2006 Santana 20 Class Championships Regatta report by Andrew Kerr



This year’s Championships were hosted by the Coronado Yacht Club (San Diego, California) August 7th to the 11th.  Twenty-five teams from Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Canada, Oklahoma, and California attended what proved to be an excellent championship for the class.


Notable road warriors at the event included the Oklahoma contingent - Britt Williams and his team from Windy crest sailing club, Jim Blakewell and his team from Oklahoma City boat club and I.V. McNamara and his team who are also members of the ‘07 Championships host club – Windy Crest Sailing Club.  This contingent is the nucleus of the organizing group that will be hosting the 2007 Championships in Tulsa, OK June 18th to the 22nd – this will be an event you will not want to miss!


From Colorado we had Mike Mckeever and his team from Denver and also former class president and Colorado resident Phillip Infelise and his California based team sailing on Altitude sickness.


Oregon’s Fleet # 19 (Eugene, OR) was represented by current Class Association president Mark Forrest and his team, Nick Genovese and his team led the representation of the juniors from Eugene Yacht Club, current Eugene Yacht club commodore Doug Smith and his team, and the sole woman’s skipper in the fleet – Leeanne Bale Fish and her team from Eugene - who completed the always’s strong contingent from Fern ridge reservoir.  Long time class supporter Ron Fish also came along and provided a lot of support for the fleet both on the land and on the water.


The host state California was well represented with a very good turn out from Mission Bay‘s very active Fleet # 7 as well as teams from Sacramento and Long beach.  Notable road warriors here were the team on Fusion - Mark Erdich, Austin Qulity, and John Poimiroo from Folsom Lake YC.  This team travels everywhere and it was great to see them.


The first day of the championship was reserved for registration and measurement which went very smoothly.  Teams arrived in to the yacht club parking lot and it was great to catch up with old friends and swap stories.  Some teams elected to go out and practice while others worked on there boats and settled in for the week.


What a venue Coronado and south San Diego Bay is! Coronado is an island that is connected to downtown San Diego by the beautiful Coronado bridge and South San Diego Bay which is one of the very best venues for sailing on the west coast; there is always breeze, virtually no traffic, and a great area for the race course between the Coronado strand and the Navy ships on the San Diego waterfront.


Tuesday called for more registration and measurement, practice races, a talk by Andrew Kerr and the annual class meeting.  The practice races were sailed in winds ranging between 8 to 12 knots – fairly typical conditions and it gave the teams a good look at the venue as well as a good time to practice. After the practice races a pre regatta talk was led by Andrew Kerr that was well attended by class members and we looked at a number of topics- particularly bigger fleet starting and boatspeed elements.


The class meeting went very well, with an election of new class officers and some good discussion of pertinent class topics.  IV McNamara talked about the 2007 Championships in Oklahoma and invited everyone to attend and the fleet showed its appreciation to Mark Forrest who stepped in this year as class president and has worked hard for the class.  That night the first of many sponsored kegs were tapped and the fleet enjoyed some pre racing socializing.


The first day of racing started with a marine layer that quickly blew away in favor of southern California sunshine.  The wind ranged between 7 and 15 knots with a decent chop on starboard tack.  The fleet got off the line cleanly in all 3 races and some teams started to show good speed – notably Team Altitude Sickness (Payson Infleise, Phillip Infelise and Nate Campbell) and Team Disaster Area (Chris Winnard, Andrew Kerr, Lance Purdy), and Team BWM (John Weightman, Nathan Weightman, Al Tianne).


The racing was tight throughout the fleet as mark roundings were hotly contested.  Afterwards, the 3 races were disallowed due to a mix up with the finish line – thus the fleet would begin anew on the Thursday.


Thursday started out lighter with some marine layer, this proved to be team Altitude Sickness’ day as they won the first 3 races and put the rest of the fleet back on there heels.   Team Altitude Sickness was generally starting toward the RC end with a big gap to leeward and pinning the fleet to leeward out.  Another team that came to the forefront on this day was Mission Bay YC’s Eric Kownacki and his team of Tom Jenkins and Bob Martin on Alexa.  This team sailed a great day and posted 5, 3, 3, 2.  Team Disaster Area won the last race as Team Altitude Sickness had a minor slip with a 5th - but still had a commanding lead going into day # 3.  Defending class champions Bruce Golison, Steve Washburn & Stevie Washburn on Team Mini Me finished the day tied with team Disaster Area.


On Thursday night the class had a very nice Hawaiian style dinner and enjoyed a great band.  The few with energy after 4 races danced and stories were told of places gained and lost but of ultimately a very fun day on the water.  A very nice feature was the appetizers that were served for the group – jumbo coconut shrimp and satay amongst the great selection.


The last day of the championships featured 3 races in winds ranging from 5 to 10 knots- Team Mini Me won the first race, Team Bustin’ Loose – S20 class veteran Rick Harris, Travis Wilson and Chris Nesbitt won the 2nd , and Team Altitude Sickness won the last race and thus the championships.  Team Disaster Area finished 2nd in all 3 races and ended up 2nd overall with Team Alexa finishing 3rd overall.


Congratulations to Team Altitude Sickness – they are the 2006 Santana 20 Class Champions. Team Altitiude has been knocking on the door since 2002 – they finished 4th in ‘02, 5th in ‘03, and 4th in ‘04 and suffered a dismasting in the ‘06 Championships at the Gorge that precluded them from racing the series.  What I remember about that event was the classy way they stuck around for the regatta even with the rig broken and no sailing for the team.


A very deserving win for three great guys’ - Payson, Phillip & Nate – well done.


The prize giving at the end of the regatta was a time for congratulations and good byes to both old and new friends. Coronado YC Commodore Bruce Young was on hand to present awards and wee are very thankful for the gracious way the club and its staff and members treated us all week - they were terrific hosts.  A big thank you them and the RC and all the hard working volunteers on the water & the land.


Linda Polich of Fleet #7 did a tremendous amount of work as did many other Fleet 7 members.   This had been a great event for the class and Travis Wilson deserves a big thank you from the class for having the vision and determination to make it all come together.  We appreciate all the support of the sponsors, they were very generous and we encourage you to support them.   Travis had collected some great sponsor prizes that we gave out, in addition to 1st through 10th place awards were given out for:


Host Club – Coronado YC – represented by Commodore Bruce Young,


Race Committee and all the volunteers


Sportsmanship – Ron Fish


Perseverance – Mike Mckeever & team of Lynne Mckeever& James Mckeever


Juniors – Nick Genovese & team of Blake Bale, Erin Ross & Ben Goodwin 


Middle of the fleet – IV McNamara and team of Olivia McNamara & & Jay Randolph.


Top Woman’s skipper – Leeanne Bale Fish and team of Bill Nicholls & Brian Genovese


Road Warrior (Tie with IV McNamara) - Britt William and team of Flint Johnson (Apologies I don’t know the third crew member).


Determination - (Dismasting & Boat fell on the dock and afterward finished 7th overall in the regatta!) – Randy Carper with teammates John Henke and Rob Avery.


 The class is really looking forward to another great championship in Oklahoma next year – see you there!