The Lake - MC Scow Fleet On Big Cedar

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19 July 2012

Article courtesy of Eric Hood -
The Lake - Big Cedar, Wisconsin. Now for those of you who have not been to Big Cedar it is not all that big. However, it is a very challenging and fun one-design lake in the heart of Scow country in S.E. Wisconsin. A rich history that dates back to 1899. This club also has a whole crew of great scow sailing families some 4 generations now and many are represented here this week. So many of the classes we build at Melges have great venues all around the world but at the end of the day there is nothing quite like a great inland Scow lake and club for a major event.

The Conditions for Day 1 -
Wow, now think about this - we have a lake that runs NNE to SSW. The lake while technically long only has about 1 mile max in length on the north south part of the lake and the East/West part is only a 1/4-1/3rd of a mile wide. So wind direction has to be perfect for great large fleet racing like we had with 65 boats today. Served up were two perfect North wind races today. It could not have been better. Also, I think most of us were expecting 90+ degree temps and the front that moved through last night gained some strength and we only got up into the low 70s and then we had mist all day. So cool conditions which was great. Then we had great velocity to boot. First race 9-12 mph and the second race 12-18mph. So race one most Mcs single handed, race two we saw a lot of crews jump on and we saw a lot of the 200+ skippers smiling.

The Courses -
Biggest laugh of the day was actually on us , that is those skippers who did not throughly read their Sis. So PRO Chip Mann (great PRO who is also running our MC National Championship soon at White Lake) puts up a W 11. So many, me included thought it meant 11 laps or 22 legs. A quick check of the Sis confirmed that it meant 11 legs or a W 5&1/2 laps. Then race two was a W7 or a old school W3&1/2. Single line no mid boat and I must admit it was cleaner starting than I thought. Mid-line sag was there both starts and that is something you do not see when the mid-line boat is present. Great starting lines on this small lake. Almost the full width of the lake.

The Racing -
Wow, clearly getting off the line was the secret to success for both races. The ends produced the top ten to the first mark on both races. From there, the rich got richer. Clearly there were groups that formed up. Smartest thing to do was to try and win your group or if you were feeling bold try to move into the next group forward of you. Most of the first several groups seemed to be traveling in groups of ten or so. Breeze both races presented us with shifts up to 30 degrees. However they were all on the water and relatively easy to read with the good velocity. Sometimes with large fleets and when boats gather the ability to read the water goes away. So dark water, big velocity were key for the lead boats breaking away in each race. Then downwind, I have said it a thousand times, don't rest, get to work. Big gains downwind today if you worked the big shots coming down and you were good with your gybes.

The Scores -
Okay – Race winners and both were bell to bell so big congratulations to David "Kinky" Koch of Pewaukee, WI and Stu Oltrogee of Clear Lake, Iowa. Both have to wear bullseye Wisconsin style race shirts the next couple of days as race winners. Large bulls eyes easy to spot.

Here are the top ten.
Stu Oltrogge – Clear Lake 5-1=6
Dan "Squad Car" Fink – Pine Lake 7-3=10
Dave "Kinky" Koch – Pewaukee 1-10= 11
Rick Trester –Cedar Lake 6-5= 11
Bruce Rosenheimer – Pine Lake 3-9 = 12
Noel Neuman – Upper Minnetonka 12-2 =14
Eric Hood – Lake Eustis 10-7 = 17
Bruce Gallagher – Pine Lake 14-6 = 20
Craig Thompson – Okauchee 9-12= 21
John Hans – Eagle Lake - 18–4 = 22

Others in order 11th on Tim Fredman, Jack Kern, Kurt Stadele, Peter Toumanoff, Bob Cole, Peter Dobbeck, Chris Brooks, Bil Biersach, Al Haeger, Stefan Schmidt, Richard Blake, Peter Ziegler. Final for everyone will be posted Saturday night.

More to come as things develop over the next two days.

Lots of new MC interest which is great to see and lots of folks talking about the upcoming Natonal Championship at White Lake.