" The Harbor 20 fleet sailing with family members while properly keeping social distancing"
Friday, May 22, 2020
By LEN BOSE
It appears the harbor will be slowly opening up within the next couple of weeks if we stay on an even plane between now and the second week of June.
I talked to two of our harbor’s Yacht Club commodores on the phone. Commodore Ginny Lombardi of the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club said, “We have been cautious and are excited to get started. This Memorial weekend the Compass Rose patio will be open to members with limited food and beverage services. The club is planning on running the Taco Tuesday summer twilight racing series starting on June 2, confidence is high yet not set in stone with state requirements changing day by day. Efforts are being made to have the pool patio open after Taco Tuesday racing along with looking into ways of providing food service. BCYC has hopes of opening the inside of the club for the 4th of July and after race activities inside. We will make it work.”
Over at the Balboa Yacht Club Commodore David Beek was proud to inform me that the Wednesday Twilight series has started on Wednesday nights for Harbor ‘20s and Lasers while efforts are being made to start Thursday night Beer-cans within the first two weeks of June. “We have been in contact with the city harbormaster Kurt Borsting for the permits needed to start Thursday nights and our Opening Day ceremonies,” Beek said. He was also excited about Opening Day tentatively scheduled for Saturday, June 2. “We plan to have as close to a normal opening day as possible with half the number of boats on the main dock, traffic flow along the docks will be one-way and membership will have two guest tickets. We are encouraged and plan on moving slow and smart,” Beek said.
Newport Harbor Yacht Club Commodore John Fuller was unavailable for comment. It appears that NHYC will be running their Thursday Night Twilight series starting on June 11 open to Harbor ‘20s and Lehman 12s. NHYC will be trying something new for the Harbor 20 fleet by including a “Bay Fleet” division which I assume is a random leg course around the bay. The Notice of Race indicates that skipper and crew must be from the same residence; otherwise, solo sailing is required. NHYC will not allow guests onto the club premises before racing. I am very pleased to see NHYC re-engaging with the usual strong competition and a well-organized race committee.
I also noticed that Duffy Boat Rentals will be reopening and as you would guess, all boats are booked throughout Memorial Day weekend. By the way, if you have a 2000, the newer Duffy that you have not been using and might be considering selling soon, the market demand has never been higher. I have more than eight people on a waiting list with slips looking to purchase them right now. It seems we have a rather captive audience at the moment, as the Duffy appears to be one of the easiest ways to navigate through troubled times.
I had a chance to talk to Dereck New this week, the owner of Basin Shipyard. He told me they have been extremely busy with boaters that want to catch back up on their maintenance while looking to get back on the water as soon as possible. New’s phone was ringing and people were waiting in line to ask him questions while I had a few minutes of his attention. Things are good over at Basin Shipyard and while walking through the boatyard it remains obvious why they are everyone’s first choice in shipyards in our harbor.
I reached out to Hornblower Cruise and Events, taking the chance to connect with someone locally as to when and how they will be re-engaging on the harbor. No luck yet, although I was promised a complete explanation within a week on just how and what they will be doing to get back to work.
So to reiterate what the BCYC Commodore shared, “We are excited to get started.”
Friday, May 08, 2020
|Bill and Diane Menninger|
By LEN BOSE
I had the chance to interview Bill Menninger the other day over the phone after sending him 10 questions. You might recall Menninger is also a part of the Newport Beach Sailing Hall of Fame. Among his notable achievements: 3rd place in the 1980 J24 Nationals, 6th in the J24 Worlds, 5th in the 1987 22’ Etchells Worlds, 1st in the 2016 Master Regatta, crewed on three Lipton Cup-winning teams, crewed on 4 Baldwin Cup-winning teams, along with 6 Harbor 20 Fleet Championships and 1 Harbor 20 Class Championship. So yeah, if you beat Menninger, the odds are really good you won the regatta. So, what are his winning secrets?
Q: Where were you born, and how and when did you first start sailing?
