|NEW ADVENTURE: Windmills at Pymatuning Yacht Club
Thanks to the initiative of Dave White (5530) & the open arms of the Club, the Windmill Class had it's first ever start at the Pymatuning Yacht Club located on the OH-PA border. The great support of Erie Fleet 83 (5 boats) resulted in a 10-boat fleet which made us the 2nd largest fleet in the 4-class regatta. Ample winds and delightful modified Olympic courses (with a special modification made by the Windmill fleet in the first race!) made for such exciting sailing that the 5 races were won by 5 different teams!
Matt & Sandy Sponar won the first race when the picked up a nice shift from the right hand side on the second weather leg to beat John & Natalie Deimal (4955) for the gun. The drama of the race was in the Windmill Fleet inserting an extra mark...after rounding the jibe mark, everyone headed for a yellow mark downwind without noting that this mark was NOT located dead downwind of the start-finish line! Pat & Janet Huntley (5707) led Ralph & Allie Sponar (5702) around this incorrect mark and started back upwind. The rest of the fleet rounded the "bonus" mark and then headed for the actual leeward mark except for Allen Chauvenet & Maggie Arnesen (5586) who followed the two leaders upwind. When the three boats that had started upwind realized their error, they rounded the real leeward mark 7,8,9. The regatta (who knew at the time?) was really decided by the amazing comeback made by Ralph & Allie who recovered to 3rd while 5707 and 5586 remained mired in 8th and 9th!
For the second race, everyone actually sailed the right course and this time John & Natalie parlayed a good start and smart upwind sailing to win cleanly ahead of Ralph & Allie followed by Pat & Janet. The third and final race of the day found Lon Ethington & Meg Gimmi (5070) along with Allen & Maggie going hard left on the opening beat and picking up breeze and a shift to open a huge lead over the fleet. Lon & Meg won handily but Pat & Janet somehow broke free of the fleet to challenge Allen & Maggie who were still second at the last mark but mis-played the short beat to the finish for a 3rd behind Pat & Janet. John & Natalie slipped to 5th but still had a 1 point lead as the racing ended for the day and everyone enjoyed the on-shore drinks, dinner and beautiful views during the evening.
Sunday brought the final two races (there were no throw outs) with Ralph & Allie seizing control of the regatta with a wonderfully sailed race and a decisive win. Pat & Janet moved up with another second and Allen & Maggie continued their improved sailing with a 3rd, edging out the next three boats on the long run to the leeward mark and holding their position on the beat to the finish. Lon & Meg moved upward in the standing with a 4th while Matt Crotty (3932) of the Erie fleet (crewed by Fireball sailor Graham Schaefer) were in the thick of things and recorded an excellent and close 5th, pushing the Deimals back to 6th.
In the final race Pat & Janet sailed beautifully with their win seizing 2nd overall while Ralph & Allie sailed well, safely and securely to take 2nd for the race and 1st for the regatta. Lon & Meg reversed results with Allen & Maggie, taking 3rd for both the race and the regatta. A good time was had by all and the club issued an enthusiastic invitation to come back next year!