The Open 5.70 North American Championship was held last weekend at Long Beach Race Week. The Open 5.70s had 21 boats on the starting line making them the biggest one-design class at the event. Incidentally, there hasn’t been a fleet of 20 or more boats at this event since 2005.
This was an unusual year weather wise. Both Friday and Sunday saw light variable conditions which made staying ahead of the pack more of a challenge than usual. Saturday the breeze filled in by the early afternoon and racers saw 15-18 knots of breeze – very typical for long beach. Combined with the relatively flat waters of the inner break water these were perfect conditions for the Open 5.70s allowing them to stretch their legs after a day of light wind reaching boat speeds in the low teens on the downwind legs.
The 2011 North American Champion is Jerome Sammarcelli who was sailing on USA 275, “Semi-Aquatic”, with long time crew Doug Weitz. By consistently finishing in the top 5 in all 7 races Jerome clinched the title by 6 points. 2nd place went to the defending Long Beach Race Week champion Tracey Kenney. Third place went the young Festa/Dair team – Tony Festa (age 17), Greg Dair (age 18) and Frankie Dair (age 12). The teenagers sailed USA 286, “II Havic”, flawlessly until race 6 where they sailed to the wrong mark with a group of other boats – a decision that ultimately cost them their title. The podium was dominated by the Open 5.70s from Southern California who were racing in their back yard and the light conditions on both Friday and Sunday were definitely favorable for the local sailors. The top boat from Northern California finished 4th overall, Tom Baffico sailing on USA 288 “The Maker” with crew Nick Burke.
Full results : www.lbrw.org
Video : Onboard Footage
Kattack Replays : All Races