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A Gold Flight start in the Lido 14 Nationals. ©2012 Michelle Pope
Lido 14 Nationals
August 13, 2012
Flying Junior, Flying Scot and 420s are all good older design boats that have active fleets. And you can include the Lido 14 as it floats to the top for many California sailors to own, as it offers simple, cheap fun. The Lido 14 National Championships were raced in Anacortes, WA, at the end of July, and a contingent of California sailors headed north. Tony Billera sent in this report.
The Lido 14 has a rich history in the racing and boating community. The 14-ft dinghy is raced by a two-person crew yet is capable of day sailing comfortably with four. Built by the legendary W.D. Schock Corp. of Newport Beach, CA, the first Lido 14 was launched in 1957. More than 6,300 boats have been built, and the class is going strong with great support from the factory for both the Classic version and new 6000 series boats. Tactics are emphasized over athleticism when racing a Lido.
The Lido 14 2012 National Class Championships were held on Fidalgo Bay, Anacortes, on the week of July 23-27. Twenty-eight of the fastest Lido 14 teams participated, including teams traveling from California, Oregon, Washington, and as far away as Ohio and Georgia. This year’s Nationals attracted crews ranging from 13 to 78 years old.
Unsettled weather cleared late on Monday, with Tuesday’s qualification series sailed under typically beautiful northwest sunny skies and moderate winds. Mt. Baker and the Cascade mountain range were spectators to three races, while the 28-boat fleet jockeyed for clear air at the starting line. The father/son team of Steve and Andrew Klotz of Galt showed their speed and consistency to win the Gold Flight top spot, edging out Jerry Thompson with Mandi Smith of Long Beach, Steve and Anne Schupak of Costa Mesa, and Kevin Thomas with Amanda Wayne of Kagel Canyon (L.A. County). Team Billera, new Association members from Fleet 78 in Anacortes, finished as the top seed in the Silver Flight.
Day one of the Championships was another awesome, cloudless, northwest day. Variable winds challenged both the sailors and the race committee. Sailing the Lido 14 fast demands attention to tactics and crew position; the light and shifty winds rewarded those skills. The majority of boats liked the south side of the course, though substantial gains could be found to the north, where the wind was clear of interference and the incoming current provided some tactical benefit. Mark and Kathy Sandifer (a husband and wife team from Portland, OR) demonstrated expert boat handling skills that were honed on the shifty wind of the Willamette River. They preferred the middle of the course, while Jerry Thompson and Mandi Smith immediately recognized the south side of the course and were found there all day. Team Thompson/Smith ended the first day with a two-point lead over the Sandifers and four points over the Schupacks in the Gold Flight. Ron and Nicole Runyan of Portland, OR, finished the day with a formidable lead in the Silver Flight, 10 points ahead of Tony and Catherine Billera, who were tied at 17 points with the father-daughter team of Matt and Maggie Nolan (from Mill Creek, WA), and closely followed by Butch Michel and Michelle Wong of Modesto with 19 points.
Heading into the final day of the National Championship, the stage was set for close racing by the top three Gold Flight teams, where first and third were only four points apart. The Silver Flight looked like an equally close contest for second through fifth, separated by only four points as well! A throw-out would occur if two more races were completed, for a total of six, creating additional uncertainly for all the leading teams.
However, winds proved to be fickle, and the typically consistent summer westerly did not arrive in time. After about two and a half hours of delay, racing was finally abandoned and the scoring from the four races of Wednesday became final.
A variety of perpetual trophies were presented, including Longest Distance Traveled (trailered), which went to Tim Fuller from Mission Bay in San Diego; Oldest Skipper, Harris Hartman from Sacramento; First Woman skipper in the Senior Championship, Terry Johnson from Alamitos Bay; and Overall awards.
For more information about Lido 14s and the class association, call (805) 208-7440 or visit www.lido14.com.
- Tony Billera, Fleet 78
Other NorCal skippers who made the trek north included Frank Chwalowski from Sacramento and Harold Ho from Cupertino.