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|Windmill Midwestern Championships at Hoover Sailing Club, Westerville, OH||June 1 - 2|
|Windmill Midwestern District 5 Championship (by Craig Tovell)
Nineteen sailors participated in the Midwestern District 5 Memorial Regatta June 1st and 2nd in blustery Columbus, Ohio. Windmillers traveled from abroad -- Islip, New York (2); Charleston, West Virginia; State College, Pennsylvania; Rock Hall, Maryland (3) and defending champion and class president Lon Ethington and Maggie Gimmi from St. Petersburg Florida. Two father/son, three hubsand/wife, three father/daughter, and a junior team exhibited family aspect of the Windmill Class and scores that exhibit competitive performances.
The "Midwesterns" is traditionally the second largest Regatta to the nationals and hosted by Hoover Sailing Club Fleet 60. The Midwestern Championship is the longest running WCA regatta, known for its food and hospitality as well as keen competition. The event is held during Memorial Day honoring avid racers Bruce and Jan Tovell. This year's event merged with the regional midwestern District 5 Championship achieving the aim of improving turnout and will probably be the new standard hereon.
Ralph and Matt Sponar from Rockville Maryland brought their new Windmill fresh off the mold to race the event. As scores would indicate and competitors attest, their new rig is fast upwind and offwind. The nut behind the wrench might have something to do with it also.
Another twist in this year's event had the father-son team of Nate and Tim Bachman reversing the helm sailing fast, consistent, and tough in difficult conditions earning them the district 5 Championship for a major win. It's good to see that Tim's boat upgrades and perseverance paid off.
Saturday witnessed a storm front rolling through in prevailing southwest direction where local Flying Scot Fleet 37 had the difficult task of running races in 15 mile an hour breezes gusting to 30. The flat water of the reservoir belied the puffs not allowing whitecaps to form on what little chop was present. Although scientifically impossible, witnesses said the water was "boiling" proven later to be untrue as over half the fleet went swimming, decimated in the second and final race of the day. Class measurer Roy Sherman looked like a NASCAR pit crew reassembling boats throughout the evening and Sunday morning. The Class regularly owes Roy a debt of gratitude. Decision-makers allowed a respite lunch break after Race One, but after Race Two it became evident that fun and safety would go to the wayside if any other races will be held. Good call…
Sunday races were started early to make up for lost ground. However, the marginal planing conditions were perfect for Windmill sailing on a beautiful sunny day – cranking out four good races back-to-back resulting in a successful regatta. The large double triangle courses averaged 35 minutes and allowed for aggressive upwind and especially offwind tactics with or without the whisker pole. Many mark roundings and finishes were hairy if not exhilarating. The trick to doing well in this regatta as in most was consistency -- where Lon/Meg dueled it out to the end with Nate/Tim winning by 5 points and defending their 2012 win.
We look forward to seeing you next year and hope you can attend the 2013 National Championship at Fishing Bay Yacht Club in Deltaville, Virginia on the Chesapeake, July 18 through the 21st.
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