Three hearty Buccaneer 18 teams skipped the AYC Gov’s Cup to join in the “umpteenth” Alamitos Bay Yacht Club Turkey Regatta to sample the legendary sailing inside the Long Beach sea wall, and to get some early turkey dinner. The sailing and the turkey more than lived up to their reputations!
Day 1 started out with some steady rain and good 10-15mph winds but only two Buccs on the line. Sacramento road warrior Carole Vaillancourt and skipper Ryan Scofield on “Wind Me Up” faced off with Emory Heisler and his brother Tim in “Erin Mogan” for the first race, a 2 lap W-L course. Ryan and Carole lead easily at the first W mark and stayed there down to the gates as Emory and Tim sailed without the chute. A problem at the gate for Ryan and Carole though let Emory and Tim sneak ahead by the 2nd W mark. However without the spinny they couldn’t hold their position which gave Ryan and Carole an easy 30 second win.
Before race 2 could start Emory and Tim headed for warmth and turkey as the rain continued and the early signs of hypothermia started for Tim. That left race 2 as a one-boat bullet for Ryan and Carole, but by the time Race 3 began Dave Rawstrom and crew Bailey Marra in “Red Fish Blue Fish” had found the course to put some competition back in the sailing.
Dave and Bailey sailed neck and neck with Ryan and Carole upwind until a blown tack by Ryan and Carole at the layline sent them from two boat lengths ahead to two boat lengths behind Dave and Bailey at the weather mark. Ryan and Carole once again sailed their spinnaker against a team not ready to set the chute in the heavy conditions allowing them to pass Dave and Bailey for another easy win and 3 bullets for the day.
It was time for TURKEY! Back in the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club the 3 Bucc teams and Dave’s family were joined by EX-AYCer Dennis Martinelli who was also in town for Turkey and some hard core Laser sailing too. Of course the ABYC lived up to their reputation “with all the trimmings” and classic Yacht Club hospitality followed by a well deserved evening of recovery (except for Dennis and Emory that found their way to a bar showing the UFC fight! Imagine that???!!!).
Sunday dawned with “freight train” winds blowing chunks of palm trees down the street. Fortunately they “died down” to 20-25mph by race time. Seeing these conditions both Dave and Emory lost their crews to the Farmers Market and teamed up on Emory’s “Erin Morgan” to keep at least two boats racing…or so they thought.
With the wind blowing a steady 20 with gusts to 25 Carole let Ryan know that she felt it was to windy, and that left the “well balasted” Emory and Dave to blast and plane around the course. Ryan was appropriately jealous and Dave and Emory had some “profound revelations” during their 2 races “against the wind.” Details? Sorry! Sworn to secrecy!
After the scores were totaled, Ryan and Carole’s three Day-1 wins were just enough to win the Bucc class – AND a nice pair of frozen Turkeys (larger classes even had Cornish Game Hens for 3RD place LOL!)
AND THEN…..Emory and Tim jumped on a Catalina 30 Monday morning and cruised to Catalina and back (Tuesday) in beautiful 15-20 mph winds and calm seas. “It was like sailing with training wheels”, said Emory, compared to the two Winnie the Pooh days in Long Beach. But THAT is a different Turkey Day Regatta story.
Next year we hope to see more Buccs and other AYC sailors on the line for a great event at a great venue…..with some great Turkeys!
Next West Coast Race….SD NOOD, March 18-20. See you there!
ARRRR! Ryan Scofield – “Wind Me Up”, Emory Heisler – “Erin Morgan”