Bill Draheim Wins 2014 Melges MC Master National Championship

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14 June 2014

Article by Eric Hood - THE DAY AND CONDITIONS
As predicted, the 2014 Melges MC Scow Masters National Championship commenced the last day of racing with winds out of the Southeast at about 10 mph, that quickly built to 15 mph for the start of Race One. The range was Southeast To South-Southeast for wind direction and velocity was between 15-20 mph with a few big gusts beyond that during the course of this race. Race Two was a barn burner. Starting in about 16-18 and then up to the top of our class wind limits with a few giant puffs that made for some spectacular rides.

Race One was a L4 with 1 mile legs. Race Two was a W5 with 1 mile legs.

Today was a day of shifting gears from the lighter wind races we experienced earlier in the series. You had to sail really smart and flat on the hard starboard tacks (waves were bigger on this tack). Then some experimenting with your traveller or even mainsheet in the big breeze was very important. Actually not maxing outhaul in the breeze helped with the big waves of the final race upwind . Max vang and Cunningham though for sure going upwind. Downwind was total focus for two things speed and survival to not go swimming. Perfect dead down legs for all four runs of both races made it a big deal to focus on not submarining the bow but also to just go fast. Squeezing the vang in the big puffs was extremely fast. Smart tacking in flat water and gybing in down windspeed moments was critical.

So it was great racing throughout the fleet and different age groups. You could not have written a better script though for the last race. Seven different teams all within 5 points of the leader. It was game on for the final race. The players were Ron Baerwitz, Doug Kern, E Hood, Greg Gust, Bill Draheim, Richard Blake, Dan Ziegler.

TOP TEN RESULTS (FINAL - After Four Races)
1.) Bill Draheim – 20 points
2.) Eric Hood – 21 points
3.) Doug Kern – 23 points
4.) Jeffrey Grinnan – 29 points
5.) Stuart Oltrogge – 31 points
6.) Kelson Elam – 40 points
7.) Eric Protzman – 46 points
8.) Danny Ziegler – 49 points
9.) Ron Baerwitz – 59 points
10.) Charlie Lind – 62 points

As you can see some names are missing from that group I mentioned who could have won the regatta. The final was race was challenging and exciting with three of that group of seven not blinking and making it into the top at the end.

As mentioned in the day 2 report below you can thank the Rush Creek Yacht Club enough for the incredible job they did this week. It is a model to look at , study and I think follow for the future of sailboat racing.

Many thanks to all and to my crew 12 year old Andrew Vandling of Rush Creek Yacht Club . He is going to be a great sailor someday.

All the best and see you at the National Championship in Augusta.

E Hood
MC 2081
Melges Performance Sailboats