Congratulations To Mike Dow — 2009 Melges 17 Blue Water Regatta Champion!

Congratulations To Mike Dow — 2009 Melges 17 Blue Water Regatta Champion! Related topics:

16 June 2009

Article courtesy of Coye Harrett - Day two of the 2009 Blue Water Regatta brought South winds again and was filled in with about 8-12 MPH of breeze as the fleet got down to the yacht club. With the top five boats having only eight points between them, anything could happen...

At the start of the first race, there were more consistent oscillating shifts than the day before. The only trick was to stay in phase with the shifts up the course. Current leader Mike Dow, and Coye Harrett played the first shifts just right as they were the leaders at the top mark. Both boats extended their lead off the offset; and then gybed in a puff to take them down the lake. The second time up the right side of the course had more breeze and better angles to the mark. Dow was the first around the mark and the first to the right side. Dow did an excellent job protecting the right side of the course every time Harrett would try and cross the center line of the course. Once the boats reached the starting line, Harrett attempted to go back to the right side to avoid going through the starting area, and again was slam dunked by Mike Dow and was forced to hold his position to stay on the favored side of the course. The rest of the fleet went around the leeward mark and headed to the right side as well. At the second windward mark, Mike Dow was still leading with Coye Harrett right behind him. Harrett gybed first a few hundred yards after the offset, followed by Dow; both boats rode this shot down the two/thirds of the course and then split, Dow went out to the Starboard layline and Harrett went out to the Port.  Once they came back at each other, Dow had the advantage being on Starboard, but a knot in their spinnaker halyard caused a poor take down, allowing Harrett to get a bow out on him. Harrett cut Dow off and forced him to tack, Harrett tacked on top to cover, and held the lead to the finish. Tom and Tommy Munroe came in third.

The fleet was a little too anxious in race two as there was a general recall, the second attempt was better. The West shore payed off big time in this race, much like it did on Saturday. After the start, the best move was to tack and get to the West shore. Brian McMurray and Jim Hilgard were one of the first boats out there. In the same pack of boats were Bob Heathcote, Mike Dow, Coye Harrett, and Tom Munroe. Brian McMurray, Bob Heathcote and Jim Hilgard used the West shore again downwind as it payed off nicely at the leeward mark. Tom Munroe, Coye Harrett, and Lesa Gutenkunst extended off the offset much like in previous races. The right side continue to pay the most dividends as Brian McMurray used that side to his advantage and sailed to first place, with Jim Hilgard in second and Coye Harrett in third.

With five races down and only one to go, everyone was trying to do some math in their head to figure out their position. With an unclear leader at this time, having a good race would be crucial. The right side of the course was just as favored as the last race, if not more. After the starting gun went off, the fleet tacked over to get to the right side of the course to line up with the puffs coming down the lake. Mary Anne Ward, Sean Fidler, Brad Sprouse and Brian McMurray were all in the hunt at the top mark. The same strategy was employed this race as the last one, go to the West shore! Mary Anne was leading the whole race until the last leeward mark when Sean Fidler passed her and sailed to first.

The top three were as follows:
Mike Dow
Sean Fidler
Coye Harrett

It was another great regatta at Crystal Lake, thanks to the Crystal Lake Yacht Club and PRO Stu Soule for putting on a great event!

Next up, Melges 17 Inland at Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota July 25-26. We are planning on getting around twenty boats on the starting line, with many boats from Michigan making the trip over for more great racing!

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