2009 MC Scow North American Regatta A Great Success!

2009 MC Scow North American Regatta A Great Success! ©2009 JOY | Melges Performance Sailboats Related topics:

4 May 2009

Ideal conditions were forecasted for the 2009 MC North American Championship to be held on famous Pewaukee Lake. The weather man was right this time as Saturday morning came and the sun was out, 65 degrees was the temperature and winds were 10-20 – a perfect spring day for sailing! Twenty-six boats signed up for Pewaukee's annual North American Regatta. Some really good sailors jumped out of their normal boats and into the MC for the weekend of racing. So, the fleet was stacked with good competition.

Andy Burdick from Melges was in attendance as he was showing off the all New 2009 Melges MC. Plenty of sailors were checking out the new boat up close on Friday night and pre-race on Saturday morning. The boat looks really sharp and us ultra comfortable which is a bonus feature!

Race one was underway at 10am. PRO Larry Krause and his volunteer RC team set up a perfect course on the lake with a goal of sailing two races right away in the morning. Moments into the first race a nice left hand shift came through and Augie Barkow from Pewaukee took advantage of it as he rounded first and extended his lead downwind. Andy Burdick tried to chase Augie down and got closer on the final leg but then a big right shift came in and Bruce Gallagher from Pine Lake along with Kevin Neal from Lake Geneva snuck into the picture. Gallagher put a picture perfect safe leeward tack on Barkow just before the finish and this was enough to hold Barkow off. Gallagher got the bullet in race one!

Race two started in a similar fashion as Andy Burdick got the left hand shift and took it virtually all the way to the top mark. Critter Banholzer and Kelly Reese were chasing Burdick the entire race and at the very end of the race Kelly Reese and crew Christine Porter nearly passed him. It was a photo finish but Burdick held on – barely. Banholzer was third in the race.

The PYC is rich in tradition and they have a fantastic volunteer following. They always put on tremendous lunches and post race snacks. The fleet was ready for some nourishment after two windy morning races.

PRO Krause went on the water after lunch to survey the wind. From shore it looked quite windy but in reality it was just a nice 12-20mph breeze so the course was set up and one more race for the day was put into motion. A fantastic youth sailor Critter Banholzer lead this race from start to finish. Sailed a beautiful race holding off some pretty good competition. Not only did Critter sail a great race but it put him right in the regatta – tied for second overall. After day one it was tight between Andy Burdick, Critter Banholzer and Augie Barkow.

What was FAST on Saturday? 
The conditions were 10-20.
In the afternoon race it was more towards 20. So, there were two different set ups that I thought were fast.

Set up with a crew:
- Mast rake remains at 28'3". Traveler centered, moderate vang and good amount of Cunningham. As the breeze increased more vang was needed and more Cunningham. Most teams left the traveler centered.Set up sailing solo in this much wind:
- Mast rake remains the same 28' 3".
- Traveler down 3"
- Lots of Cunningham – as hard as you can pull it.
- Lots of Vang so you can vang sheet up wind – meaning, easing the mainsheet in the puffs so you don't have to stuff the boat into the wind.
- Board up 2" – pulling the board up 2” really gets the boat free through the water. Meaning it is easier to steer – less helm. A big plus for upwind speed.
- Downwind it was really fast to sail by the lee. Lots of vang and mainsheet all the way out (so the boom hits the sidestay). To avoid nose diving it was important to sail up and around the waves. This meant trimming the main in and reaching up around the set of waves. Once clear you could use that speed to sail by the lee again. This is an important technique to practice.

Sunday was the final race day and the wind was up again! In fact at 7 am it was blowing an easy 15+ but as the sun came up and the heat turned on the breeze settled down. At the start of the first race it was a nice 6-8mph. Critter Banholzer who is light in comparison to the other competitors was blistering fast upwind on the first beat. He rounded with a nice lead at the top mark. Burdick was 2nd and JJ Hausman was third. On the second beat Banholzer was a little impatient and tacked early (just before a left shift and velocity increase). Burdick and Hausman extended to this new breeze and hooked into a Pewaukee Haymaker – launching them past Banholzer. Burdick had to fight hard to fend off Hausman as they were in a close tacking duel at the end of the race. Burdick edged him out, Hausman was second and Banholzer third.

Race 5 of the series fired off right away and Augie Barkow nailed the start on the port end of the line. He and Dave Abbot battled for the first half of the race then it got a little fluky on old Pewaukee Lake. Bruce Gallagher got into the picture and was now fighting for his second race win of the series. On the final run it was anyone's race as a pack of 11 boats rounded the last gate mark virtually all together. Hausman and Burdick took advantage of the tight sailing and hit the first two shits to move them into the top two spots up the beat. A close race between the two at the end made it exciting. This time Hausman held him off and won the racing putting him in 1st for the day with a 2,1 scorecard. Burdick finished second making him the 2009 North American Champion.Pewaukee Yacht Club always does a terrific job and this year was superb as the racing conditions were ideal. Thank you Larry Krause and the other PYC volunteers. PYC holds this championship every May – always the first weekend of May. Plan on coming to the 2010 North Americans – you are assured of great sailing and a great time!

2009 North American Champion: Andy Burdick
2nd: JJ Hausman
3rd: Augie Barkow
4th: Critter Banholzer

Top Master: Pete Toumanauff
Top Grand Master: Peter Harken