|The 27th annual Linda Elias Memorial One Design regatta was won by Team Newport Harbor Yacht Club, organized and sponsored by the Long Beach/Los Angeles Women’s Sailing Association and hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club.
Winning skipper Casey Hogan said, “ Many of us met when we were 8 years old sailing Sabots in the bay. We have history together and our very own main trimmer, Erin Kennedy, sailed in the first women’s one design regatta here at Long Beach Yacht Club.”
Considered one of best women’s yacht races on the West Coast, with rich history and long term friendships associated with it, this year in addition to Long Beach Sailing Foundation’s Catalina 37 fleet, organizers added Shoreline Yacht Club’s Cal 20 fleet.
The addition of this one design class offered opportunities for sailors of all ages and abilities to start racing alongside the experienced women who will compete on the Catalina 37s. Principal Race Officer Sharon Bernd was commended for her ability to work the course charts so that both fleets were challenged on the water.
Competitors expressed appreciation to regatta co-chairs Lisa Meier, Blair Carty and Cyndi Martinich, race committee, and the umpire team led by 2010 and 2011 regatta winner Colleen Cooke.
Second place skipper Liz Baylis, who last year helped team LBYC win by serving as tactician, sailed with her San Francisco YC home club shared that “Five decades of women sailors were represented on board.”
Cal YC’s Marilyn Cassedy, taking third place, proudly shared she had sailed for 27 years in the regatta.
The fourth place team, skippered by Annie Gardner, seemed to be having the most fun. Representing Hawaii YC, they all wore grass shirts to the trophy presentation and did a hula dance, led by pit-master Karen Campbell. Gardner jokingly said regarding the classic fleet of almost 30-year-old Catalina 37s, “It’s amazing these boats are still standing — I think they are older than some of our crew.”
Betsy Crowfoot, longtime friend and Elias’s fellow Transpac racer gave a heartfelt presentation on how Linda Elias advanced the sport by helping her opponents improve as competitors. After a race she would gently offer suggestions to rivals to help they hone their skills.
Elias was a fierce competitor, and at last year’s prize giving Mike Elias, told the audience about the events namesake, Linda: “Guys in the bar would say, “I can’t #&$ believe she beat me.’”
Hundreds of women have raced in the Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One-Design Challenge regatta at Long Beach since it was renamed for an extraordinary sailor back in 2003. Elias won it in 1992, 1994 and 1996, the last two while battling the ovarian cancer that ultimately took her life late in 2002 at age 52.
Results and helmsman
Catalina 37 class:
1st Newport Harbor Yacht Club: Casey Hogan: 2nd San Francisco Yacht Club, Liz Baylis: 3rd Cal YC Women’s racing team, Marilyn Cassedy: 4th Hawaii Yacht Club: Annie Gardner: 5th San Diego Yacht Club, Kris Zillman: 6th Southwestern Yacht Club, Shala Youngerman: 7th WSA-Santa Monica Bay, Karyn Jones : 8th Long Beach Yacht Club: Wendy Corzine: 9th WSA-Orange County, Debbie Kraemer: 10th Channel Islands YC, Jane Thomas: 11th Long Beach-WSA: Michelle Kringen.
Cal 20 class:
1st-Long Beach Yacht Club: Christina Van Dyke, 2nd Long Beach Yacht Club: Renee Buffington, 3rd Shoreline YC, Long Beach WSA: Owen Provence, 4th Long Beach Yacht Club: Madison Mansour