The 2011 I.L.Y.A. MC Invitational Regatta – Lake Beulah, WI.
11 July 2011
The Red Carpet treatment was waiting for 43 skippers and teams who made it to this year's annual three day event. If you ever want to learn about volunteerism and great service the Lake Beulah Yacht Club would be a great source as they do it up right all the time. Fantastic in and out launch service. Over the top dinners and great lunches. Communications are crystal clear. Even at the awards lunch a short 1 hour after the last race all race results were already posted along with dozens of great images of all the sailors racing. Check it all out on www.lbyc.us Great club website too if you are looking to upgrade your local sailing website. Also, spectator boats were always available. I know my wife Sue, Marianne Fink and several others really appreciated that nice option.
Lake Beulah is one of our smaller inland scow lakes and long ago native Indians actually called it Crooked Lake which is pretty darn accurate. Just Google Lake Beulah and you will see what I mean. We had hot weather and great water temps for the three days of sailing. Winds were challenging and really put PRO Jeff Labonte and his great staff of leaders to the test. With a lot of patience and persistence though we got all six races in. On day one we waited all day for wind and then at 4:30 the breeze came . We had two races between 4:30pm and 7:30pm in light 5-7 mph southeasterly winds. Day two on Saturday we had 3 races from a unusual straight southerly direction in light winds ranging from 3-9 mph. Then a good ol' traditional southwest in 7-13 mph for our final race on Sunday. As I said the RC work with the five boat team was fantastic. Many thanks to Nan Norris, Candace Porter, David Porter, Jeff Lippert, Jeff Labonte and about a dozen other great RC volunteers.
Onto the racing. First , I have to mention it was great seeing so many new faces jumping into our MC class. Tough young sailors, very competitive women always up at the front, great veteran sailors and most importantly new skippers to our class. Teams from 14 clubs and 5 states were present. You can sense that folks are gearing up for some of the great major events coming up soon which include the Inland Championships at Minnetonka, the Western Michigan Championships at Crystal Lake and the National Championship at Lake Keuka. Watch www.ilya.org , www.wmya.org ,www.mcscow.org and www.melges.com for more information on all of these upcoming championships plus many regional and other regattas that may be of interest to you.
While I personally struggled with a lot of silly mistakes this past weekend at times I sailed really well. Ended up 5th out of 43 when it was all over. What I clearly remember though is at different points getting it handed to me by teenage skippers Charlie and George Kutschenreuter, Women skippers like Andrea Jarecki who finished 11th overall along with the always extremely tough Kelly Hirn and some of our veteran Mega Masters like Milt Haeger. It was fun to see skippers doing well throughout the whole age range and across genders. The MC class truly is a great boat for anyone who has a desire to race in an extremely competitive class with a high performance boat.
Our regatta champ had an extraordinary week. Actually we now call him Clark Griswold as in “Family Vacation's” Clark Griswold. The champ started the week on a long road trip from Connecticut with wife and child. We think he possibly might have had a camper in tow and we still are not sure about the Aunt or dog as seen in Family Vacation. He then comes home to Lake Beulah where he grew up and stole all the candy by winning and winning big this week in a borrowed boat, with a borrowed sail. No more suspense – Clark Griswold a.k.a. Zack Clayton not only put on a training clinic before the event but also put on a clinic during the six races this past weekend. In fact he had already won the regatta before Sunday's final race.
Race winners – were Paul Wood from Lake Geneva, Zack Clayton officially from Lake Eustis, Paul Reilly from Cedar , Stefan Schmidt from Mendota and George Kutschenreuter from Beulah. Top Woman was Andrea Jarecki from Beulah, Top Master was Bruce Gallagher from Pine, Grand Master was Peter Toumanoff from Pewaukee, Mega Master Milt Haeger and Top Youth George and Charlie Kutschenreuter. Top Five Clayton, Gallagher, Jeff Surles, John Porter (Beulah) and EHood.
This regatta was all tactics and boat handling. While speed was good and solid tacking and gybing was important it was more about being in the right spot at the right time. Breeze was up off the water a little bit so I think looking back on some mistakes I would say if you strayed from the pack you were running with that you put yourself in jeopardy. It was racing were you wanted to be near the top 10 for 4,5,6 of the 7 leg courses then make your move on the last leg or two. If you tried to do much in the first 2/3rds of the race more times than not it was risky at best. Pre-race practice really was important to understand how the wind was not quite showing on the water as it appeared. Fun stuff for sure. If any of you have questions and want to visit more about this event I would be glad to share specific thoughts with any of you. Just write to me at email@example.com
Get geared up for the big events coming soon that include the Westerns, ILYA Champs, National Championship, Team Championship, Blue Chips and a host of other events you can find on www.mcscow.org
All The Best,
MC Scow 2540