View Full Version : 2017 29er US Nationals & Worlds

07-30-2017, 11:52 AM

The 2017 US Nationals, hosted by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club (Long Beach, CA) concluded July 28th. With 116 entrants, this was by far the largest 29er regatta in the history of the United States and, most likely, in all of North America. Ever.

This large turnout is, of course, due to this event being a "tune up" regatta for the 2017 Zhik 29er World Championships.

All photos©Christian Bonin www.tsgphoto.com



The US National Championships was open to all teams from all nations and the top five teams represented that openess by coming from 5 different countries. They are:

1st Seb Lardies Scott McKenzie from New Zealand
2nd Alie Toppa Jacob Rosenberg from the USA
3rd Benji Daniel Alex from South Africa
4th Lachie Brewer Max Paul from Australia
5th Albert Gelpi Alexandre Boquet from Spain





Awards were presented to the top 5 teams overall, the top All Female Team of Annabelle Davies Madison Woodward (Australia), and the Top All USA team - aka the US National Champions - Alie Toppa and Jacob Rosenberg.

For more details on results and entrants, please visit the ABYC event webpage https://www.abyc.org/regattas/29er-us-national-championship.
For more details about the 2017 Zhik 29er World Championships, visit http://www.29erworlds.org

RESULTS (http://sailwave.com/results/ABYC_2017_29er_US_Nationals.htm)

08-01-2017, 11:19 AM
One regatta, two courses, two different experiences
29er World Championship Day 1


LONG BEACH, Calif., July 31, 2017 – Day one of the 29er World Championship, hosted by Alamitos Yacht Club, started a bit like A Tale of Two Cities. Although just a mile apart, the Bravo Course, closer to Seal Beach Pier, saw shifty and variable winds resulting in starting line drama; while the Alpha Course, nearer Alamitos Bay, enjoyed steady, building breeze; and most starts went off without a hitch.

Competitors in this 17th annual championship event were split into two groups, and each completed three races. Racing on the Bravo Course was initially postponed due to oscillating, light winds that made it challenging even for the skilled Race Committee to establish the line and marks. With fickle winds, OCS were rampant, leading to black flags. By the final race of the day, 20 teams had disqualifications due to premature starts. "The fleet was pushing really hard, we were anxious to get racing," explained Wells Drayton, racing with Lucas Pierce of Santa Barbara.




"What struck me was that the two courses were like two different worlds," said ABYC's Commodore Chuck Clay. "The two courses were only a mile apart, but the sailors experienced such different conditions, wind and racing. The kids did really great; my hat's off to these athletes."

Executive director of the 29er Class, Jerelyn Biehl, concurred, saying, "the event is off to a great start with epic race conditions and a stellar race committee!"

One hundred thirty-one teams from around the globe are competing in the six-day event, at ABYC. Many of the teams – including foreign competitors from Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Canada, France, Spain, Brazil, the US Virgin Islands, Germany, Poland, Argentina and Hong Kong, in addition to representatives from Ireland, Czechoslovakia, Uruguay, and South Africa –arrived early to tune up in last week's US Nationals Competition, also hosted by ABYC.

While New Zealand's Seb Lardes and Scott McKenzie won on points, by a narrow margin over the domestic duo of Alie Toppa and Jacob Rosenberg, it was Toppa and Rosenberg who were named US National Champions. Toppa, of the Lauderdale Yacht Club, teamed up with Long Beach's new favorite son, Rosenberg, and now have hopes of achieving silver or gold: something no other US team has been able to do in the history of the 29er Worlds. Benji Daniel and Alex Burger, the sole South African team, aced third by just one point; the Top Women's Team went to Australians Annabelle Davies and Madison Woodward.




Attesting to the international flavor of this talented fleet, Kiwi entrants Lardes and McKenzie ended today's first day of Worlds at the top of the leaderboard, with Argentina's Santiago Duncan Loiaz and Elias Dalli second. South Africans Daniel and Burger stuck to their third place status, with Australians Achie Brewer and Max Paul fourth, and Pep Costa and Fran Nunez, of Spain, fifth.

