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Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week 2024 Preview

by LBYC Race Office 20 Jun 20:22 BST June 21-23, 2024
Long Beach Race Week © Ullman Sails / LBRW 2023 / Lisa Bronitt

Allie Tsai has chartered a Catalina 37 (C37) to race Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week which kicks off on Friday. She and her crew took second in class last year and while she's fielding a team deep in talent, she claims that the eleven-strong fleet registered this year will be tough.

"If you know the teams on this year's C37 roster, it's ridiculously competitive!" Tsai smiled. "The C37 is a beast, it's a difficult boat to handle - you can't be a beginner to race on these boats, you need to have some knowledge. They are slow-going yet they are competitive at the same time and a lot of fun."

A long-time stalwart fleet out of Long Beach, just eleven C37s were built and all are chartered to race LBRW which also stands as the fleet's national championship. Tsai, who grew up sailing in Palos Verdes, CA, has been chartering the C37 for some five years in the Long Beach Yacht Club's Wet Wednesday series and likes to use the boat as a platform to mentor other sailors.

"Last year I co-skippered with Chris Layne, he's our next generation and has been racing with me for the past five years," Tsai noted. "Liz Hjorth is at the helm this year, last year she was my tactician and has been an important mentor for me helping me coach my women's team. Sailmaker Dominic Marchal who won in class last year will be with us and he'll be a great asset."

Keith Ives took fourth in the C37 class last year, not his best regatta he laughed, "We got clobbered!" He's done almost every LBRW ever sailed and is returning to seek redemption in his fourth year chartering a C37. He's sailing with a different crew this year including his wife Tina, brother-in-law Mike Corzine, and 16-year-old niece Sophia Corzine, a competent junior sailor.

"LBRW is so popular, many teams were looking for crew and there were a few teams that took a lot of my crew!" Ives, who grew up racing out of Long Beach Yacht Club, laughed. "We like that the C37 is an even platform; it's good one design racing. The weather in Long Beach is perfect most of the time and for these three days of racing we should get a nice consistent afternoon sea breeze. We're looking forward to a fun regatta!"

Competing for the first time at LBRW for the J/109 Pacific Coast Championship trophy, Bay Area-based John Arens has been campaigning his boat Reverie for five years with a consistent crew. Arens took first place in the ORC D Division at the 2023 Rolex Big Boat Series, finishing with four bullets and two second places. This year's PCC Championship was Aren's motivation for getting his boat down the coast to race LBRW.

"There is no one-design racing for J109s in San Francisco so we brought the boat down for Cal Race Week and now to Long Beach Race Week," Arens said. "I've known about LBRW since I was a kid but never raced it; we're looking forward to great weather which looks like it'll be in the 80s, it will be a treat not to be sailing in foul weather gear!"

Arens competed against six other J109s during Cal Race Week, none of whom he had previously lined up against and all of whom are expected to race this week.

"Cal Race Week was tough for us because it was light but we know we can hang with this fleet, it's just a matter of executing," he said. "Everyone in the class has been very friendly and open with information; we're really happy we have come down here."

Alamitos Bay Yacht Club (ABYC) Staff Commodore Chuck Clay has been on the LBRW organizing committee since 2011 and knows the event better than most.

"We're thrilled to have ninety-five boats sign up and I'm sure there will be a few last-minute entries come Friday," Clay commented. "We have a great formula down and we know people like this regatta with its great sailing and fun parties. As a five-time C37 class champion, winning the first one in 2008, I remember well that the teams who would travel from out of state were a blast to compete against, they had the best time and really enjoyed the LBRW racing hospitality. We're excited to have a full complement of C37s starting."

Check-in will be held at Long Beach Yacht Club in the afternoon on Thursday, June 20. Race Day One begins Friday, June 21 with a weather briefing at 10:15 AM by Ullman Sails, and a skipper's meeting at 10:30 AM upstairs at LBYC. The first race warning will sound at 12:55 PM on Friday, and at 11:55 AM on Saturday and Sunday. Conditions permitting, it is expected that two races will be sailed in most classes on Friday, three races on Saturday, and two races on Sunday.

The event will host the Catalina 37 National Championship, the J/109 Pacific Coast Championship, the Schock 35 Pacific Coast Championship, the Viper 640 Pacific Coast Championship, the Melges 15 West Coast Championship, and the J/70, J/80, J/105, J/109, and J/120 Southern California High Point Series.

Hosted by the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club (ABYC) and the Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC), the event is grateful to the generosity and support of its 2024 sponsors including Title Sponsor Ullman Sails Newport Beach who will be on hand throughout the regatta to assist the fleet with their sails. Other sponsors include Evans, Clarke Marine Insurance, Cabrillo Boat Shop, Durant Design and Construction, Long Beach Parks, Rec & Marine, Mt Gay Rum, Pirates Lair, The Oriana Shea Group, and Tom Walker Photography.

Parties featuring music and dancing will be hosted by ABYC on Friday night, then Saturday and Sunday night at LBYC. Prize giving will be held at LBYC on Sunday at 5:00 PM. Competitors are invited to enjoy both the clubs' services and amenities including the ice machine, and free water taxi service between the clubs until 9:00 PM Friday and Saturday. For full details on entry, schedule, mooring requests and more, go to www.lbrw.org.

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