ON THE WATER: Never Quit Spectating, Sailing, Rowing

505 North American Championships

505 North American Championships

LONG BEACH FLEET. Two boats from Long Beach took part in the 505 North American Championships in Santa Cruz.

Posted: Friday, May 30, 2014 3:00 am

ON THE WATER: Never Quit Spectating, Sailing, Rowing

By Jo Murray
Gazette Columnist

Long Beach, California: Grunion Gazette Newspapers,

“If skiing was my job, I would quit.”

My sister would say that on the third day of skiing when she was exhausted from lugging gear, fighting the weather and the physical exertion of the sport. Despite her harsh comment, my sister loves every minute of her sport. I thought about her as I watched boats on the water this weekend. 

505 Championships

The 38 boats completing in the 2014 505 North American Championships hosted by Santa Cruz Yacht Club included two Long Beach entries: Howie Hamlin and Dustin Durant. Hamlin is a well-known 505 sailor and often sails in the Tuesday Twilight series hosted by the Alamitos Bay Yacht Club. Durant is new to sailing in a 505, but chose the boat because it is one of the more complex dinghies. 

Just after the start of the third race, one of Durant’s zealous competitors collided with him and T-boned the boat, causing it to take on water. Durant and crew member Ben Wheatly were unable to race for the reminder of the day, and repairs took the entire next day.

The unwritten code of the fleet is not to protest competitors. Despite the fact no protests were filed, justice was served thanks to the pro-active actions of the race committee and judges teams. Durant and teammate ended in 31st place and Hamlin won the championship. 

Learn to Row

National Learn to Row day will be celebrated locally at the Pete Archer Rowing Center at 5750 Boathouse Lane, Marine Stadium, from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 7. It is a free event, open to participants 14 years and older. If you are younger than age 18, a parent needs to tag along.

 There will be an introduction to indoor and outdoor rowing as well as boathouse tours so visitors can view the facilities and check out the equipment. Volunteers will be on hand to provide information on lessons and membership. 

If you want to go on the water, you must be able to swim, wear non-baggy athletic clothing and bring along a pair of socks. Instructors will be on the coach boats and rowing club volunteers will be on board to lead by example, demonstrate proper form and offer encouragement. 

Rowing is one few non-weight-bearing sports that exercises all the major muscle groups. It is a way to get some good cardio, be around positive people and enjoy the beauty of Alamitos Bay. 

There are two forms of rowing. In sweep or sweep-oar rowing, each rower has one oar held with both hands. This is generally done in pairs, fours and eights. In sculling, each rower has two oars (or sculls). Our Long Beach program is unique in that the instruction includes sculling, a skill that gives rowers more options as they continue in the sport.

Memorial Day Regatta

Alamitos Bay Yacht Club Commodore Jennifer Kuritz took first in the Cal 20 fleet in the club’s annual regatta. The event is the first of the four small-boat regattas the club hosts. The remaining three also are on long weekends: Fourth of July, Labor Day and Turkey Day. This allows time for participants who come from as far south as San Diego and north from San Francisco to trailer their boats to Long Beach. 

The Laser Radial fleet of 29 had San Diego Yacht Club’s Paul Didham taking first, holding off San Francisco rivals Lawson Willard and Lindsey Babb. Meanwhile Laser Full, with a fleet of 26 boats, was won by ABYC’s Olympic hopeful Chris Barnard, who is part of the US Sailing team training here in Long Beach this month.

The Sperry Top-Sider program was formed by U.S. Sailing to build the country’s sailing strength. Four members of the team training locally will make a presentation at 6 p.m. tonight, Thursday, at the Long Beach Yacht Club; there is no charge to attend, just RSVP at 598-9410. Those presenting are Syndey Bolger, Annie Haegar, Caleb Paine and Paige Railey. 

I’m thinking about all of the sore muscles rowers and sailors are nursing this week from putting boats on and off trailers, fighting the wind and cleaning up the boats.

If this was my job, I’d quit. But this is what we love to do, so we will never quit.


Friday, May 30, 2014 3:00 am.

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