Andy Burdick Takes The Title At The 2014 ILYA MC Scow Championships!
11 August 2014
Article courtesy of Eric Hood – The 2014 ILYA MC Scow Championship had 81 entries, which makes it the largest MC regatta of the year and also the largest ILYA Championship on record. We added 11 boats just in the last 24 hours before the regatta with the great Weather Channel forecasts, which were proven all week to be true.
The Setting and Conditions
Pewaukee Lake is just a fantastic racing lake with its long east-west shape, some high north shore tree lines, a couple of coves and a few tricky conditions to challenge sailors. Even with 81 boats there were no problems for this lake or for the strong ILYA/PYC race committee teams, and yes, the starting lines were really, really long. Wind conditions for all four days of sailing (practice day and three days racing) were fantastic. We saw a little bit of everything but mostly a medium air velocity. On the first three days the racing conditions allowed for times with and without crew. Really nice velocities though and all from the general direction of the east. Most of our races were set with a compass direction of 65-75 and few a little further east. The last day for race 7 was a lighter race held in about 5-8mph out of a direction of 65 degrees most of the time. Other unusual conditions were we had some weed cutting that occurred down at the east end of the lake a couple of miles from where we raced and with the east winds all week we had some loose weeds on the race course that came into play. One added fun factor to all the other challenges of championship racing with 81 boats in great wind conditions.
The results show just how tough this event was for the 81 teams. For full results just visit Regatta Network.
Here are some highlights:
- Race 1 – Noel Neuman
- Race 2 -3 Andy Burdick
- Race 4-5-7 Kenny Wolfe
- Race 6 Dan “Squad Car” Fink
Top Youth Sailor
– Eddie Cox from White Bear Lake who really had a great series. Seeing young sailors like Eddie and others pushing it around the course so well I know our class has a great future.
– Jim Gluek winning a tiebreaker over E. Hood. Jimmy was always present in the top group, which was hard to do. Great job to Jimmy!!!
Top Grand Master
– Tim Fredman who almost won a race finishing second in race 6 and also finished thirteenth overall. Tim always has been a force to contend with and still is today.
– Andy Burdick took the lead by one point from Bill Colburn after race two and never really looked back. It was fun watching Andy make his moves and some from a ways back after starts on his home lake. We are all very lucky to sail against such great world-class sailing talent like Andy. Well done Andy and Finn Burdick!!!
TOP TEN AT A GLANCE
1st - Andy Burdick – Pewaukee - 32 pts.
2nd – Kenny Wolfe – Rush Creek - 38 T pts.
3rd – Bill Colburn – Lake Harriet - 38 T pts.
(Special Note – Andy, Kenny, Bill clearly were out in front of the other 78 competitors this week. Great sailing performance by all three teams)
4th – Jim Gluek - Pewaukee - 65 T pts.
5th – Eric Hood – Lake Eustis - 65 T pts.
6th – Mark Dunsworth – White Bear - 68 pts.
7th – Noel Neuman – Upper Minnetonka – 73 T pts.
8th – John Porter – Lake Beulah – 73 T pts.
9th – Mark Tesar – Clear Lake – 74 pts.
10th – Jim Walker – Pewaukee – 86 pts.
Special Note on the results. Please scroll through Regatta Networks complete 7-race score sheet. What is neat is to see so many women and young sailors on the 81 team roster. Also great to see was so many teams were able to have crews for some portion of the regatta. The health of our MC Class in the upper Midwest is incredibly strong, growing, fresh and will give you all the competition you will ever need. Very exciting for our future!!!
I have to admit this was one of the more challenging MC Championships I have ever sailed in. Not the wind conditions, which were great. Not the water conditions with a few weeds to navigate and not the race courses or locations given to us. No, the challenge was the depth of competition and doing all you could to stay focused and to stay fast. Let me bullet point some learning’s and these are just a few.
