Competitors returned to Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week (USLBRW) in top form, despite the three-year hiatus forced by the pandemic; their outstanding performance matched only by the spectacular sailing conditions. Across the course sails were trimmed, tactics were sharp, and smiles were wide on the faces of hundreds of racers who turned out for this venerated season opener. For decades USLBRW has been one of the favorite regattas for sailors on the west coast, with highly fought competition, nightly parties, and weather conditions that say, ‘Hello summer!” And this year was no exception as Mother Nature doled out three days of sunshine, breeze, dolphin sightings and fun. USLBRW is hosted by Alamitos Bay Yacht Club (ABYC) and Long Beach Yacht Club (LBYC) with a helping hand from California Yacht Club and an armada of volunteers. The collaboration provides for three distinct racecourses, all expertly managed, hosting 14 different divisions. “It’s been good to have everyone back and enjoying the regatta,” said Principal Race Officer Mark Townsend. “The Long Beach breeze really delivered and we had highly competitive racing all three days!” Townsend explained the courses were designed to be challenging and based on the fleets anticipated, with several months of planning and exploring various course options. Final course selection – where to go and how far – came down to race-day conditions, and Townsend commended Race Committee volunteers on all three courses for pulling off those races seamlessly. Racing began at 12:55PM Friday with breezy conditions testing the fleet right out of the gate. Wind that gusted to 21 knots created a formidable chop, even in the inner harbor race circle ‘C.’ That didn’t stop organizers from running two races for the windward-leeward boats, and a lengthy trial for the random leg entrants. By Day Two the leaderboard began to solidify as the wind continued to blow. Bruce Golison’s J/70 Midlife Crisis held off an attack by Nimbus, who was OCS in Race Three. Despite a brilliant rally to a ninth-place finish in that race, Nimbus was unable to best Midlife Crisis’ all top-five finishes, and finished second overall, with Huckleberry third. Midlife Crisis’ stellar performance earned the team both J/70 gold and Friday’s Boat of the Day honors. Steven Proud’s J70 Swish, hailing from the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in Aus., received the Furthest Traveled award. For full results on USLBRW 2022, the photo gallery and event details, please visit www.lbrw.org.