2013 Wawasee Regatta - Day Two

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11 June 2013

The original forecast was for stronger winds well into the high teens but it that did not develop, and the three races on day 2 of the Wawasee E Open were sailed in light winds from the southeast, right down the long fetch of the lake. The first two races were twice around with a downwind finish taking 34 and 40 minutes and the third race had 5 legs, finishing upwind in 59 minutes.  The start times were 9:05, 10:05, and 11:15 – an excellent job by the Race Committee to get a four race regatta in considering we didn’t have wind for most all of Saturday. The racing was excellent from start to finish.

In the first race of day two (race two) Dick Tillman (WA-22), let everyone know he was the boat to beat – Oh, Steve Johanson (TO-33), in his brand new E-Scow, led around the first mark but Dick took over after that and held off all challenges for the lead and won the race. The lead boats came from the edges of the course – the middle wasn’t productive (wish I had learned that before the third race of the day). Johanson lost a boat on each leg, as there were a few “gotcha” places dotting the race course, still a good race, finishing in fourth place. Bob Herdrich (WA-47) moved up a place on the second upwind and held on for a second place finish. NCESA Commodore, Toby Sutherland (GL-7), was one of only five boats in the race to not lose a boat on any leg, going from 8th to 5th to 4th, and finishing in third. Three other boats that did not stumble on any leg and steadily moved up were: Pete Price (CR-11) going from 7th at the first mark to 5th at the finish, Dave Irmscher (WA-00) going from 12th to 6th at the finish in his new boat, and Lon Schoor (H-7) going from 9th to 7th place.

Race three was more of the same. But the cast was a little different. Rob Terry (CR-66) lead all the way and wasn’t about to let Tillman get past to win another race. Tillman was second. Phil Zalog (H-88), winner of the first race was putting up a good challenge for the lead as well but the second upwind left him short on pressure and he dropped two boats and finished 5th. The two boats to pass Zalog were Pete Price (CR-11) and Bob Herdrich (WA-47). Bob went from 9th to 4th and Pete went from 7th to 3rd at the finish, with their big gain happening on the second upwind. Silver fleet winner, Mike Rian (WA-1) had a good first leg to round the first mark in 4th.

After the third race the standings were:
1.) Tillman 7 pts
2.) Zalog, 14 pts
3.) Rob Terry 15 pts
4.) Price 16 pts
5.) Herdrich 19 pts.

Race four was much of the same except the wind had softened just a little. A lull at the start had everyone leaving the line pretty slow which was lucky for those piled up at the windward end. There it looked like 7 boats would rather be square dancing as they weaved around each other to avoid barging or trying to get free at the committee boat. I was there doing my part – and when I  (Lon Schoor, H-7) got done ducking and weaving  like I was in an Muhammad Ali Joe Frazier heavyweight boxing match  – the rest of the fleet wasn’t that far off the line. This time I was avoiding the middle at all costs and headed to the right since that was closest. It got me around in 10th and I had a sigh of relief. First around the windward mark was Tom Munroe Jr (WH-77) who took over the helm from his father for the last race – how exciting is that! Brett Hatten (SL-4), Pete Price (CR-11), Dave Irmscher (WA-00), and young Casey Christensen (TO-44) followed in that order.  The second upwind was critical as some big gains were made by a few boats that needed it and big losses by some that could not afford it – the left shift took Zalog, Terry & Herdrich out of the race and standings as they fell 4-6 boats from 11, 12, and 14. Schoor closed the gap and got in the hunt with a 5th place rounding behind Price, Hattan, Munroe. When Price set their spinnaker it pulled the bow down and he could not avoid going between the weather mark and the offset – it cost him 6 places immediately. After a long starboard gybe Schoor was able to get over Imscher and close the gap on Hatten and Munroe so only a couple of boats lengths separated the leaders. Schoor went to the opposite gate and headed right first but Hatten and Munroe covered from behind and to windward. Things were looking good for Schoor, but this is Wawasee. Near the end, coming in on starboard, we started to get lifted off of Hatten below us but that also meant we had overstood a little too much. The three boats luffed the finish line with Munroe and Hatten at the pin end and Schoor at the committee boat. Only inches separated the boats – what a fun race, even though we came up short. Hatten won, Munroe was 2nd, Schoor 3rd. Steve Johanson was 4th, which he needed to get into the awards, and 5th was Imscher. Price’s spinnaker mistake did not cost him a regatta victory but Tillman’s margin would have been only a point. The last race was hardest for Terry, Herdrick and Zalog and they fell out of the top five in the final standings.

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