With consistent precision that what one observer likened to surgery, Dustin Durant of Long Beach Yacht Club won the 2013 Butler Cup Sunday, and with it, the 2012-2013 California Dreamin' Series in the Grade 3 ISAF match race regatta hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club.
On a chamber of commerce weekend with a breeze that built each day from 6 to15 knots Durant posted 13 wins and only one loss and showed why he was the favorite going into the regatta after winning the other two regattas in the three race series; the 2012 October Butler Cup and the San Diego Yacht Club Stop.
Durant gave full credit to his Long Beach Match Racing team of Shane Young, Ben Wheatley, Alex Jacobs, Steve Natvig and Jack Bazz.
"My team is consistent,"
said Durant. "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. [smiling] When I'm thinking of doing something, it's already done! That makes my job a lot easier."
When asked about second place finisher Peter Holz of Chicago Yacht Club, Durant said, "He was really good, but we knew we had it won in the third to the last race."
Holz has been doing a lot of match racing recently through the Chicago Match Race Center and has been working hard with his Windy City Racing team on improving his ranking, currently ranked 205th which is a long way from 550th just nine months ago.
His team includes two-time Ficker Cup winner Brian Angel of King Harbor Yacht Club, Redondo Beach, Calif., who was Holz's tactician this weekend.
Unfortunately, Holz had to leave early Sunday after racing to catch a plane home and was unavailable for an interview, but Angel was glad to help out.
"We thought we did really well,"
Angel said, "especially since we didn't really get to practice a whole lot on Friday. Other than me, the team doesn't have a lot of experience on these boats [Catalina 37s]. But Saturday gave us time to work out the kinks. Unfortunately we lost our first race of the day to Durant. But I think it might have been a good thing not knowing the boats well. It helped to steepen the learning curve.
"My job was pretty easy because of the teamwork. Peter did a really good job on getting us to the [starting] line in good position every time.
"Also, I want to say that this is a really cool team. They're humble, serious, young and beyond their years in maturity. I think they have a really good future in match racing."
Finishing out the regatta in third place was Shala Lawrence of San Diego Yacht Club.
Lawrence was in sixth place at the end of the Saturday, but greatly improved her position by 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.'"
Reflecting on the weekend and his win, Durant said, "We had a great time sailing, especially with the varying breeze and all the variables that created today."
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 LBYC. These same boats are also used for fleet race events and are available for team building and individual charters through the Long Beach Sailing Foundation.
1. Dustin Durant, LBYC, 13 wins - 1 loss
2. Peter Holz, Chicago YC, 11 - 3
3. Shala Lawrence, San Diego YC, 8 - 6
4. Bruce Stone, St. Francis YC, 7 - 7
5. Dave Hood, LBYC, 5 - 9
6. Dan Aeling, SDYC, 5 - 9
7. Carson Reynolds, Balboa YC, 4 - 10
8. David Storrs, Pequot YC, 3 - 11
Complete results available at; www.lbyc.org