LOCAL KNOWLEDGE – With consistent precision, Dustin Durant of Long Beach Yacht Club won Sunday’s Butler Cup and with it the 2012-13 California Dreamin’ Series in the Grade 3 ISAF match race regatta.
On a weekend featuring a breeze that built each day from 6-15 knots, Durant posted 13 wins and only one loss. He showed why he was the favorite going into the regatta after winning the other two regattas (2012 October Butler Cup and San Diego Yacht Club Stop) in the three-race series.
“My team is consistent,” Durant said while crediting his Long Beach match racing team of Shane Young, Ben Wheatley, Alex Jacobs, Steve Natvig and Jack Bazz.
“We don’t have new guys, except for Steve, who I’ve raced with before. There’s nothing new to us. We’ve known each other for a long time. We also don’t talk a lot on the boat.
“When I’m thinking of doing something, it’s already done. That makes my job a lot easier.”
Peter Holz of Chicago Yacht Club finished second. He has been working hard on improving his ranking, currently ranked 205th, which is a long way from 550th just nine months ago. His team included two-time Ficker Cup winner Brian Angel of King Harbor Yacht Club, who was Holz’s tactician this weekend.
“We thought we did really well, especially since we didn’t really get to practice a whole lot on Friday,” said Angel, speaking on behalf of Holz, who had a plane to catch immediately after the race. “Other than me, the team doesn’t have a lot of experience on these (Catalina 37) boats.”
Finishing out the regatta in third place was Shala Lawrence of San Diego Yacht Club. Lawrence was sixth at the end of the day Saturday but greatly improved her position with great sailing and good tactics.
“It is totally my team that got us to this point,” Lawrence said, “and Dusty (Durant) gave us a few tips yesterday that really helped us. Although when we were leading him at the windward mark today I’m sure he was thinking, `Maybe I shouldn’t have helped them.’ ”
Rounding out the top eight were: Bruce Stone of St. Francis YC in fourth, followed by Dave Hood of LBYC, Dan Aeling of SDYC, Carson Reynolds of Balboa YC, and David Storrs of Pequot YC.
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 of the match races held at the yacht club.