By Art Petrosemolo
Red Bank – Brian Toboada, sailing out of Barnegat Bay’s Island Heights Yacht Club took top honors in the 51st Lightning Long John Regatta at the Monmouth Boat Club. It was Toboada’s 4th Long John title, his first since 2003.
The well-known, respected Lightning sailor topped 20 competitors in two days of competition winning two and finishing second once in five races sailed in conditions that ranged from 5-15 mph on the Navesink River.
“It is the first Long John I won with a lead going into the Sunday races,” Toboada said. “It was a tough regatta with difficult wind conditions and shifts going from a lack of breeze to as much as we could handle.”
The Barnegat skipper sailed with Laura and Will Jeffers as crew. Laura serves as the executive secretary of the International Lightning Class in Tarpon Springs, FL.
Taboada will be back in Monmouth Country the end of July sailing the Lightning Class Atlantic Coast Championships hosted by the Atlantic Highlands Yacht Club and the Monmouth Boat Club. The two-day event will be sailed in Sandy Hook Bay.
Will Brown finished second in the two-day event with 31 points including two second and one third place finish. Monmouth Boat Club’s Jack Huntsman, who has a record five Long John titles, finished third with 36 points and one second place finish. Mith Hnatt finished fourth with 38 points and one first place finish. Gianni Cuccio was fifth with 38 points and one first place finish.
MBC Past Commodore Denis Farley served as principal race officer for the event coordinating the on-water race committee and rescue boat staff.
Saturday’s four races were sailed in cool, overcast conditions with wind gusts nearing 20 mph. Sunday’s final two races were sailed under sunny skies and light winds topping out at 7 mph.