Two more days of Qualifying will be held August 1 and 2; followed by three days of Finals, to be held Thursday, August 3 through Saturday, August 5. The Final Series will consist of 10 races. Trophies will be awarded to the top team overall, the top youth team, and the top girls team. U.S. entrants are hoping for a hometown advantage that will enable them to best third place, the highest position a U.S. team has ever achieved in this world championship event.




For complete results, please visit the 29erWorlds.org website or click on the Day 1 Results List link below.

RESULTS (http://www.regattanetwork.com/clubmgmt/applet_regatta_results.php?regatta_id=13546&show_country=1&show_hometown=1&show_crew=1&hide_yacht_club=1)

08-02-2017, 11:13 AM
"Patience, Sunshine."
Testing conditions for racers and organizers on Day Two

LONG BEACH, Calif., August 1, 2017 – Fluky winds that refused to settle teased sailors and organizers alike, on Day Two of the Zhik 29er World Championship Regatta, hosted by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club.


For nearly two hours, the Alpha Course Race Committee boat – called Patience – and mark set boat – Sunshine – hailed each other incessantly; testing (and hoping for) steady enough wind direction and velocity to start a race. "Patience, Sunshine," reverberated across the course over VHF, sounding more like words of encouragement than a radio call. And they were, marks and lines were moved, and moved again as races were postponed, started, postponed, recalled, and abandoned.

"You've got to be patient," explained Bruce Golison, PRO on Bravo Course. "You want to have as fair a race as possible: that's what it's all about."

But in waffley weather, how do they decide when to race, and when to postpone? "I still race at an international level so I look at it as a tactician," said Golison. "If I was racing my J/70, what would I want to see right now? What would the competitors like to see happen? We like to stay in touch with the racer, and be racer-friendly."




As winds ultimately crystalized and built – up to 10 knots at times – Bravo Course squeezed out three races, while Alpha Course completed two.

Argentina's team of Santiago Duncan Loias/Elias Dalli climbed a notch to the head of the leaderboard; followed by Benji Daniel/Alex Burger of South Africa; and Neil Marcellini/Ian Brill, USA. New Zealand's Seb Lardies/Scott McKenzie dipped to fourth place, due to a 27th place finish in Race Four; but are still just 20 points out of first place.

While Alpha Course waited patiently for wind, the team of Tania Bonilla/Nuria Miro were flourishing on Bravo Course's lighter air. The two-time Spanish Nationals winners struggled a bit in Monday's heavier winds. "Yesterday there were crazy waves. We're really good with light winds, so today was better," said Bonilla. The team placed first in today's first race and eighth in the third race, but were black flag disqualified in the second race of the day.




These university students, with Olympic dreams, are fighting to be the crowned the best woman's team at the 29er Worlds "We want to win the girls title: we're fighting for that," Bonilla said. However, at 20 and 21, this will be the last regatta for them as a team. So, although they are working hard to be competitive, they are also enjoying the camaraderie and experience at the ABYC.

Unseasonable weather conditions are expected to last through tomorrow. Attributed to a series of tropical depressions rolling across the Pacific, the increased moisture in the air has produced unusually cloudy skies, which slowed the onshore effect of the sea breeze, and threatened thunderstorms and rain.

"These are not typical conditions, but they're what you'd expect if there's a hurricane in Mexico," Golison explained. "Even if it's 1,000 miles away, we can get the humidity, unstable winds, and big surf and swells."

The Zhik 29er Worlds are host to 129 competitors from 17 nations. Qualifying races continue tomorrow, August 2, in the waters off Long Beach, beginning at roughly 12PM. Finals will be held Thursday, August 3 through Saturday, August 5, and are scheduled to consist of 10 races.




Trophies will be awarded to the top team overall, the top youth team, and the top girls team.
Alamitos Bay Yacht Club.

ABYC has a world-wide reputation as a premier small boat club dedicated to the development of the sport of sailing, and has hosted roughly 20 world championship events. In 1968 ABYC became the first yacht club in the United States to win the St. Petersburg Yacht Club Trophy: an award presented by US Sailing for excellence in race organization and management. ABYC won the St. Petersburg Yacht Club Trophy again in 1981, and more recently in 2016, for the Laser Mid-Winters West. More than ABYC 100 volunteers will participate during the week-long 29er World Championship event, serving an estimated 5,000 meals to the competitors, their families and coaches.

