NAC 2023 recap – July 14-16

Once again the Coronado 15 NACs traveled to Huntington Lake, one of the most
beautiful and amazing places to race that I can think of. Although the fleet was smaller than we had hoped for, the action was jammed packed with tight racing all over the fleet. 10 boats ended up making the trip to Huntington, and the fleet was greeted with great weather and wind despite the extremely hot temperatures in the valley floor below (which can cause clouds, lighter
winds, and even thunderstorms at times). We had 5 races scheduled on Friday, and racing over the weekend in conjunction with the High Sierra regatta schedule of 3 on Saturday, and 2 more on Sunday. With 10 races in the series, and no throw outs, all of the races were going to be important at this event.

Read the full story from Dave Rumbaugh who held on to his championship title after much drama.

Classic view of the Huntington Lake – the C15 fleet is headed to the boy scout camp

NAC 2021 report from Marina del Rey

For this edition of the NAC, the wind gods were with us for the first week in August 6,7,8. Following the 2020 COVID hiatus, everyone was delighted to come back to our annual event down in sunny SoCal. With 15 boats registered, we had a quite a competitive group including representation from Half Moon Bay (3) and Sacramento (2) but also some C15 "old timers" Dave Marsh, Mike Shea and Wil Paul who entered the fray. It would have been a true reunion had Barrett Sprout and Kiersten Vance-Sprout joined in, but a newborn had to be a higher priority this year. Charlie Quest drove down with "First In Class", his trusty  52 years old hull #1!

This year, the date was to be later in the summer to move away from the common mid-july monsoon weather that can bring lots of moisture, lightning and no breeze as was the case in 2016. Several of us got a chance to attend the High Sierra Regatta at Huntington Lake 3 weeks earlier, which made for a nice warm up to the NAC.

On Thursday night, preceding day one, 8 C15s raced the weekly Sunstroke series in the main channel, with Dave Rumbaugh commanding the lead in a nice evening breeze. That was a great start.

On Friday, the SydCorp series started with Bruce Fleck as PRO in a 8-10kts breeze, Mike Blunt raced hard on his new boat 3744 and came ahead of Dave Rumbaugh by 2 points.

The Syd Corp series gave a split for A and B fleets that was to be validated by the day one overall results.

On Saturday, Bruce laid out some nice 30 min courses that gave everyone a chance to work the shifts to the weather mark. As some of the starts were getting aggressive, Bruce decided to fly the "I" flag forcing the OCS boats to go around the start line rather than simply dip the line. It proved very costly to me on day 2 when I found myself starting nearly a min behind the fleet.

Here is an album with pictures taken by SCCYC member Mariana Goebel.

But Sunday was not without excitement. Charlie started the day trying to repair the chain plate of  #1 with a reinforcement under the shroud which was pulling the boat apart. That was not going to happen, so, at the last minute Talin Babikian let Charlie borrow her boat - she was not racing with us as she was preparing the J/70 worlds . Charlie made it just in time for the first race!

Marc and Claire were not to be so fortunate. Once checked in with race committee, Marc noticed that he had lost the plug and was taking on water. A cork was hastily put in to stop the boat from sinking. By the time the boat arrived at the dock it had barely a 2" freeboard. It was of course a great disappointment as racing was out of the question for the day.

The entire event saw light to medium breeze with little use of the trapeze but with perfect sunny conditions. Thank you Ullman sails for providing trophy bags but also neck gaiters which provided great protection from the punishing sun.

In the end, Dave Rumbaugh held firmly to his champion title, followed closely by Mike Blunt. Mike Shea and Vincent Paternoster battled for 3rd place with Vincent taking 3rd with only a 1 point lead.

In the Cabrillo fleet we also saw some close racing. Dave Marsh and Dale Gordon tying in for 1st place on points and Lucy and Wil for third.