A: I was born in Palos Verdes. My Dad bought a 40-foot Newport when I was 5 with the dream of doing the Transpacific Yacht Race. We bought it in Santa Barbara and kept it at Cal Yacht anchorage in San Pedro. Our slip mate next door was Lloyd Bridges of Sea Hunt fame. But my Dad’s dreams and our family were shattered as he caught rheumatic fever and passed when I was 7. My mom sold the boat and bought a trailer at the Dana Strand Beach Club. So my early sailing was traded for body surfing. My mom made great friends and one neighbor at Dana Strand was from the LA Yacht Club, and mentioned to her that I could become an immediate member of the yacht club because of my Dad’s membership. So I first started sailing around the age of 8 with Ray Wallace who headed the LAYC program. We sailed Victory 21’s in LA harbor and the small boats were either Guppies or Dink Kittens.
Q: Do you recall when you first felt your passion for the sport?
A: My passion for the sport blossomed when LAYC placed a fleet order for Flying Juniors. Club members bought 15 boats. My mom entertained the idea, but I was super excited and figured that part of the justification could be teaching my stepdad to sail. I was 12. The boat was great, and I started sailing and racing. My stepdad lost out and was replaced by the younger crew, some of them still great friends...Richard Gadbois, Rosie Bell. My days in school were spent drawing sailboats, and I read everything about racing from articles to books – Paul Elvstrom, Stuart Walker.
Q: What was the first big event you won, and which would you consider your biggest win?
A: The first big win was a Southern California Midwinters in San Diego. It was a big silver trophy I still have to this day. And we won in large part because we were one of the only boats to use a spinnaker, but the big deal for my youth sailing was the Governor’s Cup win for LAYC.
Q: What is your favorite sea story either at sea or at the party?
A: One of my favorite sea stories is going out of the Golden Gate Bridge in the J24 Worlds. I was probably 24 or 25, had a great crew, and in a fleet of 75 boats, we went into the fog in about 10th place. Bob McNeill was my tactician and he estimated the time to stay on port and when to tack. After about 10 minutes in ebb tide, we spotted the mark dead in front of us. We set the spinnaker and ran down the beach outside the gate to stay out of the tide. You could only see about 50 feet in front of you. We had no idea how we were doing, but when we entered the bay under the loud horn of the bridge, we saw no one in front of us. Another 15 miles of a bay tour and we crossed the finish line in first. In the same regatta, we tried to win the leeward end start at the Berkeley Circle, but our rudder caught the mark anchor line. It was very hard getting the line off our rudder. Steve Grillon was the next boat to weather and I remember him thanking me later, when he said, “There’s no way I was going to make that start if you hadn’t dragged the mark for me.” He may have won that race, I don’t know...but he was very happy.
Q: Did you have a mentor, and if so, why?
A: There are so many mentors, from Dick Deaver, Roy Cundiff, Tom Blackaller, Steve Taft and Bruce Gollison, but the one that stands out is Bob McNeil. He raced FJs, but he was 10 years older than me and while going through med school he had a Soling. There were about 40 really good guys sailing Solings from San Diego to Marina Del Rey, and the fleet was filled with Olympic hopefuls: Lowell North, Bobby Burns and Benny Mitchell, Earl Elms, Carl Eichenlaub, and I learned a ton. Trimming, tuning the boat, and tactics. Bob was super smart, always trying something new, and reviewing the day’s races to try to get better. We didn’t win very often but I went through a lot of sunburned skin and loved sailing in different venues with such great competition. Bob’s thought was that he’d rather be a decent sailor in a top, tough class vs. winning some class with no competition.
Q: How do you stay so consistently at the top of the H20 fleet? What do you see people missing to come up to your skill level?
A: So many big and little things go into winning sailboat races as you know. I like the boat, and I constantly trim the sails and know where I am comfortable. I try to keep the boat going fast, get decent starts and try to get the crew to be team members. I try to stay out of phase and away from big groups of boats, stay on the lifted tack and stay in the wind and favorable tide.
Q: Do you have a routine before the start of a regatta?
A: I just like to take one timed run, figure out the lay lines for the start marks, take a few tacks and jibes to make sure we are trimmed right and rolling the boat. And get a general opinion of what side of the course may be favored with the tide and wind.
Q: Your son Michael credits his success to his family by providing the tools to succeed. What were those tools and how/what would you advise other families to concentrate on in the early years?
A: He is being gracious in that statement. As a parent, I think you are blessed when your kids gravitate to good friends with good parents, and our family certainly loved the ocean whether it was sailing, surfing, or boating to Catalina with his grandparents. He had great sailing mentors like Caleb Silsby and a great competitor with Charlie Buckingham. I remember early on, sailing against him in an FJ, and I could never shake him.
