Monday, June 14, 2010

Nesbitt claims second Butler Cup victory

2010 Butler Cup Series: Written by: Rick Roberts 06/13/10

LONG BEACH, Calif.—Giving full credit to his crew Chris Nesbitt of Balboa Yacht Club claimed his second win in as many years in the 2010 Butler Cup match race series Sunday hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club.

“My team really pulled it out for us,” said Nesbitt. “I made a few errors during the weekend. But they really saved it and deserve all the credit.”

Nesbitt’s tactician, Jack Franco, doesn’t normally sail with the team but signed on for this weekend at Nesbitt’s request.

“The guys were really good,” Franco said, “and did a great job. You know, these are all BYC members [pointing to the team]. You don’t usually see that in an event like this… all from the same yacht club! I didn’t do this event last year, but these guys have a lot of time in the boat [Catalina 37s] and it showed.”

Dustin Durant, LBYC, took second in the regatta but struggled when it came to racing against Nesbitt.

“All of our races were close,” Durant said, “and we were always gaining on Nesbitt in tacking duels, always within striking distance, but… [smiling and shrugging].

“We were always in the hunt in every race and the team did really well keeping us there. I thought we out maneuvered everyone, sailing upwind really well.”

When asked if he would consider coming back if invited, Durant replied with a smile, “Oh, I’m coming back next year.” Payson Infelise from Newport Harbor Yacht Club finished third in the regatta. He would have finished second had it not been for an unfortunate occurrence.

Payson explains, “One of our crew members didn’t show up on Saturday. Everyone had already weighed in except for him. We knew we were probably alright on our [total] weight so we weren’t really worried. Because the original crewman didn’t show, we used a substitute… but forgot to weigh him until this morning [Sunday]. After we weighed him we were about 15 pounds over our limit. 15 pounds!”

Because of not meeting the requirements in the Notice of Race on maximum allowed crew weight, the Chief Umpire made the determination that none of Infelise’s wins on Saturday would count toward his overall points for the series. Disheartened but not defeated, Infelise apologized to his crew and moved on to the business of match racing winning four out of his six races on Sunday.

“I take full responsibility and it was unfortunate because these guys really sailed their hearts out. But they pulled it all together and I think we learned a lot throughout the regatta. “We kept it in perspective and we were happy to be invited here and really had fun. That’s what it’s all about.”

Nesbitt’s team also had challenges during the weekend, specifically in a match Saturday against, ironically, Infelise. “We were coming down to the finish and were carrying a penalty,” Franco explains. “We started to do our 270 [turn] but couldn’t complete it because Payson was there, and ended up fouling him again. That meant we had two turns to do. We did one turn, then were doing a second when we incurred another penalty.

“We ended up doing five attempted turns and four good turns to finally absolve ourselves of the penalty[s]. “Other than that, we had really good races. But now I’m going back to Houston [Tex.] and leaving all this to the younger guys. The event is named for Frank Butler, founder of Catalina Yachts, who in 1990 designed, built and donated the 11 Catalina 37s used for all the match races held at LBYC. These same boats are also used for fleet race events and are available for charter through the Long Beach Sailing Foundation.

Final Results

1. Chris Nesbitt, BYC; 10 wins 2 losses
2. Dustin Durant, LBYC; 6 - 6
3. Payson Infelise, NHYC; 4 - 8
4. David Storrs, PYC; 3 - 9
5. Dave Hood, LBYC; 1 - 11
6. Tony Adrid, DRYC; 0 - 12

Event information and final results available at

Rick Roberts