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|Windmill Northerns at Lake Massabesic, Auburn, NH||September 16 - 17|
Rick & Jaspar Fontana (4621) made their annual trek from Portland ME to Manchester NH where their consistency dominated an 8 boat fleet which sailed 6 races in very light to essentially drifting conditions. A record of (2)-1-2-2-1-2 left them well ahead as they managed to sail fast and stay out of trouble throughout the 2 day event.
With 4-5 mph winds to start the regatta, the committee set a WL course but with the L mark below the start/finish area allowing a beat back to the finish. The first race found the Fontanas locked in a tight battle with Larry Christina/Allie Sponar (Dave: 5319) around the course. Allen Chauvenet & Sarah Steward (Beauty & The Beast: 5586) were very close astern starting the final beat for the finish and went left for free air, bearing off for speed. The battle between 4621 and 5319 was hard fought and not decided until the final tack--but Allen & Sarah gained enough with free air to come across of port tack and take the gun! A spectacular feature of this race was Ed Watt & Matt Sponar (Inspiration: ) who became totally becalmed after rounding the weather mark. This led to them being so far behind that the RC started the sequence for the second race before they finished. However, "Inspiration" got the puff of the day and crossed the line moving well moments after the starting gun--thus finishing race 1 and starting race 2 essentially simultaneously!
The second race was sailed in similar conditions. This time the Fontanas led at all marks with Allen & Sarah close behind and ahead of Larry & Allie. Ed & Matt used their start to move up in the fleet and claim a 7th in this race with even better things to come.
The 3rd and 4th races were sailed in winds just slightly more than drifting conditions. Larry & Allie sailed sharply to win both of them while Rick & Jasper took the runner up positions to hold a slight edge for the regatta lead. Allen & Sarah struggled a bit in the dying winds so Jack Cartland & Jeff Janotta (Cupcake: 2117) took an excellent 3rd in the 3rd race, where Ed & Matt pushed into 5th close behind B&B in this race. Steve & Michelle Allen (3653) found speed and shifts to place 3rd in the final race of the day.
After an excellent evening, Sunday started with a glass-like lake with, if anything, even less wind than Saturday. Finally a very light breeze appeared and the RC headed out in hopes of getting in 1-2 more races. The major excitement of the day then occurred when a NH Marine Patrol boat appeared and ordered all boats (regardless of origin) lacking NH registration off the lake! The day was saved by the RC who (on a Sunday AM!) managed to contact someone higher up in the administration and the Marine Patrol boat announced that he would make an exception "for this one day.". Fortunately, the club now is set to contact the authorities prior to the regatta in 2018 and avoid a repeat of this!
Both races were sailed in very light winds over a WL course like those on Saturday. The Fontanas had just enough extra speed to edge out in front while the rest of the fleet wound up coming to the leeward mark with Lightnings and Scots! Somehow Sarah & Allen were able to maneuver to the inside of all boats and round the leeward mark with free "air" and pull away for a second followed by Larry & Allie with Steve & Michelle in 4th, essentially clinching the regatta for Rick & Jaspar. In the drifting conditions of the final race, Jack & Jeff started by the committee boat, somehow pinched off Sarah & Allen, forcing them to tack. They worked "Cupcake" up the beat beautifully (everyone sailing in SLOW motion) to lead the Fontanas around the mark. Steve and Michelle took a long port tack and seemed becalmed but found a private breeze to charge down to the mark and round right behind the Fontanas with Sarah & Allen 4th just ahead of Larry & Allie. Larry & Allie wound up in a mess of Lightnings & Scots and had to do turns, leaving them a relatively distant 5th. Jack & Jeff made it around the leeward mark with the lead and held on to win ahead of the Fontanas while Steve & Michelle were able to stay ahead of Allen & Sarah on the final "beat" (close reach) to the finish.
In spite of the lack of wind, everyone had an enjoyable weekend with the Fontanas winning and Larry & Allie (who would have won a tie break) holding 2nd just appoint ahead of Allen & Sarah. NEXT YEAR--no Marine Patrol and hopes for a return to a 10 boat fleet! Thanks to all the members of the RC and the NH Windmill Fleet who contributed to making this another successful Windmill Northerns!
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