• Focus - I will give you an example – I knew and said to myself every single boat counts even when I am back in the fleet. I said this to myself ten times on practice day and going into the regatta. I look back on my own score and sure enough it meant the difference between 4th and 5th on a tiebreaker. Same for Kenny Wolfe and Bill Colburn who tied for 2nd. Noel Neuman and John Porter tied for 7th. So just in the top 8 boats there were three ties and then look at their scores. Somewhere a lapse in focus and continuing the fight even for one boat could end up costing you in the end. But focus on just fighting for every boat was not the only focus.
• Boat Speed and Clear Air - Looking back on the 7 races and thinking of the dozens, hundreds of things I saw from my boat it is crystal clear to me that the top three dominant boats were always, no matter what in a clear air sailing position. That is probably more of a “Point of View” than a focus item. You just make it a POV when racing I will have clear air. Now boat speed also had one other wild card in there and that was the loose weed problem. Not a big deal but if you did not pay attention to your boat speed when radical changes (down speed) came you could quickly get into trouble. Some sailors had little weed sticks. Others would reach down and clear by hand. On my crew, Megan was a good X boat skipper so I just gave her the tiller and sheet when I reached back to clear. It also took some smart decision making once in a while when the time was right to take a quick clearing tack to make sure your boards were clear. Again, not a problem but just one of many things to focus on.
• Starting - Huge challenges here. I talked to a lot of sailors, talked to folks who were running the races, talked to folks who were part of the very large spectator fleet and they all said the starts were pretty clean. Two or three races the group was right on the line. What I think happened early though was that folks were hanging back because we did not have a mid-line boat. A few sailors were aggressive early (Bill, Andy) and it paid off quickly setting them up in a strong position just after two races with five to go and other sailors had some bad finishes right from the get-go. After a couple of starts folks came off the ends but many in the middle. It is more of a case of getting in a position to be up to speed much earlier than normal. Remember when boats gather air pressure just goes away. With 81 boats you really need to get up to speed (if you had a position to do so) much earlier than normal. Say start sailing at 30 seconds with speed. If you started at 15 seconds it was too late this week.
• Sailing In The Crowd of 81 boats – Another thing about big fleet sailing is too many sailors make this one big mistake and that is to do what I call “major in the minors” – pick a battle with one boat for space. The best thing you can do in big fleet sailing is to stay away from others, avoid confrontations, keep clean, and keep fast. I witnessed a lot of folks really playing hardball with each and at the same time really getting slow. Making major things out of minor things. Sail clean and you will increase your chances of sailing fast –that is a fact.
Wow, this regatta was just off the charts. The almost year long planning and volunteer network that was led by David Perrigo was incredible. The results, the feedback and happy stories confirm this was one of the best regattas ever from beginning to end. So some highlights for you:
• The awards ceremony was very cool how Team Perrigo acknowledged and shared stories on all the work from race planning, boat launching, spectator boats, social media news, raffles, parties and more all came to be through all of their planning efforts during the last year.
• The Harken Party was one to remember. Right after racing on Friday the whole group was invited to the all-new state of the art massive Harken Yacht Fittings factory. Both Olaf and Peter were there with a lot of staff members to give guided tours then we were served a great meal. If you are ever in Pewaukee, a must-see is the Harken factory.
• The Lou Morgan Rib Night Party - The Morgan family with Jackie, LJ and Megan in attendance along with their incredible grillers led by LJ brought it big time for this classic Pewaukee event started many years ago by Lou and Jackie. It was great.
• The Sailors and Volunteers – Probably just seeing how much everyone enjoyed each other, shared sailing information, and helped with getting boats in and out was great to see. The on-the-water spectator boats are always great at Pewaukee and adds big energy to the racing excitement.
So hats off and many thanks to all at the Pewaukee Yacht Club. One of the best championships ever. Next year our 2015 National Championship will be here and that is very exciting to think about 100+ at Pewaukee.
Up next the 2014 National Championship at Augusta. Just spoke with Jeff Annis and they are pulling out all the stops to give us a fantastic regatta. It is the last full week of September this year.