ON THE WATER: Top Laser Sailors Square Off On Pacific

Alamitos Bay Yacht Club hosted the successful 2014 Laser, Laser North American and U.S. Singlehanded Championships last weekend with almost 200 boats sailing. 

The event attracted 190 entries from 14 countries in three classes, demanding a quarter-mile-long start line, making it difficult to navigate between the beached boats on the bay side of the peninsula Sunday morning as the sailors were rigging their boats.

One of the top-rated American racers, Charlie Buckingham from Newport Beach, convinced the world’s fourth-ranked Laser Full sailor, Brazil’s Bruno Fontes, to come to Long Beach to compete. Both are accomplished sailors and Olympic hopefuls.

On Sunday, I watched the two of them help one another prepare their boats as they talked about the day ahead. They almost seemed like two kids participating in ABYC’s thriving summer youth sailing program. 

 That spirit of friendly competition is what has afforded sailors the ability to continually improve, attract others to the sport and give spectators a good show. Buckingham and Fontes did just that.

It was great to see them finish first and second, respectively, in the Laser standard fleet.

Chris Barnard, also from Newport Beach, staged a fast finish, winning both races Sunday to place third overall. 

Paige Railey of Clearwater, Fla., flying under the St. Francis Yacht Club burgee, won the Laser Radial fleet and Gage Wilson of Cape Coral, Fla. won the nine-boat Laser 4.7 fleet with four wins. 

Solstice Saturday

This Saturday is longest day of the year. The solstice heralds the beginning of summer, and local water fans are going to capture every minute of sunshine. 

Membership Open House

In addition to its annual Summer Solstice regatta, Alamitos Bay Yacht Club will open its doors to the community from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Members will offer tours of the clubhouse, complimentary hotdogs, drinks and sailboat rides. Guests who join the club on Saturday will pay only half the usual $1,000 initiation fee. During the past promotion that began in January, the club signed a total of 22 new regular members and nine junior members.

Charity Regatta Dance

Also on June 21, from 7 to 11 p.m., the Long Beach Singles Yacht Club will host a dance at Seal Beach Yacht Club as part of the Charity Regatta, with proceeds benefitting the Long Beach Children’s Clinic. There will be a live band, no-host bar and hors d’oeuvres.

Tickets are $30 each or $50 per couple. For details, contact Joyce Evelyn at 377-0056 or joyceevelyn@verizon.net.

Summer Camp

Long Beach Yacht Club’s fleet surgeon afloat, Rick Adams, is encouraging people of all ages with physical disabilities to attend Casa Colina’s 20th Annual Land Meets Sea Sports Camp in Long Beach that runs Aug. 6-10.

 For more than 25 years, the Land Meets Sea Sports Camp has provided therapeutic outdoor experiences to thousands of people with disabilities. The camp introduces adaptive water, land, recreation and competitive sports, many of which are based at Marine Stadium. People with varying abilities will have the opportunity to participate in activities including kayaking, jet skiing, water skiing, outrigger canoeing, swimming, sailing, deep-sea fishing and an introduction to SCUBA.

For further information or to sign up, contact Casa Colina Outdoor Adventures program at (866) 724-4127.


The Long Beach Rowing Association celebrated National Learn to Row Day on Saturday, June 7. More than 75 LBRA members welcomed more than 125 visitors to a free open house that included instruction on Concept 2 rowing machines, dock boxes and on-the-water rowing on Long Beach’s historic 1932 Olympic Rowing Course in two eights, four quads, and a double and single wherry. Experienced LBRA rowers rowed with the beginners, who rotated in and out of boats and were accompanied by two LBRA coaching launches.

On that day, six attendees became members of the Long Beach Rowing Association and 35 signed up for the learn-to-row lessons, with more people signing up daily for lessons. Those interested in lesson and membership information can visit longbeachrowing.org.

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