Huntington Lake Regatta

For well over 60 years the Mercury Class has been racing on Huntington Lake. This year 16 boats, a little smaller fleet than normal due to COVIDconvened for the three race regatta.

The class chooses longer courses over short so the fleet had tight racing both up and down the lake. The first race saw John Hansen in 562 with long time crew Tony Basso set the pace to the weather mark. On the run, Jim Bradley with crew Kathy Bradley and Mike Burch with daughter Kristen crewing, took away Hansen’s lead for a three boat rounding off Lakeshore point. Back up wind Hansen did everything right, took a commanding lead which he held to the finish line. Bradley was second with Burch third. The afternoon race saw ideal Huntington Lake wind conditions. The breeze held around 15 knots with lots of shifts. Hansen and Bradley rounded the weather mark 1 and 2 with Greg Dair and crew Kaelyn Ibold following right behind. Greg is the current Lido 14 National Champion and is making a great new addition to the class. On the run down to the leeward mark off Big Creek cove, Bradley took the shore side, Hansen the middle and Dair the middle of the lake. Dair choose right and moved into a two boat battle with Hansen. Bradley caught up on the next run and at the finish the order was Dair, Bradley, then Hansen. At the end of Saturday’s racing Hansen and Bradley were tied at 4 and Dair next with 5. John Ravizza with crew Jim Coggan were not far behind at 9 points. After the racing everyone gathered for Tom Priest’s special Mai Tai party. The Mercury Class never misses a chance to get together and socialize. This year we had to cancel Johnny Wood’s annual Tri-Tip barbeque because the resort is closed for a year of remodeling and move the after race party from Bear Creek Cove to Baldwin Beach. But everyone still had the kind of fun that brings us back to Huntington year after year.

Sunday turned out to be another first rate Huntington day. The wind had a lot of starboard in it at the starting line so Dair and Bradley were together at the weather end. Hansen saw things differently and made a perfect start at the pin end. John Ravizza was right with him, but Hansen was sprung. Mike Burch after a breakdown in the second race got back in the mix with a lead over Hansen at the windward mark. Ravizza, Randy Hecht with crew Scott Whitney, and Shaum Sinawi with crew Gerald Sheridan rounded out the first 5. Bradley and Dair seeing that it would be very difficult to catch Hansen for a regatta first place began a battle for a regatta second place. They changed places 3 or 4 times up and down the lake and at the finish line Dair had Bradley by a couple of yards.

The Sliver fleet was a battle of the next generation of Mercury sailors. Ben Bradley, a third generation Mercury racer with crew John Lizenby, and Drake Baldwin with his Dad crewing fought it out for the Sliver Fleet trophy. Bradley won out with a 1 point lead over Baldwin. We are going to see more of these younger sailors in the near future.

John Hansen and Tony Basso sailed an excellent series with a total score of 6 beating out Dair and Bradley who both had 11. Ravizza took 3rd in the race and 4th for the regatta. Randy Hecht finished 4th in the race and 5 overall.

Race report by Jim Bradley

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