Missouri Yacht Club’s 36th Annual Orlando Webb MC Regatta
3 June 2015
Article courtesy of Eric Hood – A fantastic week of sailing for the end of May at Lake Lotawana and for the 36th annual Orlando Webb MC Regatta. Chilly to say the least as a big cool front from the northwest came down and gave us north winds all weekend with temps in the 50s. Sunday did warm up to the sixties and sun came out for our two morning races on that day.
35 teams made it down and we lost probably at least 10 if not 15 to the Weather Channel reports of cold, rain predictions. The 35 teams who came though were ready to go and had 6 great races as their reward for coming.
Regatta Chairman- Perry Anderson along with Paula Martin our PRO plus a cast of about 40 great volunteers including of course Doc Tillema really hosted a great regatta. If you have never been to this regatta I have to say it is probably one of my top 5 favorites all-time. Food, parties and the setting are beyond words sometimes. So thanks to this great team once again.
The racing on day one was a NNW wind on this T shaped long and skinny lake with high , extremely high tree lines. The long part of the T is a little over a mile long running north and south. The top of the T is obviously east and west about ½ mile long of sailable waters. Our first three races we raced the length of the long part of the T . Upwind was good but downwind was really challenging even though the breeze was up around 12-17 mph most of the time. For the last race on Saturday we did a W5 in the upper half of the lake and that was great. Day two the wind rocked around to the NE giving us some more challenging breezes. Upwinds again were very good but you had to be careful downwind and around corners of land with big holes.
Here are some results and it was very competitive for sure.
Race Winners – Mark Marling (Topeka) 2 wins, EHood (Eustis) 2 wins, Jeff Surles (KC) 1 win, Danny Ziegler (Tulsa) 1 win
Top scores (6 races and one throw out was issued)
Mark Marling – 10, EHood – 12, Danny Ziegler -13, Scott Tillema – 26, Jean Pierre Bordes - 26, Chris Brooks - 38, James Byrne - 44, Jeff Harriman - 49 and Gary Schroeder - 50.
Jeff Harriman took delivery of a brand new Melges MC and that certainly was the talk of the regatta. A lot of younger sailors were with us this week and that was exciting to see as well.
I think at least for me, was being in a boat speed position off the line was almost more important than being at the best spot. Things change so quickly on a tight narrow lake with radical shifts coming at you all the time. Having lots of speed off the line simply gives you the ability to catch those first one or two shifts that put you up front. Out of six races for me I had one first place start and probably 5 tenth place starts but one or two minutes down the track it was a different story and I was at the front. I saw this with Mark Marling, Danny, Scott, Jean-Pierre and Chris Brooks as well.
The other big learning was not losing focus downwind with the big velocity gaps we were getting from the high trees. One race for me in particular I swear I took my eye off Mark’s team for 60 seconds , looked back up and he took advantage of one small puff that I certainly could have been in as well. It changed the whole outcome of the regatta. So my encouragement to you is not to just rest downwind but make things happens. It is a race from start to finish. Never, never give up!!!!
Great job to Mark Marling’s team effort, a very solid regatta win.
Next up the Nationals and I can tell you this will be one of, if not the best, big event of the year. Just a couple of weeks at one of the best scow lakes and clubs in America. Pewaukee Yacht Club. They are experts on and off the water for hosting major events that are packed full of fun racing and fun times on shore.
Hope to see you there. Team Melges will be there to support your efforts.