“Sailor’s log” was given new meaning on Folsom Lake April 1-2 when 46 sailboats evaded logs and driftwood to compete in the 51st annual Camellia Cup Regatta conducted by the Folsom Lake Yacht Club.
Craig Lee, 63, of El Dorado Hills won the Camellia Cup and top honors as the regatta’s best overall sailor. Sailing his 13-foot-long Banshee, In n Out, Lee finished first twice and second twice in four qualifying races to win the 11-boat Banshee fleet and Open Centerboard class. This was Lee’s second Camellia Cup championship and his third Open Centerboard class perpetual trophy win.
Winds were so strong on Friday — a training day — that FLYC was forced to cancel planned practice races. Breezy conditions predicted for Saturday — the first day of racing — never materialized with winds reaching only 4 knots, allowing two races to be sailed. The wind strengthened on Sunday to 8 knots, allowing three more races to be run.
FLYC Commodore Suna Kneisley expressed the elation shared by fellow competitors that balmy and breezy conditions had arrived to make the regatta’s final races “exhilarating and competitive” with boats bunched together across off-set trapezoidal courses called by the regatta’s race committee Principal Race Officer Mark Erdrich.
The stronger breezes also forced skippers to steer erratically to avoid logs that had been washed down the American River into Folsom Lake following recent storms, causing race committee boats to patrol start and finish areas, where boats congest, to clear them of driftwood.
The driftwood turned out to be less an obstacle than a distraction for the sailors that they told sea stories about, following racing.
Doug Brennan of Chico dominated the four boat Catalina 22 fleet with four first place finishes sailed on Colonel Mustard II. Brennan shared Keelboat Class Perpetual Trophy honors with Sacramento’s Rob Koch, sailing Poco a Poco, a J22 that won the four boat Open Keel fleet with four first place finishes (Koch’s second consecutive Open Keel fleet win).
Topping the 5-boat Santana 20 fleet was Folsom’s Mark Werder on 2-step with three firsts and a second. The highly competitive, 8-boat Laser fleet was won by Marcel Sloane of Benicia with two firsts, a second and a third, and the 5-boat Day Sailer fleet was won by Dave Keran of the Fresno Yacht Club on Vagabundo with two firsts and two seconds.
The 4-boat Thistle fleet was won by the Richmond Yacht Club’s Hans Williams with four firsts on Harley Quinn. Open Centerboard winner was Doug McWilliams of Granite Bay, sailing his Flying Dutchman, Longshot; multihull champion was the Benicia Yacht Club’s William Cook on an F-24 Mk I; and sportboat winner was FLYC’s Tim Sisson aboard a J70.
Camellia Cup, which is the largest and oldest regatta in the Sacramento Valley, typically marks the traditional start of the boating season. Area sailors at Camellia Cup expressed optimism that deep snowpacks in the Sierra Nevada will help sustain high water levels and a long sailing season on Folsom Lake.
Race results follow, including: skipper, hometown, yacht club, boat type, boat name and cumulative finish point totals for four races:
The Folsom Lake Yacht Club was established in 1957 and is located at Brown’s Ravine within Folsom Lake State Recreation Area in El Dorado Hills. It conducts sailboat racing, cruises and social events. More about the club is found at flyc.org.