District 8 Championship at Lake Yosemite Sailing Association (LYSA), Merced, CaMay 18 - 19
Lake Yosemite Regatta
While only 3 Windmills made the call, do to school finals and lack of
crew. The three that raced had a great time. New to Windmills is
veteran racer (505 & FD) Michael Johnson from Colfax who is almost
finished refurbishing Taft kit # 2339. Since his boat is not ready
yet I offered him to use “Second Wind” for he and his daughter to
sail. When he came to practice on Friday the wind was at such strength
that his young daughter Olivia wouldn't have been able to handle it,
so I went out with him. It didn't take long to figure out that Mike
and I needed to team up. With him at the helm and myself crewing. So
we put our best stuff together, his new sails and my “Witch of the
West”. Joining us was Scott Rovanpera with Chris Kline as crew. Chris
is an accomplished Vanguard 15 sailor. He and Scott have teamed up
with Scott crewing at Vanguard 15 races. Also on board was Eric
Swenson & Harrison McDowell.
Since we didn't have our own fleet, we were in the open centerboard
fleet where we took a big hit on handicap ratings to Banshees who took
the top places. For the first race the wind was medieum, but building,
Scott and Chris had the edge on us on the course except for their
navagation skills. Scott entirely missed one mark that cost him the
race. After a lunch break we started race 2 with much stronger wind.
Mike & I gave it our best shot to beat Scott & Chris, but they had the
edge on us except navigation got them again missing a mark and had to
pick it up. While waiting for the third race to start it was fun
making runs by the docks on plane, showing off the the keel boats &
spectators. Well the third time was the charm for Scott, he went
around all the correct buoys and came out on top of the Windmill on
that one.
Saturday evening there was a great dinner with around 100 being
served. We celebrated Olivia's 9th birthday with cake for everyone.
This was followed by live music, with one of the LYSA sailors on
While we were raking our mast back & keel boats were digging out
smaller head sails, Sunday racing was canceled due to the strong wind
and having only one crash boat. We were were disappointed not being
able to sail on Sunday, we were glad not to have to survive in those
conditions. Mike & I did manage a 5th place trophy in the Centerboard
Attached is a photo of Mike. More photos can be found at
http://www.lakeyosemitesailing.org/2013-racing-photos.html and
Below is a copy of an email to Commodore Mike Strealy & myself from
one of the Day Sailors after making some “flybys” on on Sunday.
Darrell & Mike,
As always Mardi, I and the entire Day Sailer Fleet had
a great time at the LYSA Spring Regatta and its fantastic that you
have already posted the results and photographs!
My only reservation given the forecast of 20-30 NW for
Sunday was that you should’ve attempted a fourth race on Saturday but
your decision not to race yesterday was the 100% correct one having
gone out for a quick three lap 45 minute +/- high speed tour of Lake
Yosemite along with Dave Keran and Dean Iwahashi.
Dave, Dean and I all had our collective hands full in
what I would conservatively estimate to be 15 knots in the lulls and
upper 20’s to low 30’s in a couple of the “Hammers” that whacked at
I rigged the spinnaker but after the first full-out
plane heading east towards the Sierras decided that the “White Sails”
were more than enough horsepower and that Lake Yosemite doesn’t have
enough runway if we got into trouble with the spinnaker up!
Pure adrenaline and a complete rush but I really missed
our older daughter Alison being aboard as her duty on our Thistle on
days like yesterday other than being one of the very best forward
crews is manning the “Panic Button” (boomvang) and understanding when
it’s time to let it run.
That’s usually when I stop laughing and start chanting “Oh Shit, oh
shit, oh shit,…..” which is my code for I’ve lost control of the ride
and we’ll now along for the ride!
Alison’s short video of us yesterday can be found at
http://vimeo.com/66536452. If anyone has photographs of our flybys
yesterday I would love to see them too.

Thanks again for a great weekend!
Darrell Sorensen
PosBoatNameTotalRace 1Race 2Race 3
1(2339) Witch of the WestMichael Johnson / Darrell Sorensen4112
2(3481) J LivingstonScott Rovanpera / Chris Kline7DNF21
3(578 ) Catch'n UpEric Swenson / Harrison McDowell8233
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