Zhik, the title sponsor of the event, is an Australian sailing apparel manufacturer known for innovative gear for all aspects of sailing, combining design and style with technical proficiency and style.
For further details and complete results please visit www.29erworlds.org.

RESULTS (http://www.regattanetwork.com/clubmgmt/applet_regatta_results.php?regatta_id=13546&show_country=1&show_hometown=1&show_crew=1&hide_yacht_club=1)

Prince of Whales
08-02-2017, 11:40 AM
Looks like the southern hemi teams like the muggy conditions!

08-03-2017, 11:20 PM

Breeze Elevates Racers Rise
Gold Fleet Steps Up at Zhik 29ers Worlds

LONG BEACH, Calif., August 3, 2017 – Despite a half-hour dock hold, before the boats launched this morning, the wind kicked in on this first day of Final Series races, and the competitors dug in, setting the tone for world-class sailing at Zhik 29er World Championship Regatta.

The first weather mark saw a parade of athletes proficient in knowledge of their boats and their ability to get the most of out of them. Hard tacks were made with precise steering, and well-executed maneuvers cleanly launched a colorful array of spinnakers. This was the Gold Fleet; they deserved to be here and just demonstrated why.

Although international competitors continued to dominate the top 10, thanks to the return of typical Long Beach wind and consistently good races, the US team of Alie Toppa and Jacob Rosenberg leapt into a three-way tie for third place with an 8-7-1 record for the day.




Last week, the team placed second at the US National Championship where unseasonable weather reigned. "No more funky conditions," Toppa said, thankfully. Rosenberg, 19, who started sailing at host venue Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, said thanks to "classic" Long Beach conditions, racing today was just simpler.

"We could just concentrate on speed; where to go, where to tack and jibe," said the Stanford student. The pair have been sailing the 29er together for less than two years. They chose the 29er for its exciting, youthful and speedy appeal. Toppa previous sailed 420's. The 29ers are faster, but a lot of hard work, she said.

The College of Charleston student and sailing team member, also 19, is from Ft. Lauderdale. Between clinics, practicing and the championship regattas, she's been here most of the summer. The game plan for winning is to stay focused, take it one race at a time; stick to the daily and tune-up routines, the pair said.




Last week, the team placed second at the US National Championship where unseasonable weather reigned. "No more funky conditions," Toppa said, thankfully. Rosenberg, 19, who started sailing at host venue Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, said thanks to "classic" Long Beach conditions, racing today was just simpler.

"We could just concentrate on speed; where to go, where to tack and jibe," said the Stanford student. The pair have been sailing the 29er together for less than two years. They chose the 29er for its exciting, youthful and speedy appeal. Toppa previous sailed 420's. The 29ers are faster, but a lot of hard work, she said.

The College of Charleston student and sailing team member, also 19, is from Ft. Lauderdale. Between clinics, practicing and the championship regattas, she's been here most of the summer. The game plan for winning is to stay focused, take it one race at a time; stick to the daily and tune-up routines, the pair said.




Scores from the Qualifying Series have been wiped, but competitors started the Finals Series today with their rank in place; carried over as standings in Race 1. These standings however, cannot be discarded as the series progresses.

The top 50 finishers qualified for Gold fleet, with the next 40 in Silver, and the balance in Bronze. The Finals Series continues August 4 and 5. One hundred and twenty nine teams from 17 nations are participating in the World Championship event hosted by ABYC. Racing continues on the waters off Alamitos Bay daily at noon. Prize giving and closing ceremony is slated for Saturday evening on the grounds of ABYC.

Making Adjustments
Principal Race Officer (PRO) Mark Townsend reported that the building wind resulted in seeing racers who had excelled in lighter air fall back, and those more experienced in breezier conditions cross the finish line faster. Race 1 started with a casual 7-9 knots, building to 12-14 for the second, and 16 for the third with gusts to 20.

According to Torontonian William Bonin, who sails with his brother Sam, CAN, dealing with the choppy water has been a challenge. The great number of boats and ocean conditions has created more chop than they are used to. To compensate, they've been working on sailing the bow down lower than usual. Toronto Harbor can be breezy, but they rarely get waves.

