Eric Hood Wins 2009 Orlando Web MC Scow Regatta

1 June 2009

Article Courtesy of Eric Hood, Missouri Yacht Club, Lake Lotawana, MO - The 30 Annual Orlando Webb Memorial regatta was held this last weekend of May at Lake Lotawana, MO. The members and volunteers from the Missouri Yacht Club pulled out all the stops as usual. Exceptional Friday night appetizers and drinks then the famous Saturday night dinner and famous Sunday Brunch. Not only that but the weather was fantastic with 4 great races held with 8-18 m.p.h. winds the order of the day for both race days.

Forty-six Skippers with five states being represented entered and sailed this year making this the second largest regatta of the year.

On Saturday we had a crazy, tough race 1 with winds 15-18 out of the west northwest which is very unusual considering we had temps in the high 80s. This race made for very shifty winds on this long skinny high bank lake. Shifts would come at you with incredible directional changes that left quite few folks swimming and others coming back from that race saying that was one of the toughest races I have ever sailed. It was fun and fast though. The key to this race was anticipating if the big black blasts coming at you were headers or lifts and setting up for quick reactions with the controls and quick tacks. Downwind the rides were fast but the biggest gains were getting around and away from the offset mark in a tight corner of the lake and getting back out to more open water. Those who focused on that first fifty yards off the offset did well and increased their leads and position on boats nearby.

Race 2 after lunch was similar in direction but with winds a little bit more tame. Lots of action and excitement throughout the fleet. Quite a finish between Danny Ziegler and Woody Woodruff with inches separating those two.

Race 3 saw the wind shifting and rolling right. This allowed for a completely different course and winds ranging from 7-10 mph for most of the time. A long and rare Olympic course on this T shaped long narrow lake. This was a fun race with some good exchanges and battles. The most exciting one was with one of our favorite MC sailors Doc Tillema finishing 2nd and fighting off his son Scott, Mark Long and others on the last beat. Scott actually got by him as did Gary Schroeder but Doc T came back with a rock solid 2nd place finish in the medium air race. This was a race that you had to stay in dark water, be smooth with your moves and not oversteer when the big shifts came. High bank lakes the breeze usually drops down on the tree line and will hit you and your sail before it shows on the water. So those who anticipated that breeze coming to them slightly before the puff arrived on the water did well.

Race four on Sunday morning was a new direction with winds ranging from 7-10 and a few occasionally holes underneath the high hills if you got to close to shore. A very long course, a 2 and 1/2 but with the last beat going the length of the lake. This race was all about staying in the puffs, tacking quickly when the shifts came. Again , another race where line control of Cunningham, vang, along with smooth mainsheet trim and a light touch on the tiller made all the difference.

So here are some highlights.
- Eric Hood won races one, three and four, with Danny Ziegler winning race 2.
- Top Mega Master: Jack Kern
- Top Grand Master: George Silvey
- Top Master: Eric Hood
- Top Woman: Julia Lentz

Top Results
1.) Eric Hood
2.) Mark Long
3.) Scott Tillema
4.) Scott Griffiths
5.) Danny Zeigler

Congratulations to Gary Schroeder took delivery of a brand new Melges MC Scow - No. 2503 and George Silvey of Lake Winnebago is going to order a new boat for the upcoming National Championship in Tulsa. Also, we had two new sailors join the MC Scow from Lake Perry. Ted Lischer and James Slaughter. Welcome to the class guys!

For me personally, I think seeing Doc Tillema put one together in a long tough race was the highlight of the weekend. Folks like Doc T are rare. The strength of MYC, its sailing program and social/community program is due in much to the Doc and his family. Ringleaders with longevity should always be celebrated just as we celebrated the Orlando Webb today who fired up this large fleet over thirty years ago.

Also, reconnecting with my close dear friends Aimee and Mark long was very special. Racing hard against Mark and for us to come in 1-2 is a rare deal when you can do it with one of your best friends. Now don’t get teary eyed, I still put it on him J but it was fun to do together.

In closing, many thanks to Paula Martin and her large team. Very well done.

Bucket list you all, add this one to your list if you have not been here. Every year, first weekend after Memorial Day. It is so worth it.

That is it. Check the complete scores on www.mcscow.org, and also go there for all info on upcoming regattas.