Race Report: 2008 MC Scow Blue Chip Regatta by Eric Hood
26 September 2008
By Eric Hood - Hey MC Sailors here is some news for you whether you’re are young, in the middle, older, male, female, lightweight, middleweight or a heavyweight. The MC Scow Blue Chip Championship is one of the best MC events you can ever participate in as a skipper or for that matter as a crew.The 2008 version of this event just held proved this to be true once again.
This great annual championship saw some of the toughest competition in years come to town and mother nature put on some tricky, but tough and fair conditions. All six races were raced, raced on time and at full length. Conditions ranged from 5-12 m.p.h. all weekend with winds mostly in the 6-8 m.p.h. range.
Now some folks call this a river but a river it is not. It is simply a skinny and long lake.Many of you out there in places like Kansas City, Chattanooga, Columbus, Davenport, Colorado and spots like that would feel right at home. Lots of points, nooks and coves.
The interesting thing about this event this year besides having 7 former National Champs plus lots of regatta and divisional winners participating was the consistent wind for Saturday from the west southwest and then a whole new consistent wind or Sunday from the east southeast. Both winds on each day were consistent and had very strategic spots on the race course that were always there and waiting or someone to bust a move and take advantage of big gains to be made.
There were a couple schools of thought but one thing for sure was staying in the dark water downwind was critical.Lots of pretty good leads were lost on usually the first run downwind of each race.By the time we would get to leg 4 and the second run folks had it figured out. Cutting the corner just east of Verplanks on the south shore was usually very costly. Another big win on Saturday was on the north shore at the point of land at the west dock by the club.Both upwind, downwind and just after a start or a leeward mark rounding big money was made at the point of land where the wind was accelerated for about 100 yards of either side of the point.Sunday even though the wind was totally 180 degrees opposite the same point on the north shore at the club was pretty important as the wind again was accelerating in this area.
Starts defined the regatta this year.Usually they do but for some reason even more so at this event this year.Steve Schiller PRO, Pete Price, Nancy Price, Midge Verplank and their teams set incredible starting lines for Spring Lake.I do not say this lightly.We watched Charlie Harrett Sr. for years have to deal with the temperamental winds of Spring Lake and often he would have to take long periods of time to get it just right.This year the PRO and his group were fortunate to be dealing with very stable winds.It was hard to decide where to go and where to start.
When you look at the race results as Brien Fox noted during the awards, it is pretty unusual to have the winner average 5.5 points.The winner never won a race. We had 6 different race winners. The point spread in the top six boats was only 11 points.
There were 32 boats.No juniors , 3 female skippers, 2 mega masters, 7 grand masters, 5 masters participating this year.
Race winners were in order for the six races Al Haeger, Cam McNeil, Brett Hatton, Justin Hood, Eric Hood, and Matt Fisher.
Our Mystery Guest was Matt Fisher son of the late legendary George Fisher and for sure better than his brother former MC sailor :-o Greg Fisher. I kid about Greg.He really wanted to come this year and I am sure we will see him next year take a shot at his brother who has a automatic invite back to the Blue Chip having won the Masters Division for 2008.Personally I just don’t know if Greg has what it takes to beat Matt in a MC Scow. Matt came on strong this year winning the last race which propelled him up to 2nd overall for the championship.
Ted Keller won has been on a roll in recent years through consistency and patience won the event this year for the fourth time. Ted also won a very special bottle of DomP. for first place and 2nd-5th won special bottles ofMoet Champagne.
Trophies provided by Brien and Happy Fox were beautiful bottles of Champagne that had the event name and regatta place actually etched into the bottles.
The famous Gutter Ball trophy for the skipper finishing all races and with the most points went to Bull Schmidt of Lake Geneva.Now Bull pointed out during the awards that had he not finished the last race the award would have gone to former National Champ and regatta co-chair Glen Walborn.Very sporting of Bull to secure this trophy and with it brings the famous automatic invite back to the 2009 event.
As for the Hood boys we were both glad to be back in the class racing again.Justin after two years away and me 15 months away from the MC Scow class. Look for us on the 2009 circuit as we are hoping to get reinvolved at a high level with the class if things work out with both of our schedules.
Many thanks to Spring Lake Yacht Club for providing boats for several competitors.The Fox families, The Walborns and all of their teams for putting on a great event.
My challenge to all. Everyone that qualifies for the 2009 Blue Chip Championship will show up. We could have 50 champions racing at one time.We have done it in the past. Plan ahead, mark your calendars down, stay in touch with the class leaders and the leaders at Spring Lake to make it all happen for 2009. Network, network, network.
See you all down the road.
1.) TED KELLER
2.) MATT FISHER
3.) ANDY MOLESTA
4.) DAVE FOX
5.) JUSTIN HOOD
6.) CAM MCNEIL
7.) RICHARD BLAKE (M)
8.) BRETT HATTON
9.) ERIC HOOD (M)
10.) JOHN HANS
11.) PETER TOUMANOFF (M)
12.) CURT MILLER (GM)
13.) BRIAN MCMURRAY
14.) AL HEAGER (GM)
15.) JOE ROTUNDA
16.) BRIEN FOX
17.) DAN FINK
18.) JACK SANDERSON (GM)
19.) CHRIS EGGERT
20.) JIM GRANT (GM)
21.) CHRIS CRAIG
22.) JOHN KNAPE (M)
23.) LYNN WALBORN (W)
24.) BOB MILLER (MM)
25.) LARA LANKA (W)
26.) DOUG KISER (GM)
27.) JULIE CRAIG (W)
28.) DAVE BEDAU (GM)
29.) PHIL WEILER
30.) GLEN WALBORN
31.) BULL SCHMIDT (GM)
32.) BILL FREYTAG (MM)