"It's challenging, not having sailed in these types of conditions," Bonin said. "But experience also makes a big difference; having a lot of regattas under your belt." That experience helped them into the Gold Fleet. Despite the sea state, their emphasis is their start. "It's so hard to come back if you're rolled off the line. Boats in front have better wind," he said, and a better chance at the podium.

Looking Ahead
Youth sailing, experiencing a world championship regatta like this, and racing the 29er is the path to becoming an Olympian, said Malcolm Page. The Australian Olympic and multiple-time world sailing champion stopped by the regatta Wednesday and Thursday evenings to spend time talking to some of the competitors. This generation of sailors is probably aiming for 2028, the first real chance for most of them, he said.

"There is something about this sport, the freedom of it, the ability to choose where you go, how to get there, that is really special and can be enjoyed for a lifetime," said Page. "Embracing the amazing feeling you get from sailing and just having fun is the best way to have your dreams become reality."

RESULTS (http://www.regattanetwork.com/clubmgmt/applet_regatta_results.php?regatta_id=13546&show_country=1&show_hometown=1&show_crew=1&hide_yacht_club=1)


08-05-2017, 12:55 PM

ONG BEACH, Calif., August 4, 2017 – Bolstered by better breeze, with steady winds of 12 to 16 knots, the team of Benji Daniel, 16, and Alex Burger, 21, RSA, widened their lead to place a firm grip on first place in the 29er World Championship regatta.

One-hundred-twenty-nine teams from around the globe are competing in the six-day event, hosted by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, which concludes tomorrow, August 5.

Daniel and Burger said they came to the championship regatta with the goal of simply doing their best. But after another solid day of racing – consistently placing in the top five throughout the finals – it just occurred to them that they could win this thing.




Despite sailing the 29er together for only four months, the young men trained specifically for this competition, purposely sailing in mixed conditions. Training in the waters off both Durban and Cape Town, the boys' hometowns, respectively, has prepared them well. Despite the series starting with unusual conditions for Long Beach, Burger reports that sailing conditions in South Africa are even more variable.

They also attributed their success to their height. It's a massive advantage, they said. Both young men are tall and lean, giving them more leverage. "We also complement each other as a team, not only physically in size, but in making smart decisions," said Burger.

Daniel, at the helm, is responsible for making sure the boat is going top speed all the time. "Whoever sails the shortest distance at the highest velocity, wins," Burger said, adding with a smile, "speed makes you look clever."




Daniel directs them along shortest route but credit he said goes to both team members for sharing responsibilities half and half on the boat – tactics and implementation.
Despite doing really well, the pair say that goal has not changed: do their best. "Our attitude will be the same 'til the last race," Burger said.

Although they started the day with a 1-2-1, Duncan Loiaz/Elias Dalli, ARG, made a valiant effort of reclaiming first place, but a 12th place finish in the last race left them in second, with the two French teams hot on their derrières. Seb Lardies/Scott McKenzie, NZL, dropped from a tie for third, to fifth. The top US team of Toppa/Rosenberg slid to 12th.




Next Gen Takes the Helm
For nearly two decades, the 29er has been a popular junior class; considered a stepping stone to higher level racing, and a favored platform for the progeny of sailing greats, cutting their teeth. The 29er Worlds fleet at ABYC is no exception, sprinkled with promising sailing stock: like Harry and Harriet.

Harry Melges' great-grandfather started the Melges Boat empire, which continued to grow with the successes of Harry's grandfather Buddy, and Dad. "I've been around sailing my whole life, going to every regatta," says Melges, 16, who grew up in Lake Geneva, Wisc., and is racing with Finn Rowe. Despite family fame, Melges says there's, "no pressure. I'm doing this for myself." Fairly new to the 29er, finishing 21st in the Gold fleet today, he said, "This is the most competitive event I've sailed in yet. And the venue is awesome."

Reared with another yachting legacy, Harriet "Hattie" Rogers last name is synonymous with yacht design; from the Contessa line created by her grandfather, to round-the-world racers designed by her father Simon.

