California Cup up for grabs going into final day

California CupPlenty leads Nightshift by one point and Flash Gordon 6 by seven with two races remaining 

Marina del Ray, Calif. (June 20, 2014) - After another action-packed day on Santa Monica Bay, the California Cup for Farr 40 class is too close to call. Three boats will enter the fourth and final day in contention for the overall victory and it figures to be a battle royale among Plenty, Nightshift and Flash Gordon 6.

"In typical fashion for this class it all comes down to the last day," Farr 40 manager Geoff Stagg said. "It's really up for grabs and it's going to be all on. It really is amazing how closely contested every Farr 40 regatta is."

Plenty, the New York entry skippered by Alex Roepers, made a big move on Friday - winning two of three races to surge from third place to first in the overall standings. Back-to-back bullets to begin the day pushed Plenty past Flash Gordon 6 and Nightshift and the team survived a sixth in Race 9 to maintain the low score of 29 points.

Coquille at the California Cup

CoquilleA boat with a very familiar name is sailing in the California Cup this week. Coquille, owned by Gary Ezor of Beverly Hills, is a Farr 40 named in honor of a famous sailing yacht that has a rich history on the West Coast.

The original Coquille was a 10-meter owned by Walter Podolak, a plastics manufacturer who mounted the first West Coast campaign for the America's Cup. Podolak sailed Coquille to victory in the inaugural California Cup that was held in 1963.

Podolak used the 10-meter as a practice platform for the America's Cup, which was held in 12-meter yachts at the time. Podolak skippered Columbia in her unsuccessful bid to become the defender for America's Cup holder New York Yacht Club.

Sadly, Podolak died while skippering Coquille in the Newport-to-Long Beach Race on Oct. 12, 1964. Albert Ezor of Delray Yacht Club purchased the renowned yacht from Podolack's widow Charlotte and maintained the name Coquille.

Albert Ezor enjoyed tremendous success aboard Coquille, winning the Little America's Cup out of Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club, winning the prestigious Whitney Series and doing quite well in a variety of offshore events.

"My father had a love and passion for sailing, which he instilled in me," Gary Ezor said. "Coquille was a beautiful boat, one of seven 10-meters on the West Coast. We did a lot of one-design racing with her and did quite well."

When Gary Ezor purchased a Farr 40 he didn't think twice about naming it Coquille, which is a type of seashell. "My dad was certainly a sailing pioneer on the West Coast and I named this boat Coquille as a tribute to him and to keep the legacy going," Ezor said.

Nightshift repeats as Boat of the Day winner at Farr 40 California Cup

CalcupMcNeil, Horton benefiting from past experience on Santa Monica Bay

Marina del Ray, Calif. (June 19, 2014) - Kevin McNeil has sailed his Star boat in big regattas on Santa Monica Bay. Andy Horton competed in the 2007 Olympic Trials for Star class on the same body of water. That combined experienced has helped the Nightshift team post consistent results in an extremely tricky venue this week.

McNeil has done a superb job of steering while Horton has been solid calling tactics to help Nightshift string together six strong races to open the California Cup, being held on Santa Monica Bay.

Conditions on the ocean course off Venice Beach for Thursday's action were quite similar to the day before (8-12 knots out of the southwest) and Nightshift  was dialed in again. McNeil steered the Annapolis entry to a splendid score line of 3-4-1 to earn Boat of the Day honors for the second straight afternoon.

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