Written by Team Farniente (USA 279) Tuesday, 22 February 2011 09:55
The SCYA Midwinters, hosted by Cal. Yacht Club, was held last Saturday and Sunday - with a total of 4 races sailed in the series out of the scheduled 5. We had 10 Open 5.70s on the line, which was a great turnout and really shows the strength of the Class in Marina Del Rey - no doubt the 5.70 will be the biggest local one design class in 2011.
The teams looked with great anticipation towards the start of races Saturday morning as a low pressure system approached the coast of Southern California and brought with it predictions for strong breeze.
Unfortunately, Saturday morning met the racers with light and shifty conditions, which frustrated teams rostering 3 crew members in anticipation of storm winds. Race 1 turned out to be a challenging race tactically with 30-degree shifts across the course and a small storm front looming in the distance. Newcomers, Team Farniente (USA 279) started the regatta strong with a bullet while class veteran Jermome Sammarcelli (USA 275) nipped at their heels finishing a close second, and Rich Festa (USA 286) finished third. Race 2 proved even more shifty and difficult, as the storm front got closer, and finally broke loose into 25-knot gusts just as most of the fleet approached layine on the second weather leg. In these conditions, the 5.70’s really showed their true colors as teams reached over 14 knots on the downwind leg. Every team pushed their boats hard in the breeze with heart breaking wipeouts for some, but a half leg lead victory for Champagne Series winner David Brown on “KOA” (USA 274). Robert Bray on “DISC” (USA 276) finished second, and Nick de Roulhac finished third on Farniente to win the day after the last race was abandoned.
Sunday started with clear skies and once again challenging and shifty conditions. After a short postponement due to a 5.70 disagreeing with the race committees placement of the pin end of the start line, race 3 got going. Once again, the racers were met with a tactitians nightmare of difficult to predict shifts and wind speed fluctuations. Jerome Sammarcelli (USA 275) showing strong desire to win took an early lead and threw down a bullet in the first race, with Tracy Kenney (USA 169) finishing second, and Nick de Roulhac (USA 279) finishing third, narrowing Team Farniente’s lead over Jerome down to just one point in a position to lose a tie break. Race 4 was met with a 15 degree left shift in the prestart leaving most of the teams fighting in a make or break struggle to win the pin. By the top of the course Jerome Sammercelli and Nick de Roulhac were battling for first in a winner take all tacking duel. In the end experience persevered and Jerome Sammarcelli finished out his perfect day with another bullet, and first in the regatta.The final top three were Jerome Sammercelli “Semi-Aquatic” (USA 275), Nick deRoulhac “Farniente” (USA 279), and David brown “KOA” (USA 274).
Congratulations to all of the sailors that competed! As a newcomer to the fleet I am continually impressed by the level of talent, skill, and sportsmanship. I am looking forward to the next time we meet, whether it’s at the yacht club bar, or on the race course.
Nick de Roulhac, Geno Beville, Roger O’Connor