The 2021 NAC actually was the first big event held at SCCYC's new location on Bali way. Every one enjoyed the pleasant evenings on the patio and the Italian food catered by Sapori restaurant.

We look forward to the next edition of the NAC in Half Moon Bay at a date yet to be determined.

2019 NAC report

This year we were fortunate to be able to charter a boat, a good boat at that, from Brian Moco so we left parched LA on Wednesday morning to land in the rain at SEATAC – 64deg. The idea was to take part in the Wednesday night “beer can” races as a practice sail.

By the time we got to Beaux Arts, the rain had cleared and it was still breezy and gusty from the south. In the course of an hour we were greeted by a couple of showers that kept the breeze erratic. A couple of boats decided to capsize and taste the water. In the end the rain cleared and were able to enjoy dinner by the shoreline. Apparently this was the most wind experienced since the beginning of the season.

At last year’s NAC in Huntington Lake, Ole Eichorn crewed for long time C15 sailor Jim Holder on his boat “It’s the water”. However, Ole’s old boat was taking on so much water that each down wind run was accompanied by bailing water with a sponge. When Jim found a newer boat, it was a perfect fit for Ole who transferred his rig to the new hull. The new boat named “It’s the water too…” made its “sea trials” in Marina del Rey for a couple of races before sending it north to Seattle. Charlie Quest’s kindness allowed Ole to get his new boat up to Seattle for the event by trailering one boat upside down on top of “1st in Class”.

Thursday was a different story for the Syd Corp qualifying series. Lake Washington being in a convergence zone, air comes from the north gets mixed with air from the south which makes for challenging work for the race committee. Ben did a great job running the races given the conditions where we saw the breeze clock 180 degrees in the course of the afternoon. Paul on the mark set boat got really busy buzzing around the lake moving marks for each race. The breeze was light and erratic, resulting in wild swings in the scores. It was hard to tell where to go: the main thing was to avoid the holes where there was just nothing. By the time we retired for the day, the rain came back and got us all drenched. It turned into a wet dinner under the tents and around the fire.

Below are the Syd Corp results

Immediately after the Syd Corp qualifiers, 3 boats stayed out in the rain for the juniors nationals. Over 3 races, they all tied with each 1,2,3.

From left, Henry Birkholz (10), Eva Rumbaugh (9)


Finally, following many ritual sacrifices to the wind gods, Aaron Sharp was able to command a very good and steady breeze from the north which built up as the afternoon progressed and held on Saturday. Only small mark adjustments were needed – we had 9 windward-leward races on Friday ( almost 5 hours on the water) and 7 on Saturday.

We could not have asked for better conditions. It was picture perfect sunny Lake Washington Sailing in very mild temperatures with Mount Rainier in the backdrop.

Photo copyright Taylor Bayly (

There was what I considered a pretty long start line that could have accommodated perhaps twice the number of boats (we had 13 boats). Still, we had some quite aggressive starts, even a bit of bumping at times. That long line called for a decision on where to finish. My strategy which only worked part of the time was to ensure fresh air at the start. I got lucky in a couple of instances when a bad start forced me to tack on port where I found some nice lift – no complaint here. Throughout the NAC days, I felt there was a question of choosing the middle of the lake for the downwind run. There appeared to be more pressure in the center. The center did gain some at times but positioned us on the outside at the leeward mark. It was quite a challenge to figure out a strategy in each race.

Dave Rumbaugh and Steve Fishman repeated their performance of last year finishing 1st by winning 12 of 16 races.

Even after a difficult start, Dave is able to climb his way up the fleet in ways that are difficult to reproduce. Many other boats have demonstrated they are able to keep up with Dave – at least for a while – so it is not purely a question of having a fast boat. Instead, it is all the fine points of driving – and crew work – that make the difference at the end of each race. Congratulations Dave on your win again this year.

It was time close this very successful edition of the North American Championship, but before leaving, some boats needed to be packed up for the trip back to California

Thank you Beaux Arts Racing Fleet. See you next year in Marina del Rey!