"I've been sailing since I was an infant: I didn't have much of a choice! But I loved it from day one," said Rogers, 17. As for her father, she continued, "He's been out a lot this week, watching. On the water I see him more as a coach and team manager. He's got so much experience, and is such a good sailor, I learn a lot from him. I kind of soak it all up."

"It's been a really good regatta," added Rogers, who is racing with Emily Covell, daughter of Olympic medalist Mark Covell; but with a nod to regular crew and training partner Eve Townsend. "The quality of the fleet here is really high – I just made it into the Gold fleet," she admitted, finishing 49th in Qualifying. They finished in 47th place at the penultimate day of Finals. "And the race committee has done a good job getting races in, in tricky conditions, and I'd like to say thank you to them."

All That Glitters is Not Gold
At the top of the Silver Fleet, Morgan Pinckney /Michael Sabourin of Newport Beach, Calif. are in tight clash with the Kiwis.

"There are some really good sailors in the Silver Fleet," Pinckney stressed, attributing that to several teams who got Black Flag Disqualified in the Qualifying Series, bumping them down the ranks. "It's really close, and the starts are really gnarly. You've got a boat five feet above you, a boat five feet below you, and you've just got to find a hole. Everyone has good speed; it's all about having good tactics." They sit two points behind Craig Keenan/Reece Caulfield, in second; with Ben Peterson/Sean Paterson in the lead at 93 points.

In the Bronze Fleet, Brazilians Lorenzo Bernd/Philipp Rump are poised in first, with three bullets under their belt in Finals, so far.

It's not just about race results, noted New Zealand Coach Matt Thomas. "Our focus is to help the racers set goals, follow the process and learn to solve problems independently, without coaches or anyone else." Despite some good-spirited ribbing from competitors stopping by the coach boat, Thomas maintains that it's all about learning, "They are all kids, at the end of the day." But at the same time, the teams are still keen to do well and win.

Racing continues Saturday August 5, commencing around noon until roughly 3:30PM. Three races are expected tomorrow, with favorable conditions forecast. A prize-giving, ceremony and celebration will follow at host ABYC.

RESULTS (http://www.regattanetwork.com/clubmgmt/applet_regatta_results.php?regatta_id=13546&show_country=1&show_hometown=1&show_crew=1&hide_yacht_club=1)

08-13-2017, 03:03 PM

Simon Hoffman and Johnny Durcan, right, at St. Mary Medical Center earlier this week after Durcan's rescue.

Story by Nick Tabakoff The Australian (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/olympics/olympic-dream-tossed-aside-to-save-mates-life/news-story/7fd21f9010886ad506e361fd787e0a73)

One moment, teen sailor Simon Hoffman was taking a key step *towards his Olympic dream by competing in the 29ers World Championship off Los Angeles.
The next, he was in the midst of a life-and-death struggle more akin to a Hollywood blockbuster, under the hull of an upturned boat.
The 18-year-old from New*castle in NSW is a Christian and he believes divine intervention brought him to this moment. *Approaching the first leg of the final race off Los Angeles’s Long Beach last
Saturday, he heard frantic screaming from a capsized boat 40m away.

The championship had been a key stepping stone in his dream to become an Olympian, but Hoffman now believes his higher purpose was to abandon the race, and instead save a life.
“Help! He needs help now!” a female voice cried out.
Hoffman’s close mate, 17-year-old Irish youth champion and fellow competitor Johnny Durcan, was wrapped in ropes and submerged under his race yacht.
“I saw the boat was capsized, then I realised it was one of my best mates and I couldn’t see his head,” he said. “I didn’t tell my skipper; I just jumped.”
Hoffman knew the clock was ticking and that with each passing second the chances of Durcan being successfully revived were decreasing.

