|Kris Zillmann and her San Diego Yacht Club team won the 25th annual Linda Elisa Memorial Women’s One-Design Challenge Sunday in this regatta organized and sponsored by the Long Beach/Los Angeles Women’s Sailing Association and hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club.
“This is my first time driving this boat,” said Zillmann referring to the Long Beach Sailing Foundation’s fleet of Catalina 37s.
She defeated 10 other West Coast teams on a weekend that brought changeable wind conditions of anywhere between 5 to 16 knots.
Saturday started off with five - seven knots, more from the south than Long Beach’s typical southwesterly. But the sailors didn’t have long to wait as by mid-afternoon it clocked hard right with gusts a bit over 16 knots. Sunday was a more typical day with seven - fourteen knots throughout the day.
“My team was phenomenal in their work,” said Zillmann, “and we were able to keep the corners tight and adjusted as best as we could.”
Zillmann’s team was made up of; Sandy Vissman, Alli Bell, Amy Lisewski, Alexa Cavalieri, Tiffany Billings, Julie Mitchell, Gigi Mitchell, Stacey Szabo, Kellin Chatfield and Kirsten Zillmann.
Finishing a close second on a tiebreaker was Kayla McComb and her Newport Harbor Yacht Club team. Both McComb and Zillmann were tied at 20 points each at the end of the regatta. But after the tiebreaker was applied---who had the most first place finishes---Zillmann came out on top.
“This regatta was well run,” said McComb. “We had great breeze and getting to work with my team on the water is great. “This was my first regatta driving a keel boat and we had a lot of fun. We’re looking forward to more women’s regattas in California.”
Third place went to Vicki Sodaro and her San Francisco Yacht Club team.
“We’re glad to have sailed it this year,” said Sodaro. “It’s fun to do and we try to race it as a yacht club. As a matter of fact, our club has already put this in the budget for next year!”
Thinking over the weekend’s racing, Zillmann added, “This is an excellent event and the race management was the best.”
Zillmann was awarded the perpetual Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One-Design Challenge trophy, donated by Al and Vicki Shultz and the Catalina 37 Women’s One-Design Challenge, LB/LA Women’s Sailing Association trophy.
She also received a $1,000 scholarship check from the Linda Elias Sailing Scholarship.
The Women’s One-Design event began 25 years ago and Linda Elias---the namesake for the current regatta---won the championship three of the first five years. Elias passed away in 2003 and the Long Beach/Los Angeles Women’s Sailing Association rededicated the event to her memory.