Rock Hall Yacht Club Annual One Design Regatta (District 3 Champ at Rock Hall YC, MarylandJune 21 - 22
Dannebergers Win District 3 Title at Rock Hall

On an overcast June 21st, 9 Windmillers turned out for the Rock Hall
Invitational Regatta, which also serves as the District III
Championship. John & Anne Dannerberger (5069) used their new sails and
always excellent sailing to cross the line first in all 6 races,
though the record showed 1-1-1-(OCS)-1-1. Although pressed at times by
runner-up Ralph and Matt Sponar (5702) and actually behind third place
finishers Allen & Christina Chauvenet (5586) at one leeward mark, the
Dannebergers showed superb boat speed and handling to dominate the

The races were all sailed over a 1-lap WL course, but the legs were so
long that there was plenty of racing. Saturday brought overcast skies
and winds of 8-10 mph for the first two races with an increase to
10-12 or a bit more in puffs for the final two races. The first two
races saw the Dannebergers make excellent starts toward the leeward
end of the line, keep their wind clear and lead at all marks. The
Chauvenets were 4th or 5th at the weather marks but excellent boat
speed and correctly finding the downwind shifts had them with an
inside overlap on the Sponars at the leeward mark. In both cases, the
Sponars found the wind and shifts of the final beat to snatch the
runner up position, though in the second race the boats finished
within a foot or two of each other.

The third race with stronger winds found the fleet very tightly
bunched at the weather mark with the Dannebergers again in the lead
but almost everyone right behind. Once again the Chauvenets moved well
downwind to round 2nd just ahead of the Sponars. On the final beat,
the Chauvenets and Sponars went the wrong way and all three of the
boats closest behind passed them! Lon Ethington and Meg Gimmi (3886)
sailed a wonderful final beat, both in finding the best shifts and
keeping the boat moving to take 2nd just ahead of John and Allie
Coleman (3064) whose boat has clearly benefitted from a winter upgrade
courtesy of the Sponar family! Alan Taylor and Maggie Arnesen had 4051
moving very well and were a close 4th, passing both the Sponars and
the Chauvenets. They had missed the first race due to some shroud
problems but the rest of the regatta saw them showing benefits from
rigging changes in "Hurricane" as they sailed very well in all of the
races. The final race on Saturday had Taylor, Danneberger and
Chauvenet battling for the pin end start. Taylor was clearly over the
line and returned; unfortunately, Danneberger was also over the line
but did not recognize this and was subsequently scored OCS.
Danneberger and Chauvenet found wind and a favorable shift to the left
to round 1-2 but again the fleet was very closely bunched behind them.
On this downwind leg, when Danneberger went to the R (inshore), the
Chauvenets found a better shift out toward the open river and led at
the final mark; again, boats were very close behind them. The
Chauvenet team again went the wrong way on the final beat while
Coleman, Ethington and Taylor found better winds to the left side.
Coleman sailed wonderfully well to cross the line second--which became
a win with Danneberger being scored OCS. Ethington followed just ahead
of Sponar and Chauvenet with Taylor closing but unable to overcome his
start. All of the boats did some excellent sailing on this day with
the three boats at the back of the fleet all having some turns very
close to or ahead of the others during each of the races.

Sunday brought clear skies but less wind. The first race again saw the
Dannebergers in control but this time with Sponar, Taylor and
Chauvenet all close at the weather mark and no one far back. This time
Taylor sailed the best on the run (reading the shift that led to a
jibe to starboard exactly correctly) and Chauvenet fell back after
failing to make the same jibe. Taylor sailed very well up the final
beat to press Danneberger and hold 2nd ahead of Sponar. Chauvenet took
4th by staying on the same side of the course as Coleman, Ethington
and Dyer Harris (5400). This left the Danneberger virtually certain
winners, the Sponars with a very solid grip on 2nd and 3rd place
entirely up for grabs among Ethington, Coleman and Chauvenet with
Taylor hindered only by his first race DNS.

The wind dropped to 4-6 mph and shifted 90 degrees to the right,
requiring a reset of the marks. The first beat found fortunes seeming
to vary with different puffs and shifts but eventually Danneberger,
Sponar, Taylor, Chauvenet and Ethington rounded in that order. On the
"run" to the leeward mark, the wind shift back about 90 degrees,
making it a reach/close reach to the "leeward" mark. Chauvenet
benefitted from having held low early on the leg and was able to come
up with a better sailing angle as the group approached the final mark.
Danneberger still had a small lead but Chauvenet was able to round
inside of Sponar with Taylor close behind as the group started what
was a broader reach on port tack back to the finish line. With the
wind having been very light at the mark, a slight increase in breeze
appeared ahead, allowing each boat to lengthen its lead over the
trailing boat. Thus the line was crossed in the same order that the
final mark was rounded. The wind then died and the remaining boats (in
all classes) had a slow and difficult time making it to the finish
line. After the finish, the race committee debated another race but
with only fitful puffs made the decision to call an end to the day.
This proved to be a good decision as everyone wound up being towed in
to the club!!

As always, the regatta was delightful; we should note that the 9 boat
fleet outnumbered the combined starters in the other classes on our
course. With the continuing efforts of Dyer Harris and the Sponars, we
look to see more Rock Hall Windmill owners in the coming year and a
larger fleet next year. Everyone appreciated the special effort by Lon
Ethington and Meg Gimmi to make the trip from Florida. Scott Ross and
Carroll Sparwasser were both racing for the first time in 2014 and had
excellent moments in several races--more sailing will see them in the
mix at the finish line! Exciting and close racing was certainly a
feature of this regatta. Eight of the nine boats in this event are
expected to be sailing in the Nationals in Ohio!
PosBoatNameTotalRace 1Race 2Race 3Race 4Race 5Race 6
15069John Danneberger/Anne Danneberger51(1)1(2)1(3)(OCS)(13)1(14)1 (15)
25702Ralph Sponar/Matt Sponar132(2)2(4)(5)(9)3(12)3(15)3 (18)
35586Allen Chauvenet/Christina Chauvenet163(3)3(6)(6)(12)4(16)4(20)2 (22)
43886Lon Ethington/Meg Gimmi185(5)4(9)2(11)2(13)(6)(19)5 (24)
53064John Coleman/Allie Coleman204(4)(7)(11)3(14)1(15)5(20)7 (27)
64051Alan Taylor/Maggie Arnesen21(DNS)(10)5(15)4(19)6(25)2(27)4 (31)
73524Dyer Harris/Sandy Sponar347(7)8(15)(9)(24)5(29)8(37)6 (43)
84261Scott Ross/Jan Ross346(6)6(12)7(19)(DNS)(29)7(36)8 (44)
93800Carroll Sparwasser/John Sparwasser418(8)9(17)8(25)7(32)9(41)(DNS) (51)
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