The Melges Report — 2015 ILYA Championship/Buddy Melges Sailing Center on Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

24 August 2015

Article courtesy of Eric Hood - The biggest and best Scow Championship of the year does not even adequately describe the great week we had at Lake Geneva. Everyone was introduced to the all-new Buddy Melges Sailing Center. More than 400 volunteers serving about 800 sailors and their entourages’ were on hand. We were over-served with gracious hospitality, both on the water and off the water this week. The best way you can probably experience what happened is to visit the ILYA Facebook page and also visit Candace Porter put out some great ILYA Scowlines. You can sign up for those and see past Scowlines also at Also, check out all the individual class postings for great images and more this next week and into the future.

The Racing – Six races for all classes (A, E, C, MC, MC17) were scheduled. Drop race kicked in if a class gets to six completed races. Fantastic ILYA PROs and huge support RC teams really gave us great courses with max length legs.

The Conditions – Sailing started on Wednesday and concluded on Sunday. Big wind early in the regatta for the first several days. Thursday was the big, big wind day. Wednesday and Thursday we had a cold front with WNW winds running down the length of Lake Geneva which was perfect. Cs and Es had their hands full and boats were racing at max speed. A Scows and MC Scows were kept ashore for the scheduled late afternoon races which was smart on Thursday. For Friday had a really nice breezy SW wind ranging from 12-20mph during the day. Saturday morning for the E and Scow races we saw really nice 10-14mph winds from the SSW. Saturday afternoon for the MCs and A Scows the wind was up and game on in the 15-20mph wind range. Sunday morning early conditions were great at 7am with a nice 10-15mph SW. breeze. A quick moving front pushed through around 10am and then big breeze behind the front cancelled all races except for the A Scows who got one in during the perfect window of time as the front the pushed through.

The Classes Sailing – The talent is deep and the best teams are here. We have the following entries present- 20 of the 38’ A Scows, 58 of the 28’ E Scows, 63 of the 20’ C Scows, 17 of the Melges 17s and 51 of the 16’ MC Scows.

The Learnings and Lessons – I spoke with teams from each class and comments were remarkably similar. You had to be patient with the quick oscillating shifts. As Tom Frentzel shared with me right after a great race, “we would sail 10 seconds into the shifts to make sure we really had the shift and the pressure”. Other comments were we had to consider the waves and that was an added strategic dimension with a high value to making your boat go fast. Starting lines were really good and for the most part long. Plenty of opportunity to make sure you were on the line and going fast. Lots of reports of folks coming off the middle in a lot of the fleets, going fast and being the forward group by the time they got to the top. This week was a big wind regatta (not so normal for Lake Geneva). It was driven by two cold fronts. So having your boat ready for the big breeze and having your team ready for big breeze was 50% of the strategy too. Even in the big breeze with the big fleets a premium for clear air was still present. You had to have full power all the time if you wanted to be in the forward up front group. As you go through the fleets, look at the images, talk to the team’s one thing for sure is the top teams handled the big breeze well off the wind. We were at max speeds much of the time with some waves which is a ton of fun. It offered high reward but also had high risk on how hard you wanted to push it all.

The Racing and Results- Full results are posted at ILYA. Check it out. You can see crew names there and more. Here are the top three for each class and points spread. There are cool stories for each group I am sure we will all hear more about in the future.
A Scows
1.) M-21 “Melvin” Chris Jewett 10 pts
2.) I-1 “Eagle” Vincent Porter 17 pts 
3.) I-12 “GForce” Tom Whowell 27 pts

E Scows
1.) I-9 Peter Strothman 25 pts (wins tie-breaker)
2.) I-1 Harry Melges IV 25 pts
3.) KG-111 Kevin Jewett 31 pts

C Scows
1.) A-14 Paul Reilly 28 pts
2.) N-181 Peter Keck 32 pts
3.) A-136 Ed Eckert 40 pts

MC Scows
1.) 2616 Malcolm Lamphere 26 pts
2.) 2648 Eric Hood 31 pts
3.) 2169 Ryan Grosch 33 pts

Melges 17s
1.) RJ Porter 4 pts
2.) Harry Melges IV 13 pts
3.) Kyle Navin 17 pts

Legends and Heroes – UBS and David Perrigo hosted our Friday evening party that was a ton of fun. We had a lot of our great sailors from the last 50+ years there and David really did a great job honoring all of them. You will see some write-ups soon in Scow Slants and other areas mentioning all the great sailors who were honored.

Highlights of the Regatta - Candace Porter captured a lot of our highlights throughout the regatta week and posted in the Scowlines (check it out). For me the number one highlight was seeing the scale of our sailing community and more importantly the huge numbers of women and youth sailors along with multiple generations within families sailing together this week. No doubt the big winner this week was our ILYA Championship Regatta because if we can repeat this successfully each year our classes, clubs and sailing will grow. The amount of fun folks had both onshore and on the water was incredible!! I saw competitors in all the classes sharing, helping, mentoring, coaching, laughing and loving just being together. We have a very unique community and are very fortunate. As Paul Reilly mentioned at the awards ceremony we really have had some great leadership and great vision casting that brought us to this year’s ILYA Championship and LGYC with the all new Buddy Melges Sailing Center. Huge highlight I think for everyone is that we get to do this the next two years at LGYC.

Special Awards – there were so many throughout the evening awards and final awards but three stand out for sure. Candace Porter and Jim Smith for incredible service to the ILYA. Sportsmanship and Corinthian work to Dan Quiram who sailed off his race course to pick up a sailor well separated from her boat then giving up his tiller from his new boat to let another sailor finish the series. Way to go Dan we honor you!!

The Social Events, Hospitality, Volunteers and Regatta Organizers – Certainly this was a huge effort with incredible leadership and servant volunteers at every turn this week. Months and months of planning. Rule of thumb for great events is 1 volunteer per 10 people. We had a ratio of 1 volunteer per 2 sailors if you count up all that served the teams of 800 sailors this week. Hats off to the LGYC, the ILYA and all that served. A+++++

Our Sponsors – Thank you to our Platinum Sponsors: Briohn Building Corporation (built our club), UBS (David Perrigo), At The Lake (Geneva Lakes Area Magazine), Lakeshore Living and Fisher Fine Home Building. Sponsor Partners included Keefe Real Estate, Lynch Chevrolet, Line Honors, Gage Marine, Walworth State Bank, ClearWater Outdoor, Champs, Titos, Dream Vacations Unlimited, AllState Boat Insurance, Browne and Browne, Bilge Pullers.

Other information - US Sailing Regatta Network is our official event management, membership and race result platform. Official photographer is Jeff Mason . Jeff took thousands of great images along with fantastic footage from above. Again, don’t forget to check out all of your individual class websites along with our primary source of ILYA Championship information coming from Join the ILYA Facebook page and you will see a ton of great clips, images and results.