Ron Baerwitz Advances To Lead MC Scow Master National Championship

Ron Baerwitz Advances To Lead MC Scow Master National Championship ©2014 Evan Wallis Related topics:

14 June 2014

A great Texas day with temps in the upper 80s and morning conditions with starting wind speeds of 10-12 mph for Race One that diminished down to 5-7 mph by races end. Direction on big Lake Ray Hubbard was Northeast. For Race Two we saw the breeze diminish down to below five and then freshen to about 6-7 mph from the North so a course reset to the left. Waters were flat.

One minute after the start Race 1
©2014 | Evan — One minute after the start Race 1

E Hood and crew Andrew Vandling leading a group original race 1 in a good breeze
©2014 | Evan — E Hood and crew Andrew Vandling leading a group original race 1 in a good breeze

Race One was a L4 with .85 mile legs and Race 2 was a L5 with .65 mile legs. Lines were long and appropriate for the 44 boat fleet. Race One was slightly favored to the windward end but folks came off both ends in pretty good shape. Race 2 saw a pretty good lefty come in with about 4 minutes to go in the light air and caught a few folks asleep who could not get down to the other end of the 300 yard long line.

Great form Team Oltrogge
©2014 | Evan — Great form Team Oltrogge

This 2014 version of the MC Masters by far is the toughest group ever assembled with at least 7 former National Champs from a variety of classes in attendance. Then, another large part of this group are regatta winners from major MC events around the country from over the years. Tough, tough, tough group. Heavy on sailing smarts. Then you even have guys Like Salty Schwarting of Pewaukee Yacht Club who figured out with Charlie Lind of Rush Creek Yacht Club today that they have raced against each other for 64 years. Great to see all brackets for the Masters, Grand Masters, Mega Masters and Old Salts well represented.

Mark Tesar going fast and hammer down on the original race 1 that was abandoned
©2014 | Evan — Mark Tesar going fast and hammer down on the original race 1 that was abandoned

Some big shake ups through both races today. Race one had three leaders with E Hood the first half followed by Ron Baerwitz of Lake Eustis for a leg and then race winner Danny Ziegler. Race two had three leaders with first leg leader Devon Howe leading the leg and rounding the top mark in first . Devon shared this was his first major MC regatta ever leading a race at any mark – WAY TO GO Devon!!!! E Hood lead legs 2,3,4 and most of 5 with Greg Gust winning in a tacking duel in the end. After two races held in lighter and tricky breezes here is what we have so far.

Regatta Team Leaders Jack Kern and Jeff Grinnan leaving the dock last after all competitors are out sailing
©2014 | Evan — Regatta Team Leaders Jack Kern and Jeff Grinnan leaving the dock last after all competitors are out sailing

One minute after the start Race 2
©2014 | Evan — One minute after the start Race 2

TOP TEN RESULTS (After Two Races)
1.) Ron Baerwitz 2-2 = 4
2.) Danny Ziegler 1-8 = 9
3.) Jeff Grinnan 3-7 = 10
4.) Richard Blake 4-6 = 10
5.) Doug Kern 9-3 = 12
6.) E Hood 10-4 = 14
7.) Greg Gust 16-1= 17
8.) Kelson Elam 13-5 = 18
9.) Bill Draheim 5-13 = 18
10.) Stefan Schmidt 8-10 = 18

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No doubt the key to success today was a quick start and dark water. The group as a whole sailed very well but the long starting lines (which were the correct length for our 44 boats) really spread the group out quickly. There is no room for being timid in lighter breezes on the starting line. You have to be in dark water and you have to fight for a clear leeward bow to get off the line fast. It was challenging but fun upwind sailing with not a lot of control changes but for sure small adjustments to the mainsail all the time. Being careful not to let your boat go flat was critical too. Downwind it was all about survival. Stay on the favored gybe to the mark and keep your tell-tales clear. The few boats who wandered off looking for the gold mine found nothing but problems and we never saw them again. Not panicking and sticking with the group and always looking for dark water was the key to fast sailing today.

So with one day of racing left and the way the rules are set for this event we do have all day tomorrow to get two races in and make it a four race event. It should be pretty easy to pull off as we have the favorite wind to sail in here on Ray Hubbard a good old fashion southerly with a wind range of 10-15mph and no storms in the area. So game on for the Championship. No drop races so lots can happen for sure tomorrow.

So much to share here. I want to do this now while there is time before the long trip home just after racing tomorrow. This is such a unique regatta. I do not think I have ever really seen anything like it in my well over 5-600 regattas I have sailed in my lifetime. The concept of flying in and having boats waiting for you is not new but it is new to our scow world and for sure the MC Class. When I say this I want to absolutely honor all those for years in scow world who have loaned 1,2 or 3 boats for sailors coming in but to loan almost 20 is off the charts. The leader and brainchild for all this is Jack Kern from Rush Creek Yacht Club. Jack over the years has been through at least four if not five full cycles of fleet building. It is so cool that his greatest success is coming now where he has the fleet now built up to be the largest active MC fleet of 39 MC s which is off the charts cool! Jack not only put a team together but tuned each boat for the competitors type of sail and sailing weight. Way to go Jack!

Other teammates helping. Hammerick Morgan on setup along with Stuart Draheim. Kelson Elam setting up the grounds to accommodate all the boats so they could be together. Kelson also had a team including Jeff Grinnan and John the tractor driver getting boats in and out. There was a hoist crew (sorry do not have their names). Tom and Dana Jacobs threw one of the best regatta parties at their home on the lake I have ever been too. Off the charts food, setting, drinks and community time with friends. Pete O’Connell is on our big blow out for tonight (cook your own steak). Bill Draheim is providing a full blown fireworks display tonight. Kenny Wolfe our current MC National Champ has had a big hand in making things happen with parties, the grounds, Kattick racing and more. So thanks to everyone for all of this incredible work.

So I will close this evening just by saying this event story should be shared in our sailing community as it could be our future for some of major championships that have longer travel times. Example – We should be racing scows at Rush Creek Yacht Club and in my humble opinion it is a big miss that our community is not back down here more often. I know the door is open. What Jack, his teams, RCYC have done here is provide a path for participation for many at a fantastic venue. I know there are others out there. So more to come on this story.

Now off to the club for steak night and fireworks with our Texas friends.
E Hood
MC 2081
Melges Performance Sailboats