2012 Melges MC Scow Cowtown Classic

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7 May 2012

Left to Right: John Hans, Richard Blake, Ron Stryker, Mark White, Chris Craig, Matt Fisher, Ted Keller, Eric Hood
Photo by Lisa Kreischer - LearnerHelper@att.net

Article courtesy of Eric Hood - Three days of sailing for this year's spring classic on Hoover Lake near Columbus, Ohio. We actually had two events over the course of the three days. We had a practice regatta and clinic hosted by Ron Stryker and Richard Blake with Ted Keller and Eric Hood instructing. For that event we had 15 boats participate in the 7 race short course series. Peter Comfort of Torch Lake won that practice event. Then for the regatta we had 32 MC Scows sailing for the Cowtown Classic.

Big storms rumbled throughout the midwest all week leading up to the regatta and we were uncertain what was coming at us on Friday. We actually had some great breeze for the 7 practice races. Short course W1s with the last race being a W1+1/2. Several practice starts were included. Coaching and recap of the racing followed. Burgers and brats by Richard Blake. A great setup day for the upcoming regatta on Saturday.

Saturday we had four races scheduled and four races were completed. Sunday we got in one very tough super light breeze where the wind completely shut off forcing a shortened course and flipped around scores. You can see from the great pictures attached that Lisa Kreischer of Hoover Sailing Club took for the regatta that the sailing was always close and tight.  Winds were pretty light most of the time in the 4-9 mph range. Starting lines were good and courses were either W2s or W2+1/2s. Hoover Lake is a long skinny lake that runs exactly north and south. Only about a 1/4 of a mile wide and sometimes not that wide. So you can imagine the challenges that come along with wind direction. High trees on both shores can really present you with some quick surprises and changes as the breeze comes over those tree lines. Fortunately temps and conditions were such that the breeze would show on the water right away once over the trees so that was helpful. One of the big things you have heard me teach about often is that in really light breeze "velocity rules over best direction to the next mark sometimes". That certainly was the case going upwind and downwind this past weekend. That little golden rule coupled with another gold nugget rule we teach our youth sailors and new sailors about getting "into that dark water" were both very important this past weekend. So going fast in dark water and placing your boat for a intercept course on the skinny lake venue was key to staying in the top with this group.  One thing that was really fun with this little lake is there are absolutely no waves so when you are racing or practicing you can really feel little trim changes quickly. It was good seeing everyone working so hard this weekend during the races and practicing in between the races. I think a lot of it was people were fired up after the clinic and ready to rock on the course.

So here is a big picture recap and full results will be posted on www.mcscow.org.

Race Winners – Jay Huling (Hoover Sailing Club), Ted Keller (Torch Lake), Richard Blake (Hoover Sailing Club), Clark Wade (Hoover Sailing Club), Chris Craig (Lake Fenton)

Top Master – Richard Blake, Top U50 – Ted Keller, Top GM – Ron Stryker, Top Woman – Carolyn Price

Former Masters National Champ Richard Blake won the event with the "Crazy Ivan" race that flipped things around quite a bit. Former Lightning World Champ Matt Fisher  also had a great last race during the tough dying breeze and finished second. Ted Keller who it seemed was on his way to an easy victory after the first four races on Saturday got caught in the dying breeze finishing 17th in the final race dropping him to third overall. Ehood controlled most of the race with a big lead and had the others out of position and was in a good spot to win only to be caught by 14 boats in the drifting finish. Fifth place went to Mark White from Hoover who was really quick all weekend. One other quick mention and that is Ron Stryker who had a great weekend finishing sixth.

Saturday night was the famous Styker Prime Rib dinner and the great sunset looking west from the club which was great for everyone.

Hey everyone the Nationals are right around the corner. Looks like 52 already signed up as of today. I counted over 10 different national or former national champs on the entry list already. This is a bucket list event coming up. I have been watching Cam McNeil and his big volunteer staff prep for this event and they absolutely are pulling out all the stops. This will be a MC National Championship for the ages or as the bear cubs in West Michigan are saying "EPIC". Sign up today, get your housing squared away and try to add an extra day or two into this one. It will be completely worth it I promise.

Hope to see you at one of the next upcoming spring events and there are about 10 good ones between now and end of June.

Melges Performance Sailboats
MC 2549

View Full 2012 Melges MC Scow Cowtown Classic Results

Ted Keller sail 2421 leads them off the line shortly after the start of race 2 at the Cowtown Classic
Photo by Lisa Kreischer - LearnerHelper@att.net 

The top five boats in the regatta (left to right) Eric Hood 2549, Richard Blaike 2149, Matt Fisher 2437, Mark White 2518 and Ted Keller going at it on Saturday – Tight Racing
Photo by Lisa Kreischer - LearnerHelper@att.net