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Forum Index: DISCUSSION: Event Reports:
2012 Ahmanson Cup
Team McLube



Mar 22, 2012, 9:23 AM

Post #1 of 3 (6384 views)
2012 Ahmanson Cup Log-In to Post/Reply

Hello Southern California Ocean Racers,

In late 2011 a meeting was held at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club to discuss the future and format of the Ahmanson Cup Series. After much discussion and intense planning, the NHYC Yacht Racing Council has re-tooled the event with the intent shift the focus from buoy racing to a series based in the history and spirit of the original races.

The series will comprise of three, 14 nm, random leg ocean races. The first two, the Hunting Tidelands Race and the Skylark Race will be held on April 21 -22 and the series will wrap up with the NHYC Opening Day Race from Long Beach to Newport Beach.

Also new for 2012 is the introduction of the reverse handicap start (pursuit start). Boats will be assigned a start time according to their PHRF RLC rating and course distance, so that the first boat over the finish line is the winner. There is no math to do on the way to the dock, leaving more time to prepare for the great shore side parties NHYC has planned!

The YRC and Race Office expects to see increased participation and encourages you to spread the word to your friends and area to join us for the new look of the Ahmanson Cup Series. Please enter early as a full entry list this will help us to gain momentum and attract more out of area participants.

Official Online Notice Board:

Please contact us with any questions.

Sail Fast,

NHYC Race Office

The Publisher

Mar 28, 2012, 11:25 AM

Post #2 of 3 (6323 views)
Re: [sarasailor] 2012 Ahmanson Cup [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

Located in Newport Beach, CA, Newport Harbor Yacht Club is among the most prominent west coast clubs in the United States, and the Ahmanson Cup was a hallmark event for the region. Curious about the background of the event and the motivation for the changes, NHYC member Robert Kinney explains:

Newport Harbor Yacht Club has been hosting the Ahmanson Cup for as long as anyone can remember. During the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, it was an ocean racing series with races such as Catalina and Return, Huntington Tidelands (around the oil islands), Ship Rock, Point Fermin, and a Gold Cup just for good measure. My earliest memories were when it was run under the CCA rating system, which then was moved to IOR in the 70’s and ran there until IOR faded in the 80’s.

The Ahmanson Cup was revamped and became a “day racing” series in the late 80’s and early 90’s as IOR participation slipped. The windward-leeward courses replaced the traditional ones, and the regatta started to turn to one design fleets - Farr 40, J/105, J/120, and Schock 35. Eventually the handicap racing changed from IOR to PHRF and a smattering of ORR and ORC.

But what we recognized was last year we only had two member entries participating, so we held a meeting with our boat owners who had racing type boats and asked “what would you like to do”? Overwhelmingly, the answer was “no more sausages”!!!

It was the decision of the club that we need an event that served our members, and if others wanted to join in, that's great too. The other thing we noticed were the short distance races were getting 80 entries, and we were having a tough time getting 40 to 50 boats for the buoy events.

The club was looking for something FUN and different, so we decided on pursuit races. Course length was important too, so we decided on 14 miles. This was long enough to do some sailing but short enough to get everybody back at the dock by 5:00pm. This format has already proven successful in San Diego with their Hot Rum series, and then we added a $10 Hamburger dinner on Saturday night along with $2 beers and a cocktail special.

We want everybody to come to the club and have some fun and not have to spend the national debt to sail. We lowered the entry fee to $25. Then to really get our members involved, we made out Opening Day race (a race from Los Angeles Harbor to Newport) the final race in our regatta. We even discussed trying to have one of the races finish off the Club dock, but chickened out when we heard that there would be some boats that drew 10.5-feet joining us.

We have posed a challenge to our local yacht clubs to get some participation. We offered that the top three boats from each club for the series will be scored. Each club would throw in $500 and the winning club gets the money for their junior program. Any other club who wants in on the action is welcome.

The hard part is the Ahmanson Cup was a successful regatta in last year's format with a good draw and several competitive fleets. But we elected to toss our success to the wind and try to make the regatta better for our members. Will it work? We hope so.

Did I mention that the first weekend of the Ahmanson Cup is the weekend prior to the Ensenada Race? We moved our dates back to the traditional weekend, so that out of town boats could come down and get the crew warmed up.

Come to Newport and Enjoy the FUN.

The Publisher

May 18, 2012, 2:40 PM

Post #3 of 3 (4829 views)
Re: [The Publisher] 2012 Ahmanson Cup [In reply to] Log-In to Post/Reply

From Robert I. Kinney...

A quick wrap up on Ahmanson series

We would consider the new format a success as it accomplished our main goal “to serve our members”

Things we did correctly
1. Changed schedule back to traditional Ahmanson weekend. (One week prior to Newport to Ensenada race)
2. Pursuit race, everybody “got” the start. (This is a bit of a pain, but worth the hassle)
3. Pursuit race finish was pretty close and all mixed up
4. Increased our member participations from two entries last year to 11 this year.
5. Great social, with cost effective meals, and cocktails available.
6. Sailed for three traditional NHYC big gawdy trophies.

Things we did not control
1. The weather was lousy

Things to look at for next year.
1. Conflict with Yachting Cup on the last race of series (opening day)
2. Format (should we return to older style format with more races or keep the same)*
3. Courses (do we stay will all random leg style courses, or throw in some sort of combo?
4. With more entries, then class breaks will make for racing within size ranges. For example the final race (opening day) was a classic small boat race, with them sweeping the trophies. All the big boats were lumped together in the rear.
5. The quality of the PHRF rating does rear its ugly head, but at this point till we find a better system, we will choose to ignore its shortfalls.

Overall spin was that even the most negative said that they had a pretty darn good time and that NHYC may not have hit a home run, but it was at least a double.

* Once upon a time the Ahmanson was a series similar to the Whitney series with races like this.
1. Huntington tidelands (oil islands)
2. Ship Rock
3. Catalina (spend the night)
4. Return
5. Gold cup
6. Point Fermin
7. 3TL or some deluxe mark out in the middle of the channel.

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