The third installment of Del Rey Yacht Club’s Berger/Stein Race was held Saturday, May 12th, with a good breeze to push racers around the 30-mile course from Marina del Rey to Point Dume and back. Sixty boats were on the line in a light wind that built through the afternoon.

“We started with about six knots and decided to be close to the coast line,” said Frederic Sheer, who took first place in the A1 class sailing Far Niente, and who now has two firsts and a second in the series. “The wind started to build up around 1 p.m. and by then we had passed the Malibu Pier.”

Sheer was sailing his Farr 40 with Mike Priest calling tactics. Priest has had a wealth of success with Pendragon for years and is now making positive things happen for Far Niente.

“By the time we reached Point Dume, the wind was already at 12 to 13 knots and we tacked at the mark ahead of all monohulls just behind the two R33 [catamarans]. Quickly the wind reached 16 to 17 knots and we got Far Niente rumbling at ten knots. Mike called for an early jibe and it was a very good call. We kept the wind all the way to the finish line.”

In the newly-formed XS class comprised of two Reynolds 33 catamarans and two Inter-20 Beachcats, John Papa sailing Sailfast.us, upset the favorites, with crewman Randy Hunt calling tactics. The smart money is usually on either Randy Reynolds in Cat Attack, (Reynolds 33) or Chris Slagerman and Dave Sheesly in Double Expresso, (Inter-20), but Papa and Hunt’s instincts were dialed in and while they were a couple of minutes behind Reynolds, who took line honors for the race, they corrected out on the XS pack.

In the ORCA (Ocean Racing Catamaran Association) fleet, Spyro the Dragon, an L 7 trimaran, came out on top over Jerome Sammarcelli and Nik Vale, who are usually at the helm of Open 570s, but this day were sailing Geoff Deutschman’s Tyger Tyger, a Viva 27 catamaran that recently took first place (ORCA fleet) in the Newport to Ensenada Race. Mike Leneman sailed his revived Minet to a third place finish but wasn’t disappointed in seeing Spyro the Dragon win the class, as he is the L 7 designer.

In the C class, Chardonnay and Teaser were battling hard throughout the day, but it came down to one costly jibe that decided the contest.

“We led at the start with a port tack and led the class to Malibu,” said Donna Wilson sailing Chardonnay, a Santana 30. “Teaser passed us and was first in Class C at the weather mark [Paradise Cove] by two boat lengths, then Teaser jibed about one mile from the turning buoy, we continued, and when Teaser jibed back, she was one boat length behind. In retrospect, that was the race. It was very close racing for the entire course for these two boats. Chardonnay won by only 15 seconds.”

In the A2 division, Mark Stratton’s Lugano, a Beneteau 40.7, barely squeaked by the Schock 35, Powerplay, in a race decided by less than ten seconds.

Brendan Huffman sailed his Hobie 33, Magic Light, past the always formidable Curt Johnson and Avet in the Sport A class and Fred Cottrell with Tom Marland came up from Redondo Beach to win in the B class sailing Tigger, a J 33.

In the Stein race, South Coast Corinthian Yacht Club commodore Stu Coleman represented his club most respectfully by winning in the over 30-spin class sailing his Beneteau, Reliance. In the non-spin over-30 class, Senia Jade (Hunter 44) was victorious and Ben and Mark Spector’s Yankee won in the under-30 division.

For more complete results, go to www.dryc.org/.

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