Vincent Paternoster / Jim Ach #3627

The Coronado 15 2017 North American Championship

Nineteen (19) teams brought their Coronado 15 sailboats to the Half Moon Bay Yacht Club for the 50th Anniversary North American Championship of the C15 racing class. This two-man performance dinghy has been a popular class from its inception in 1967 and has been raced from coast to coast by many colleges and by more than 50 public fleets

This gathering in Princeton-by-the-Sea, California, attracted participants from Los Angeles to Seattle and was the largest gathering in more than a decade. The competition was intense, witnessing the joys of victory and agonies of defeat.

Mike Day, the Regatta Chair and PRO, delivered an outstanding performance before and throughout the regatta, coordinating awards, meals, guest housing and providing the most appreciative sailors with a rarely achieved total of 20 races over the three day event. Many starts, many mark roundings and many close and exciting finishes. It was the stuff that builds a memorable regatta.

John Eurich, the Coronado 15 Association Commodore, contributed a monumental effort in recruiting participants, raising the awareness that this was the 50th anniversary, engaging Frank Butler, the designer of the C15 and the president of Catalina Yachts, who joined the celebration by presenting the participants and race committee with commemorative tee shirts.  John also produced a commemorative plaque to be presented to Mr. Butler and Catalina Yachts, and also repaired and tuned C15 dinghies for guest participation.

Throughout the competition, Dave Rumbaugh, a multi-time champion, and teammate, Steve Fishman, were the “class of the class” in the Syd Corp Series, but fate did not grant them the championship victory as a broken boom caused them to miss two races.  Their sterling effort to recover fell a single point short as Barrett Sprout, another multi-time champion, and his crew, Todd Best, held off the late charge by Rumbaugh and Fishman to capture victory and be crowned champions in the 50th year anniversary regatta.

Ofer Amir and Kent Arndt easily captured the Cabrillo Fleet title, although John Eurich and Robin Norvell gave them a run for the money by leading after the first seven races.  Ofer and Kent will likely graduate themselves to struggling up the ranks of the Championship Fleet.

Karey Sharp took the Junior Championship with three bullets.  Her crew was her Dad, Aaron Sharp.

Show  full results as image 

Another highlight of the regatta was the participation of the very first Coronado 15 built in 1967. Hull #1 was sailed by Charlie Quest and Nate Salpeter, with the name of Grand Ole Gal and labeled First In Class. They brought her home to an eighth place finish among eleven boats in the Championship Fleet, proving the durability of the design and boats created by Frank Butler and Catalina Yachts.

It would be remiss not to mention the undeterred spirit of Mark Brazil and Noah Farrell, who suffered a tragic car fire that consumed all of their gear and personal belongings, to gather the resources to be on the line for the first race and complete the entire championship series.

Surpassing everything else in the regatta was the wonderful camaraderie shared by all involved and is a recognized hallmark of the C15 class. Competing “hammer and tong” on the water, the racers knew no bounds to mutual support, backslapping and sharing the spinning of sailing lore. The more than 60 volunteers from the Half Moon Bay Yacht Club were equally welcomed and accepted participants in this camaraderie.

You can find all the pictures from the event here in the HMBYC gallery

With spirits high, the competitors and hosts bade fond farewells and embraced optimism that this largest recent gathering is a sign of the resurgence of the C15 class, as they look forward to the 2018 North American Championship.  The South Corinthian Yacht Club may organize this event, designated to dovetail with the High Sierra Regatta.  It is held at the 7000 foot high Huntington Lake in the California Sierra Mountains, which is widely acclaimed to be most enjoyable sailing venue west of the Mississippi.

Join us in 2018!

Charlie Quest,
HMBYC C15 Fleet Captain
2016 – 2017 Coronado 15 National Association Vice-Commodore

“Grand Ole Gal” Hull#1 sails the 2017 NAC on 50th anniversary of C15.