Fourth of July Regatta at Alamitos Bay Yacht Club - Day one

Fourth of July Regatta
Rich Roberts
Alamitos Bay Yacht Club's annual Fourth of July Regatta is being held this weekend. Multihull sailboat racing may be big in the news at San Francisco right now, but Matt Struble is perfectly happy 432.6 miles south competing in the regatta.

'It's the best place for sailing in the world,' said Struble, a world-class multihull sailor who has raced over much of the world in his 41 years. 'The conditions are high quality, you can sail inside or outside the breakwater and the race management is first rate.'

Struble, a native of Michigan who has lived in San Diego for three years, sailed his singlehanded A-class catamaran to victory in ABYC's Memorial Day Regatta a few weeks ago and logged a two-one-one-one afternoon on opening day Saturday to lead the five-boat fleet by seven points with three races remaining Sunday.

Meek five-knot southwest breeze built to 12 knots to dissolve a gray cloud cover into blue skies and allow Struble and the other A-Cats to fly their windward hulls.

In Cal 20s, the other ocean class, Mike Wood, with dad Ron Wood and Tom Cooke as crew, shared first place with Jennifer Kuritz and crew John Ellis, while inside on the bay Axel Stordahl of ABYC led among 10 Sabot C2s and Peter Sangmeister topped seven Sabot C3s.

ABYC's Bill Westland was second behind Struble, followed by Jay Glaser, who won an Olympic silver medal crewing for Randy Smyth in the 1984 Olympics on these waters. More of the class is expected back for the A-Cat Nationals at ABYC in August, Struble aiming to expand his global resume.

Sunday's final racing outside on the harbor inside the breakwater and inside on the bay is scheduled to start at noon, conditions permitting.

The event is one of ABYC's four traditional holiday sailfests, along with the spring's Memorial Day Regatta and the Labor Day and Turkey Day (Thanksgiving) regattas yet to come.

Class leaders

Ocean classes (4 of 7 races)
CAL 20 (5)---Mike Wood/Ron Wood, Alamitos Bay YC, 1-1-1-5, 8 points.
A-CLASS CATAMARANS (5)---Matt Struble, San Diego, 2-1-1-1, 5 points.

Bay classes (5 of 9 races)
NAPLES SABOT B (3)---David Wood, Balboa YC, 1-1-(2)-1-2, 5.
NAPLES SABOT C1 (4)---Brad Hilliard, Balboa YC, (3)-2-2-1-1, 6.
NAPLES SABOT C2 (10)---Axel Stordahl, ABYC, (9)-6-1-3-1, 11.
NAPLES SABOT C3 (7)---Peter Sangmeister, Long Beach YC, 1-1-(4)-1-1, 4.
LIDO 14-B (4)---Travis VanDenBerg/Ross Hutton, American Legion YC, 1-1-(2)-1-1, 4.

Barney Flam, 89, at the helm with daughter Faye and Dave Myers
Rich Roberts

Fourth of July Regatta
Rich Roberts

Mac Griggs of Long Beach YC ducks around leeward mark
Rich Roberts

Brad Hilliard holds a narrow lead In Naples Sabot C-1 fleet
Rich Roberts

Fourth of July Regatta
Rich Roberts