He had to make some instinctive decisions. “I ripped off my lifejacket, because I wasn’t going to get down there with my lifejacket on,” he said.
Hoffman and Spaniard Santiago Alegre, who also abandoned the race, worked desperately to *release Durcan to get him to the surface. Asked how long Durcan was trapped underwater, Hoffman replied: “It could have been three minutes. Eventually, we managed to pull him out between the mast and the jib while ripping the ropes off from around him.”
A motorboat had arrived *nearby to assist, but Hoffman and *Alegre still had to swim the lifeless Durcan a few metres to get him on board

“He was heavy,” Hoffman said. “You could tell his lungs were full of water, and he was wearing a wetsuit, a lifejacket and a harness. The two of us struggled to get him up on the boat. We’re very strong guys. He’s 80kg, but he would have been 100kg-plus at least on the day.”
Once they managed to heave him on to the boat, the prognosis did not look good.

“He was unconscious and his eyes were open,” Hoffman said. “Normally eyes are blue or brown, but the middle of his eyes were white. There was no life in them. We feared he was dead — and there was water gushing from his mouth.”

The boat’s driver had Durcan flat on his back, and started performing compressions.
By a quirk of fate, Hoffman had received intensive first-aid training three months before, as part of his bid to become a fully fledged sailing coach. Instinct and training kicked in. He took charge of the situation.

“I said, ‘We need to get him on his side, right now’,” Hoffman said.
Once the initial gush of water had stopped, Durcan was then returned to his back.

“I got Santiago to do compressions with me, and the speed boat driver cut off the life jacket,” he said. “We then tilted his head on its side. But every compression, it felt like a litre of water, vomit, bile and acid came out.”

Two minutes in, despite their best efforts, there was little sign of life.
“I still thought he was dead, because his eyes were still open, there was no breathing and he was limp,” Hoffman said.
“I was getting super desperate — words can’t describe … I was doing everything I could, I was just thinking, ‘I can’t lose one of my best mates like this’.”
Hoffman started talking to the unconscious Durcan.

“I thought he might be able to hear me,” he said. “I just said: ‘Come on mate, you can do this.’ ”
At one point, Hoffman turned to Alegre, and there was a silent acknowledgment that Durcan was most likely dead — but they did not give up. Finally, after five minutes on the boat, they received a sign.

“It was a slow blink on his right eye,” Hoffman said. “It was a big difference from what we’d had for the last eight minutes.”
Thirty seconds later, another sign: “He breathed through his nose once.”

Soon after, Durcan’s recovery gathered pace. He shakily sat upright. The US coastguard then backed up its boat to whisk Durcan to hospital.
Hoffman described the five minutes spent reviving Durcan on the boat as feeling like “the longest five minutes of my life”.
Having saved Durcan’s life, Hoffman felt the adrenaline drain out of his body. He had a 20-minute sail back to shore when reality sank in.
“I fell into a pretty big shock: I was very emotional,” is all he will say of the trip back.

“I probably shouldn’t say this, but my coach bought me a beer (once back on shore),” he said.
He then insisted he be taken to Durcan’s hospital bed, where the two friends finally embraced.

A week on, back home in Newcastle, Hoffman is still dealing with the emotional fallout.
In his first interview since the drama unfolded, his voice cracks as he says: “I felt like I was going to lose one of my best mates, there and then.”

Now he is being nominated for a NSW Bravery Award.
Some in the fleet continued to race despite the potential tragedy unfolding in front of them, something that confused Hoffman.
“Some of the other boats yelled out ‘I think he needs help’ as they sailed past,” Hoffman said. “I found that really weird.”

In the days since, Hoffman has contemplated a higher purpose to his presence that day.
“It all makes sense why I was there,” he said. “I feel like there was a plan for me. I’m a Christian, so I believe it was planned the whole time.”
From his hospital bed, Durcan wasted no time in sending a message to the general email *address of Australian Sailing to have Hoffman’s efforts officially acknowledged.

“Simon Hoffman quite literally saved my life yesterday at the 29er worlds, and is the reason I’m alive to write this from hospital,” he wrote.
“Maybe I can nominate him for some sort of special award.”

Australian Sailing president Matt Allen said yesterday: “Simon’s efforts show great bravery. We will do everything we can to ensure he is recognised. Everybody is so proud.”
Durcan and Hoffman, both safely back home, now have a lifelong bond.
“If we weren’t mates forever before, we sure are now,” Hoffman says.
“I’m just so happy it was me that was there that day.”

Built to List
08-14-2017, 03:37 PM
The true heart of a champion!