More than 120 Southland sailors will be making their first move toward the 1988 Olympic Games yachting events this weekend in Alamitos Bay Yacht Club's 26th annual Olympic Classes Regatta, which begins today.
Ken Weiss, general chairman of the regatta, said races for all seven Olympic classes--Soling, Flying Dutchman, Finn, Star, International 470, Tornado and Sailboard--will be involved. There will be both men's and women's divisions in the 470 Class for the first time. Sailboarders will have three divisions, Windsurfer and two open classes.
The U.S. Yacht Racing Union (USYRU) will use the event for ranking the sailboard competitors to determine skippers for future financial assistance.
As an added incentive, ABYC has commissioned an artist to design and cast commemorative medallions that will be presented to the winning skippers and crews.
Races will take place on three Olympic-size courses in the waters off Long Beach.
Two races are scheduled today and Saturday and one on Sunday. Racing will start after a skippers meeting at 9:30 a.m. today.
Scores of sailboats from as far north as Ventura and as far south as San Diego will be converging at Newport Saturday to be on hand for the start of the 39th Newport to Ensenada race the following Saturday (April 26).
Entries for the famed overnight race to the Baja California resort took another drop this year. The final count is 550, about 60 less than last year. Traditionally, about 10% of the entries fail to start and another 10% fail to finish the 125-mile race.
The race, sponsored by the Newport Ocean Sailing Assn. (NOSA), is conceded to be the largest international yacht race in the world. The largest number of entries was in 1982 when 704 entered. Since then the list has been slowly declining.