(Note: This is a regatta press release)


An armada of inshore ocean racers from as far north as San Francisco and as far south as Acapulco, Mexico is lined up for Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week next Friday through Sunday.

The West Coast’s largest keelboat regatta, co-produced by the Long Beach and Alamitos Bay Yacht Clubs, is open to boats with Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF) ratings of 222 or less. One-design classes with six or more entries will qualify for their own starts.

Ullman Sails is the title sponsor of Long Beach Race Week. Other sponsors and supporters are DISC Sports and Spine Center, Ayres Hotel Seal Beach, Gladstone’s Restaurant, the Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine Bureau, Long Beach the Aquatic Capital of America, Mount Gay Rum and Macson Printing and Lithography.

There were 137 entries in 16 classes at this posting. A dozen Farr 40s swaggered among the one-design classes that also included J/105s, J/120s, J/29s and J/80s; Beneteau 36.7s, Flying Tiger 10s, Open 5.70s, Schock 35s and Viper 640s. Farr 30s, J/109s and J/24s also were close to making class.

PHRF boats will have a choice of buoy or random leg distance racing, but the Farr 40s’ battle could be classic. Since it was introduced in 1998 the boat has become one of the world’s most popular one-designs with regional associations on several continents and growing, especially here.

West Coast Fleet Captain David Voss, whose Piranha won the class and One-Design Boat of the Week honors at Ullman Sails LBRW last year, said, “We have other people looking at boats right now.”

What draws dedicated racers to the Farr 40, Voss said, are the tight class measurement rules that keep all boats, old or new, equally competitive. There’s an annual limit on the purchase of new sails, and most regional fleets adhere to a “Corinthian Class” rule of no more than two paid professional sailors on board.

Voss said, “Even in a more open world championship regatta, you can choose to race with those same limits. We declared that in 2006 at Newport, R.I. and won the Corinthian Class trophy.”

Also, a new Farr 40 can cost up to $700,000, but one 10 or 12 years old can be had for as little as $150,000 and be just as fast.

“We’ve tried to make sure that nobody has a competitive advantage,” Voss said. “The ones that are sailed best are still going to win.”

One will be sailed by one of the two prominent competitors who bring an international profile from Mexico. Bernardo Minkow of Acapulco will be among the Farr 40s, while Lorenzo Berho of Mexico City will race PHRF. Three months ago Minkow sailed his Farr 40, Flojito y Cooperando (translation: “Fair and Easy”), to overall first place among a mixed fleet of 31 boats in the Mexican Ocean Racing Conference (MEXORC) regatta on Banderas Bay. He has chartered Woolly Bully, a past LBRW competitor, for this event.

Berho, who raced a J/145, Raincloud, last year, now has Peligroso, the dark blue Kernan 70 formerly owned by the late Mike Campbell, a Long Beach YC member who in recent years raced the boat to several PHRF victories around Southern California, including races to Mexico. It already had a Spanish name: Peligroso means “Dangerous.” Upon Campbell’s death in 2008, Berho acquired Peligroso with a special purpose. “We bought the boat to support Mexico’s young sailors,” he said. In April’s traditional Newport to Ensenada race, Peligroso was the first monohull to finish, and with a unique crew. “We had mostly a crew of sailors in their early 20s,” Berho said, “young people with ambitions to sail in major events—even in the Olympics.” It’s an ongoing campaign inspired by the late Roy Disney’s Morning Light film documentary project to select and train a crew of young sailors in their teens and early twenties to sail the 2007 Transpacific Yacht Race.

The regatta is the third and last stop on the Southern California Ullman Sails Inshore Championship Series, following the Ahmanson Cup at Newport Beach and Cal Race Week at Marina del Rey. Regatta sponsor DISC will present a print of the original artwork created by Scott Kennedy representing last year’s Ullman Inshore winners.

This year’s leaders are Dale Williams’ Kernan 44, Wasabi, and Tres Gordos Sailing’s Andrews 49.9, It’s OK, currently sharing first place in the Fast 50+ group; Chris Hemans’ Tripp 41, Entropy, in Fast 40, and John Staff’s Viper 830, Plankton, and Thomas Brott’s J/109, Electra, tied for the lead in Sport/Sprit Boat.

All participants will enjoy free mooring or docking, courtesy of the City of Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine; nightly parties with complimentary hors d’ouevres and free water taxi transportation between the sponsoring clubs.

MEDIA CONTACT – Rich Roberts 310.835.2526 cell 310.766.6547 richsail@earthlink.net

Raising the level of play D.I.S.C. Sports and Spine Center is the proud sponsor of the KATTACK Performance Racing application for all One Design Classes competing in Long Beach Race Week. Look for KATTACK and enjoy the thrill of the race after the race.