The 2011 Long Beach Race Week was the perfect venue to kick off our EFG Pan American Pacific West Coast Championship. We had 15 Vipers on the line and some really great competition. We had several new boats, all sporting different colors from mint, yellow and purple. I don’t know what it is about the Viper fleet or drinking, but when I mix the two, my inner Texan comes out… strong. You can ask anyone and they would say the line of the weekend was “that ain’t right!” Well there were some things that ain’t right about that weekend (too many speed bumps, etc), but our sailing was not one of them!
Friday was a light air day, which made it key to catch all the shifts. We had poor starts and were over early in the second one, but managed to claw our way to the top and finish first in both races. We had Kevin Taugher on the boat, and he was amazing at keeping us in phase all day. Tim Carter was at the helm and he kept focused on making the boat go fast. I was constantly playing the jib during the shifts and puffs to keep us in gear.
The party Friday night was at ABYC and the Viper fleet made sure to close it down. Naturally, some shenanigans went down.
Saturday was a typical long beach day with lots of wind. Our main focus was to keep the boat flat, play the jib, and stay in phase. Our second race was by far our best race of the weekend. We were over early at the start and didn’t hear our number until a minute after and by that time we were 300 yards up and sandwiched in a snake pit. By the time we – re-started we were so far down that it almost felt impossible to get back up to the top. Luckily, we had 3 long legs and great crew work to land us a 2nd place finish. Brad Milligan and his crew had a great race and excellent downwind boat speed, finishing in 1st.
Sunday was another light wind day and extremely patchy. We managed to stay in the breeze, catch all the shifts, and change gears quickly on the first race. Our last race consisted of tacking and gybing duels all the way to the finish. Chris Winnard and his crew had great boat speed and tactics and finished in first. Overall, we ended the regatta with 5 bullets and 2 seconds, which left people saying… “That ain’t right!” A big thanks to everyone who came out and made this such a great event. We had boats from Seattle, San Francisco, Phoenix and San Diego. We hope to get the Texans out next year!
Video from Friday’s races: