North Sails Win The 2009 Melges MC Scow Midwinter Championship, Rob Terry Named Champion!

31 March 2009

North Sails Win — 2009 MC Midwinter Championship

View Official Melges MC Scow Midwinter Championship Photo Gallery

Top Ten Results
1.) Rob Terry – North Sails
2.) Skip Moorehouse
3.) Andy Burdick- North Sails
4.) David Moring – North Sails
5.) Jeff Annis – North Sails
6.) Tim Fredman – North Sails
7.) Rob Seidelman 
8.) Dan Fink
9.) Eric Oppn
10.) Jon Pomerleau – North Sails

North Sails Win 3 of the 5 Championship Races
Top Master: Rob Terry – North Sails
Top Junior: Coye Harrett – North Sails
Top Mega Master: Bob Miller – North Sails

Lake Eustis Sailing Club – Eustis, Florida - Lake Eustis is setting records this year. 80 MC’s are at their yacht club for the 2009 Midwinter Championship. Boats from all around North America. Ten different states represented: New York, Wisconsin, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Michigan, Iowa, Texas, Missouri, Colorado and then Quebec. The MC fleet is obviously strong and growing.

This did not simply happen though. The LESC has spent countless of hours organizing this event for the sailors. June Howells is the regatta organizer and she is a bundle of non-stop energy. She is serving the sailors in a first class way. She has help with over 20 volunteers from the club. Co-Chair Candi Robb and primary assistant Mary Anne Ward. The key – enthusiasm! This club has it.  Fantastic volunteers, good sailors that promote the club racing on a weekly basis and a hospitality that goes beyond anything we have ever seen! On the MC regatta circuit – this event must make the list. 

The enthusiasm spreads through the entire facility as spectators, youth sailors, crew are out in powerboats rallying their on the water favorites and cheering for the leaders in each age category. The atmosphere is fantastic.

Day 1
Principal Race Officer Devin Farley rallied the troops on Thursday morning for race number one. The wind was filled in and it looked perfect for day one. Many of the early birds sailed out and had some perfect tune up sailing before the race. However as we approached the start time of 10:30am it was evident that the wind was going down. Devin and team did get a line set and we went into sequence but as we approached the gun the breeze shifted and eventually fizzled out. Devin made a good move to postpone and send the 80 boat fleet in for lunch. 

The wind finally arrived, at least we thought. We ventured out to start the first race of the event. We did start but soon after the wind went flat and shifted as much as 40 degrees. After rounding the first weather mark the wind shifted hard left and the picked up in velocity. The fleet reached to the leeward gates and as the leaders arrived the RC called off the race. Smart move.

After adjusting the line and the course we started another race. It was clear now that we would have just one race on day one. The weather was perfect. Warm, sunny and a nice light breeze but again, this too faded and the RC was reluctant to end day one without a completed race. So, the racing was interesting to say the least as we sailed in 0-8 with wind ranges varying 70 degrees. Some figured it out and got in phase. Skip Moorehouse lead the way with local favorite Dave Moring close behind. Rob Terry from Crystal Lake, Michigan was 3rd. Bob Miller from Diamond Lake, Michigan was 4th and Guy Mossman was 5th. 

These top 5 sailors were incredible on this day as they stayed up front the entire race. Many suffered regatta ending results on race one. The top 5 sailors lead the post race press conference lead by June Howells. This conference is a great way for sailors to stick around, enjoy some snacks and beverages and then have a de-brief on the days racing. The leaders talked about set up, what they looked for on the water and how they got themselves to the front of the fleet. 

What Was Fast
On this day the leaders spoke about velocity and searching for that as it was the ultimate thing. Get to the wind first and if you were headed, then tack and sail the lift – no matter where you were on the course. Having good identifiers help too. Skip Moorehouse spoke about how much a mast head fly (windex) helps his sailing in light air. Telltales on the sidestays help. Anything to give you a clue as to where the wind is. Vang and Cunningham eased, outhauls eased in slightly and then a lot of patience were keys on this day. 

The famous Oyster Troff hosted the MC fleet on this evening and what a great party it was. Fresh oysters, peel and eat shrimp and many other great foods were enjoyed by the fleet. Guy Mossman was 5th on day one and won the party on this night! Thanks Oyster Troff for hosting the fleet and providing ice cold beverages!

Day 2
The forecast was for solid breeze. 8-15 was the report out of the East / North East. When we arrived at the club for a 9:30am start and the hopes for three quality races we were greeted with fog, haze and lack of wind. Looked like some waiting around and we did. Until about 11pm. A breeze did fill in and instead of going for lunch we sailed a light air race tucked up under the shoreline. Going racing before lunch was a good move. Putting the course under the shoreline meant some more crazy racing. Shifty and I do mean shifty. Winds filtered in and actually reached up to 12mph at times which allowed us to hike and stretch our legs. Dan Fink took advantage of the shifty conditions and won race #2. His finishes were now a 38, 1. Tells you what type of racing we had. Following closely behind Dan was Junior sailor Coye Harrett. Coye rounded the last leeward mark in 14th and hit a home run on the left powering him into 2nd at the end – almost winning. His first two races were 45,2. Zenda University winner Will Hendershot was third in this race. He now had a 32,3. Any consistency out there? Skip Moorehouse came through and finished 4th proving that someone had this breeze figured out. A 1,4 for Skip was strong and this put him on top of the leader board. 

After lunch the RC moved the racing down the lake a bit more – good thing as Lake Eustis is a beautiful body of water. A perfect scow lake. Now we could stretch out and have some fun racing with lots of room! Would the breeze cooperate? The breeze held in there a bit better. Local favorite Dave Mooring liked it as he played the shifts up the left side on the first beat and this was the place to be. Dave sailed a fantastic race to get a bullet. Zack Clayton was second and Ohio sailor Matt Fisher was third. 4th was Tim Fredman and after three races Fredman had a real series put together. He had a 7,7,4. Not quite as good as Moorehouse who now had a 1,4,12 but darn close! Fredman has been racing scows and iceboats all of his life and is an excellent sailor. Rob Terry had a 5th in this race putting him right in the mix too. Going into race 4 these three boats (Moorehouse, Fredman, Terry) were the leaders but a fair amount over the fleet.

In preparation for race 4 the breeze really came in. It was now around 4pm and the chance to race another one was quite good. The breeze piped in to a close 20mph but not much more however the RC decided to end the day a bit early by most peoples standards. The decision was made though and now we were looking at a 5 race regatta with two races planned on the final day. 

What Was Fast
The post race press conference brought many points out today. The breeze was 3-12 most of the day with big shifts again so the search for velocity was paramount. The first sail control people went to was vang when they needed to depower. Then Cunningham and then some of the lighter sailors even dropped their travelers 3” down in the larger puffs. This was the basic set up by most. The key was being in the wind and hitting the first shift off the start. Something Moorehouse, Fredman and Terry were doing every time – really amazing as it was really, really difficult.

Candi Robb and the LESC put together a fantastic evening at the Lakeside Inn in Mount Dora. A fantastic dinner for the fleet and some entertainment provided by Melges and North Sails Zenda as Andy Burdick did a presentation on Melges and the growing worldwide brand. An interesting photo presentation showing the fleet all the boats, the racing, the venues, the brand of Melges and where it is today. One thing that was voiced loudly – it all started with scow sailing and scow sailing is still at the top of the Melges' priority list. The new Melges MC Scow look sure backs that statement up!

Day 3 - Final Day Of Racing
The breeze finally arrived. The fleet sailed out to races 4 and 5 for the day and you could tell we would have some fantastic MC wind. 10-18 is what we ended up racing in – perfect! Sunny, warm, windy and two races to decide who would be the 2009 Midwinter Champion!

Dave Moring lead all of the first race on this day. Fantastic speed and technique powered him ahead of the likes of Andy Burdick, Coye Harrett, Jeff Annis and Dan Fink on this race. Moorehouse and Terry finished close to each other in this heat. Terry had a 8 and Moorehouse a 10. So, after 4 races we had a tie and one race to go.

Off the line of the final race, race 5 – Moorehouse looked to struggle in bad air for a while but then a tack to the right and a big shift right put Moorehouse right in the mix up the first beat. In fact, Moorehouse was ahead of Terry by many boats for a while but Terry fought back and got close to Moorehouse on the run. The leaders in the race were Moring and Burdick but that battle was secondary to the championship battle going on just behind them. As the race progressed it was tight. Exchanging tacks and positions but in the end the man from Crystal Lake, Michigan won the battle and the war. Rob Terry edged out Skip Moorehouse to become the 2009 MC Midwinter Champion. What an awesome triumph for Rob Terry! Dave Moring ended up holding off Burdick to get a double bullet on Saturday.  This moved Moring up to 4th overall. 

What Was Fast
Tommy Harken probably said it best in the post race press conference, "I trimmed hard, cranked my vang on and then eased the mainsheet so that I could vang sheet." A good set up for sure! As the breeze hits this allows you to ease the sheet to keep the MC from over heeling. You can go fast through the waves – not having to put the bow up into the wind. So, lots of vang, lots of cunningham and the traveler down 3-6” allowing the boat to settle down upwind. Another key – pulling your boards up 2” for upwind performance. This will eliminate helm sailing upwind. This makes the boat much easier to sail upwind.

Congratulations to all of the winners but most importantly to Rob Terry and Skip Moorehouse who set the pace for the fleet all week. Fantastic sailing gentlemen! Congratulations to June and the LESC. A stellar regatta, 80 boats, great organization and great racing thanks to RC head Devin Farley.

Rob Terry received his championship trophy, the Bill Crum Memorial and then there was a big champagne celebration. No, we were not sipping champagne in honor of Rob. We were spraying it all over he and his wife Jules! A big VICTORY Rob – Congratulations!

MC Midwinters 2010 – Lake Eustis, Florida – BE THERE!

Don’t miss this opportunity to do this regatta!