Q: You just purchased a gorgeous new powerboat. Tell us about it and your plans?
A: We looked at a lot of boats and figured we better spend the kids’ inheritance. They are all doing well on their own, so let’s get on with it. We also figured out our real adventure days to go to Mexico or farther are probably past us, so coastal cruising is what we wanted to do and it’s a nice Duffy for the Harbor as well. We liked Palm Beach and my brother in law, Stewart, found a boat that wasn’t on the market, but the owner was thinking of going bigger. It had the configuration we wanted with the galley up, two cabins, two heads, top speed around 28 knots, and was fuel efficient. It’s been everything we wanted, and if I fall overboard, Diane has the choice of picking me up. On the sailboat, I had a higher possibility of falling overboard with a smaller chance of her returning to get me.
Q: Describe the perfect day on the water for you?
A: The perfect day is sailing with friends, laughing, telling stories and jokes, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Team Racing as being a lot of fun. I don’t like practice so much. I’m not a Dennis Conner. That’s why the Harbor 20 is so great. So little effort goes into preparing for a great day on the water, and team racing is so great because it makes even practicing fun.
• • •
I have sailed with Menninger on some big boats and he is constantly trimming the sails and observing the weather conditions around him. I have read through the interview several times now and will be taking away many of his comments. For example: staying out of groups, keeping the boat going fast and remembering all the good times. I am sure there is more to take away each time I read it.
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.
Thursday, May 07, 2020
Anytime, Spring 2020
Just Fun Racing – “NA” Organizing Authority
Turning Basin, Balboa, CA
The “ZURK” challenge is intended to be a test of seamanship and navigation, where both navigation and weather forecasting are a key part of the challenge.
Competitors are expected to determine the optimal time and course that allows them to round each of the designated marks in the most efficient manner when considering the effects of wind velocity, wind direction, tide, current, etc…
Racers can run the course as often as they want, and at any time 24/7 between now and June 1, 2020
2 SCHEDULE OF RACES
Racing will be held at competitor’s discretion during the months of April and May 2020.
3 RACING AREAS
Newport Harbor CA.
4 THE COURSES
The course is to round each of the following permanent racing marks: “Z” “U” “R” and “K”, and then returning to the first mark rounded.
For scoring purposes, marks can be rounded in any in order, and may be rounded in any direction.
Course to be sailed is as follows:
MARK 1 (ANY OF ABOVE “ZURK” MARKS)
Mark 2 (any of above “ZURK” marks not already rounded)
Mark 3 (any of above “ZURK” marks not already rounded)
Mark 4 (any of above “ZURK” marks not already rounded)
Mark 1 (MUST BE SAME MARK THAT TIMING WAS STARTED AT)
Time shall be recorded for each total elapsed time after rounding all four marks (hh/mm/ss), with time recorded when boats return and re-round “Mark 1.”
Marks will be permanent Newport Harbor racing buoys “Z” “U” “R” and “K”.
Z Mark – Beer Can turning mark. Permanent marker buoy near Lido Village
U Mark – Permanent marker buoy in front of Lido Island Yacht Club
R Mark – Permanent marker buoy near Pacific Coast Highway Bridge
K Mark – Permanent maker buoy off US Coast Guard Base
More details about mark locations can be found here: http://aocyc.org/racing-marks/
6 START AND FINISH
Competitors will be responsible for self-recording start and finishing time. For purposes of scoring, competitors shall be responsible for submitting times after rounding each mark.
Start Time @ Mark 1: hh:mm:ss
Finish @ Mark 1: hh:mm:ss
Scoring will be updated monthly for best times in the following classes:
- Harbor 20 Open
- Harbor 20 B
- Harbor 20 C
- Open Sailing Class
Best times shall be submitted to: _______________________
“Nuts” trophy’s will be handed out to the top boat in each class.
9 DISCLAIMERS OF LIABILITY
Competitors participate in the regatta entirely at their own risk. See RRS 4, Decision to Race. The organizing authority will not accept any liability for material damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with or prior to, during, or after the regatta.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, sailors are asked to observe applicable CDC advice by single-handing, or by sailing with crew that are part of their household.
"Bay Bird" # 8
My wife Paige and I planned to sail today to get out of the house, and as we left the dock at BYC I sailed out to K and started the timer - conditions were right for the run. About half way to U things were going well so I filled her in on what we were doing.
