Transpac warm-up

Rich Roberts previews the Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week 2007

Thursday June 21st 2007, Author: Rich Roberts, Location: United States
The U.S. West Coast's largest inshore keelboat regatta ushers in the first weekend of summer when Acura presents Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week Friday through Sunday, co-hosted by the Long Beach and Alamitos Bay Yacht Clubs.

Among the headliners is the title sponsor's namesake, Dave Ullman, who will be seeking his third consecutive win in Melges 24s - this time as the reigning world champion following last month's wildly dramatic victory at Santa Cruz, CA.

Ullman will share his secrets in a boat speed talk at Long Beach YC Friday at 10 a.m., followed by a competitors' briefing at 10:30.

There will be as many as 130 one-design and PHRF entries from 24 (the Melges) to 68 feet (Mike Campbell and Dale Williams' Kernan 70 Peligroso and Al Schultz's Andrews 70 Vicki). All are scheduled for seven races on three courses, one inside and two outside the breakwater. Racing will start at 1pm Friday and at noon Saturday and Sunday, conditions permitting.

About two-thirds of the boats are one-designs. Fifteen J/105s are the largest fleet, while seven Farr 40s will be celebrating their 10th year of racing in the world. Beneteau 36.7s and venerable Schock 35s are also well represented.

The regatta will mark the local introduction of the Flying Tiger 10 sportboat with eight entries. The FT10, a 10 meter designed by Bob Perry and built by Bill Stevens at Hansheng Yachts in Xiamen, China, was first sailed in the U.S. by Tim Chin of San Diego in the Little Ensenada race from San Diego last October. This spring John Pacquin's Elusive from San Diego won the Sprit B class in the Newport to Ensenada race and small fleets competed in the Yachting Cup and San Diego NOOD events, winning top boat honors in the latter.

Chin, the international class president, said: "I became the class guinea pig" when he ordered one of the first two boats sight unseen on the Internet last year after consulting with Perry and Stevens, but it has worked out well. With a crew weight limit, Chin said, the boat can be sailed with "six big guys," but it's usually sailed with seven average size people.

"The boat is very nimble," Chin added. "It responds much quicker than your usual keelboat. I would describe it as a dinghy that wants to be a keelboat. It excels in light to moderate wind and can be a handful in 18 or 19 knots, which we may see at Long Beach."

The regatta is the last stop in the Ullman Sails Inshore Championship Series, following Newport Harbor YC's Ahmanson Cup, San Diego YC's Yachting Cup and California YC's Cal Race Week. Oscar Krinsky and Chris Redmond's 1D48 Chayah and Alec Oberschmidt's Reichel Pugh 50 Staghound are tied for Fast 50 Fleet honors, while Geoff Longenecker's Melges 30 Nemesis is working on a sweep to repeat in the Sportboat fleet, and radio hostess Laura Schlessinger's J/145 The Doc is a runaway leader in the Fast 40s.

It will be a Transpac tune-up for several boats, including Peligroso, Jim Morgan's Santa Cruz 50, Fortaleza; Will Durant and Rick Brizendine's Santa Cruz 52 Relentless and two new boats - Roger Sturgeon's STP 65 Rosebud and It’s OK an Andrews 50 sailed by the Tres Gordos Sailing LLC team of Lew Beery, Andy Rose and Tom Purcell. They'll start the 44th Transpacific Yacht Race from nearby San Pedro on July 12 and 15.

Special awards: Satariano Boat of the Week, to the winner of the most competitive class; PHRF Boat of the week; Yacht Club Challenge competition for three-boat teams; the Kent Golison Family Trophy; the Travel trophy, and championships for the Catalina 37 Nationals, the J/29 West Coast and the Olson 30 and Schock 35 Pacific Coast.

2007 entry list .

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