes Farr 40, J/120, J/105, J/24, Melges 24, 1D35, Schock 35 and Santana 20, as well as Corsair trimarans.

Class winners already committed to returning from their 2001 successes are John Kilroy's Farr 40, Samba Pa Ti, from California Yacht Club; John Wylie's 1D35, Tabasco, San Diego YC; Tom Carruthers' J/105, Incorrigible, San Diego YC; Chris Winnard's Santana 20, Altitude Sickness, Southwestern YC, and Aaron and Dixon Hall's B-15, Blur, in PHRF-5.

Also, there is veteran Long Beach campaigner Mike Campbell, whose Transpac 52, Victoria 5, is featured on the cover of the 2002 event's Official Notice and Conditions of Race. Victoria 5 was eight seconds shy of correcting out on Dennis Conner's Reichel/Pugh 50, Stars & Stripes, in last year's final race in PHRF-1 class. That gave Conner the victory on a tiebreaker.

"Oh, well," Campbell said this week. "You win some, you lose some."

But he loves his boat and the event. "It's as well run an event as you're gonna sail in, [and] it's a wonderful boat. They're fun to sail. They're pretty quick."

There aren't yet enough Transpac 52s to form a class, so his competition will include a PHRF mix of boats of similar size.

"They adjust the handicaps and some people will complain, and some won't," Campbell said. "Whatever, I think we're rated fairly. We weren't rated unfavourably last year. We can sail to our rating. We have pretty good guys on those boats. They should sail pretty well."

This year's event also will feature the J/120 North American Championships, Farr 40 Pacific Coast Championships, Schock 35 Pacific Coast Championships and the J/24 Western Regionals, which is a J/24 world championships qualifier.

North Sails Race Week is produced by Golison & Golison. Premiere Racing, Inc., the event organizer for Terra Nova Trading Key West 2003, is co-producer for this event.

In addition to North Sails, Race Week is joined by returning supporters Team McLube and Nautica Watches, the official timekeeper.

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