A fresh southerly allowed us to reach most of the course, with only a short beat from R out around Linda and Harbor islands. 4 gybes and 3 tacks in total.
Elapsed Time: 1:06:41.43Elapsed Time holder
"Spiritus # 117"
Started at K 14:48Rounded R at 15:07Rounded Z at 15:27Rounded U at 15:52Ended at K at 16: 20
ET = 1 Hr 32 Mins
Yesterday I (single handing) did a Zurk and had a lot of fun in good but variable wind. And the whole bay almost for myself.
Golden Rivet II
( Completed in the "Other" category)
Hula Girl 4-29-20
Marks R, Z, U, K, R
(Winds were not strong, but only had one beat in the Southerly, out from R, and the rest was reaching.)
Course Time 1:16:38May 9th time 1:18: 30 grrr
Breeze SSW 6-9 Knots
Started at "R" Mark 15:28
Rounded "Z" Mark 15:44
Rounded " "U" Mark 16:07
Rounded "K" Mark at 16:33
Finished "R" Mark at 16:56
Course Time: 1:28.00
Team Hula Girl did the ZURK course today. 4-24-20
We started at R at 1:55 pm
Arrived at K at 2:21 pm (26 minutes)
Arrived at U at 3:10 pm (49 minutes)
Arrived at Z at 3:40 pm (30 minutes)
Arrived at R at 3:53 pm (13 minutes)
Total elapsed time: 1 hour and 58 minutes.
Saturday, May 02, 2020
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Sunday, April 26, 2020, Newport Beach CA, Five Points area of the harbor. “Catch and Dispose” Tournament. The fog lifted a little later in the day while the traffic decreased substantially within the anchorage area from the previous day. 11 Teams showed up for the tournament and at 12:00 each team headed out like prospectors looking for gold.
Team Bose headed to Bayshores and walked the docks, where Jennifer found a boat brush in the water, while retrieving it she realized it was a little stinky. “We are not putting this in the boat it smells really bad”, she said. while placing it in the dock trash can. Our next stop on our prospecting plan was the Balboa Bay Club where we gathered most of our flotsam along the sea wall. As we started to depart Team Kerr/Thompson sailed up and expressed their excitement finding the mother load in the SOL restaurant marina. Wendy had the quote of the day “Len, this is so much fun! We just take these boats out to race, I never knew you could have this much fun in them.” Phil and I had a good laugh then commented on how many boaters, that we're watching us, we're so thankful for our efforts. It felt good and ya it was fun.
Team Kerr/Thompson had hit the jackpot and we wondered if we should continue with our plan or head over to the SOL marina. We continued with our plan and found more flotsam in the Calypso Marina. Just like that an hour and a half had passed so we started our sail to Fernando street Public Pier.
We arrived at 14:00 and was greeted by Team Volk and with the smile, on their faces of accomplishment, they had found a huge amount of flotsam on one of the islands in the upper bay. Next to arrive at the Dock was Team Drayton who had also hit it big at the UCI Rowing base in the upper bay. By the way, I do not recommend sailing under the PCH Bridge in your H20, Team Drayton was in a 22’ Duffy BayIsland and Volk was in a ridged dinghy Both teams found mounds of flotsam.
Meanwhile, aboard their Boston Whaler, Heidi Hall and Steven Guzowski were prospecting Balboa Island and China Beach and reeled in over 8 full bags of flotsam. At the same time team Camerini, Davies, Campbell, Menninger, Simmonds and Mcchesney were all trolling the waters and brought in full bags of flotsam.
Like I had mentioned earlier when other boaters recognized what we were doing they all wanted to join in and help out. Jennifer and I must have had over 8 people thank us for our efforts that day, we heard the same stories from all the other teams in the tournament. After everyone had left and Jennifer and I were surrounded by all the flotsam bags I said to Jen “Now the hard work” of bringing all the bags up to the trash cans at the end of the pier. Another boater had been watching us and pulled up and asked if he could help and thank us again.
Truly a heart-filling day by all the Newport Luv’n! HUGE shout out to all the Harbor 20 owners who participated in the tournament. Each one of them went the extra mile. Len Bose
EST : #350 Pounds of Flotsam collected
EST : #350 Pounds of Flotsam collected