2008 C Scow National Championship Produces 60 Entries; Jamie Kimball Crowned Champion
17 June 2008
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin; Lake Geneva Yacht Club - The 2008 C Scow National Championship was held this past weekend by the Lake Geneva Yacht Club. 60 teams came to Lake Geneva to compete over the three day event. North sails prevailed once again winning 4 of 5 races and taking the top two places overall.
Racing began Friday morning under sunny skies and a building SW breeze. Most teams chose to sail with three which ultimately turned out to be the right decision. Ed Eckert and Matt Schmidt jumped out to an early lead in race 1 with Jamie Kimball and John McNeil in hot pursuit. Kimball was able to catch Eckert up the final beat to win this race.
Shortly after lunch the fleet went back on the water for race two. After a rough start, John McNeil was able to continue his success from the morning and would go on to win this race. McNeil was able to fight his way through the fleet and caught a nice left hand shift to pass Peter Keck who had been leading most of the race. McNeil's 3rd and 1st place finishes put him in first place after two 5 points ahead of Kent Haeger and Peter Keck with 9pts.
Day 2 brought windier conditions from the SW. The one and only race Saturday was the windiest of the regatta with velocities ranging from 14-22. Race 3 was hard fought with many lead changes. Chris Craig from Lake Fenton, Mi was eventually the winner followed closely by Augie Barkow and Kent Haeger. Back to back races were scheduled, but due to increased winds the race committee chose to abandon race 4. The PRO attempted a 4th race later in the day, but an unfortunate thunderstorm sent the fleet back to shore once again and racing was cancelled for the day.
Going into the final day of racing, John McNeil and Kent Haeger were tied for the lead with 12 pts. Peter Keck and Jamie Kimball followed 7 points behind tied for 3rd and 4th. With such tight competition, the Championship was still up for grabs. In the first race of the day (4th of regatta), Jamie Kimball jumped out to a large lead. McNeil, Haeger, and Keck were all well behind. However, Keck was able to make a remarkable comeback. By the second downwind mark, Keck was right on Kimball's transom. As these two boats traded tacks upwind, Ed Eckert was able to climb his way up to these two lead boats. At the finish it was Keck in 1st, Eckert in 2nd, and Kimball in 3rd. McNeil battled back to finish 10th.
With one race to go, McNeil and Keck were now tied for the lead 2 points ahead of Kimball. After several general recalls, the 5th and final race of the regatta started under the black flag. After difficult starts, all three leaders rounded the first windward mark deep in the fleet. Kimball was the first to round somewhere around 25th. McNeil and Keck weren't too far behind. Throughout the next few legs, these three boats would move their way up in the fleet. By the last leeward mark, Kimball had moved himself into 4th place, with Keck rounding in 10th. McNeil was caught on the left side of the course in a right hand shift setting him further back. The regatta would now be decided by Kimball and Keck. At the finish, Kimball was able to squeeze two boats in between himself and Keck to win this years' National Championship by 1 point over Keck. It was close!
TOP TEN RESULTS (OVERALL)
- Jamie Kimball N/S
- Peter Keck N/S
- Augie Barkow
- John McNeil N/S
- Kent Haeger
- Tim Krech N/S
- Chris Craig
- Chris Andert N/S
- Joe Skotarzak N/S
- Ed Eckert
WHAT WAS FAST?
Getting off the starting line certainly made it easier to finish well. With 60 boats, it can be very difficult to find and develop clear lanes to pass boats. Over the five race regatta, we had two good starts. As soon as we realized we were in a bad position off the starting line, we would tack out and do everything we could to develop a clear lane. Sailing in clear breeze is an absolute must. Even though we were not always in the front of the pack, the fact that we were sailing in clear air allowed us to pass boats.
In all five races we had three people on the boat with a total crew weight of 455 lbs. Having a 3rd crew in the breeze is crucial to having good boat speed upwind. We were a light three, but were able to hike hard, use a lot of vang and cunningham, and ease the mainsheet to try and foot the boat as much as possible upwind. On average our traveler was 8" from being all the way out. We also cocked our boards up 6 inches due to the fact we were overpowered. This seemed to really help.
Our mast rake was set at 31' 10" the entire weekend with soft sides stay tension. In all five races our jackstays ranged from 42" to 44". I am a big believer in keeping the rig tune simple. Set it, forget about it, and go sailing.
We were also reminded several times why it's never good to come into a windward mark on the port tack layline. We were forced left late in two races and had to come into the mark on port tack. In the first instance we hit the windward mark, and the second time we had to duck 6 boats we were beating. In a large fleet with tight racing you are almost always forced to duck a train of boats when coming in on the port tack layline, which is obviously never good.
Thanks to Terry Blanchard and all of his staff at the Lake Geneva Yacht Club for putting on a great event.