2016 E Scow Nationals Ramping up on Lake Minnetonka

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7 September 2016


©Peter Slack Photography

Over 70 E Scows will compete at the 2016 E Scow National Championship hosted by the Minnetonka Yacht Club September 9-11, 2016. E Scow teams will travel from across the country to compete in what has become the most competitive, amateur national championship in the United States. Mixing together world class racing and social activities that resemble a family reunion, the 2016 E Scow Nationals will feature olympic medalists, college all-americans, world and national champions from other classes, and a large number of life-long scow sailors that will have a few tricks up their sleeves.

First hosting the E Scow National Championship in 1955, the Lake Minnetonka Yacht Club has proven itself as superior hosts by providing fun, tricky racing along with unique social events on Lighthouse Island. While rolling out the red carpet to guests, MYC also has national title aspirations with a robust local E Scow fleet of 15+ teams and several teams that could get hot and win the 2016 title on home waters.

While Lake Geneva, Wis holds the most National E Scow National titles with 29, Minnetonka has 13 to its credit and two-time National Champion Tom Burton from Lake Minnetonka is looking to etch his name once again on the famous Bilge Pullers Trophy, "It is wonderful that MYC is hosting the E scow National Championships because it provides the opportunity to showcase to the community the excitement of racing E scows. I'm looking forward to having my sons sailing with me too and hopefully putting together a good result."

Returning to the 2016 E Scow Nationals to defend his title is Jeff Bonnani and his team on Limelight from Toms River, New Jersey. Winning in impressive fashion last year by taking bullets in 4 of 6 races, Jeff is poised to take the title again, assuming he can master the nuances of Lake Minnetonka. “It was an amazing feeling to win last years championship on our home venue of Little Egg, however this is the E Scow Nationals that every team badly wants to win. This regatta features one of the largest and most competitive one design fleets in the country, and a premier venue for scow sailing. It looks like all the major players will be here so we expect much of the same, tough competition and hopefully some nice downwind rides when the breeze is up.”

Looking to continue his 2016 hot streak and complete a triple crown of sorts is Brian Porter on Full Throttle sailing with his son RJ Porter and family friends Colin and Annie Rowe. The Full Throttle team from Lake Geneva won the ILYA Invitational and ILYA Championships earlier this summer, and a National Championship victory would put an impressive stamp on the 2016 season. The last time Porter won an E Scow Nationals was in 2006 on Lake Minnetonka in a tough 91 boat fleet. “Sailing on Lake Minnetonka is always special and having a National Championship here only comes around every 10 years. The sailing is tight, often tricky and we will have our work cut out for us. We really look forward to connecting with life-long friends and racing the best boats on the planet.”

With an army of volunteers and strong support from the Lake Minnetonka community, pulling off the E Scow National Championship is no small task. “We have been planning this event for over a year,” commented E Nationals Regatta Chair Sam Rogers. “There are a lot of boxes to check off, but when the event starts, it is basically like throwing a party for 300 of your best friends and it somehow always comes together.” While the racing takes center stage, the E Nationals culminates with the NCESA Commodores Banquet on Saturday evening which typically leaves a few sailors feeling a bit weary the next morning.

Racing begins Friday morning, September 9th at 11am central time. Seven races are scheduled for the series.

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