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|Sarasota Sailing Squadron's One Design Midwinter's at Sarasota Sailing Squadron||March 21 - 22|
|The Sarasota Sailing Squadron Mulit-Class Midwinter regatta drew 6 Windmills to beautiful Sarasota Bay March 21-22. While the fleet was small, it topped the two other classes on our course and we had close and exciting racing in the near-tropical setting.
After light air led to a one hour (on shore!) postponement, the breeze began to come in and the committee led us out to the race course. While the W-L twice around course was being set up, the wind built to 12-14 mph (with some higher puffs) where it remained for all of the races other than a very slight drop in the fifth and final race. Starts were generally clean with room for all boats to make good starts (though 2 boats were recalled at the start of the 4th race).
Arthur Anosov and crew Rye Heastings in "Toothless" (5527) were clearly faster and led at virtually every mark, though occasionally pressed by one of the others. Boat handling was excellent as well, in spite of this being their first time sailing together. The result was a clean sweep with wins in all 5 races.
One key to windward speed was driving well through the waves while the other was hiking the boat flat--all combined with playing the correct (usually right) side of the course. Downwind, picking the right jibe and time to jibe back was critical and pumping the main once to surf on the waves made a big difference in boat speed for everyone. While all generally handled the waves upwind quite well, Arthur's ability to steer through these waves was exceptional.
Lon Ethington & Meg Gimmi sailed "Pig Headed" (5070) extremely well in the first race to claim the 2nd spot and then took 3rd in all the remaining races--picking up 2 boats on the final run in race 3 and dropping 1 in the 5th race to maintain that clean set of 3rds. As always, they had superb boat-handling and were never far back in distance--always a threat to pass anyone ahead of them.
Colin Browning and daughter Janell Moralas sailed "Bella" (5252) very well and (as reflective of the close races) included a 6th and a 2nd in their set of races! They had not sailed together for several years but did not seem to show any "rust" in their teamwork. Sometimes slightly overpowered upwind, they nevertheless stayed in the hunt and moved quite well downwind. Their 2nd in the 4th race was a superbly sailed race around the entire course.
Allen Chauvenet & Sarah Steward in "Beauty & The Beast" (5586) started slowly with Allen's failure to initially set the clew on the main correctly. While close astern, they opened 6-6. Improved windward speed resulted in 2-4-2 for the final 3 races, in spite of Allen's mishandling of the approach to the 2nd weather mark rounding in the 4th race. Highlight was overtaking Lon & Meg to steal second (by maybe 2-3 feet at most) in the final race.
Ralph & Sandy Sponar (as in the midwinters the prior weekend) sailed "Hummingbird" (5702) using sails from "Go Blue" (5060). They opened with an impressive 4-2 but could not quite keep that up (again, distances were quite close) and closed with 5-5-5. They were always close and had an outstanding second race from start to finish.
Lisa Fath moved to the front of the boat and crewed for her son Jake in "Elvis" (4028). Jake is a Laser sailor who was helming a Windmill in a regatta for the first time. He had the boat moving well and defeated Allen (twice), Colin and Ralph in various races. They fell off slightly in the final two races--in a fleet where there were only very good sailors.
Everyone had a great time on the water and the racing was very close. Saturday night dinner at the club was delightful as always. The Sponars unfortunately had to leave early on Sunday so it shaped up as a battle for the 2nd (maybe--Lon & Meg had a 2 and 3 point edge) and third (Colin & Jannell leading Allen & Sarah by a single point) place trophies on Sunday. Alas, for the second year in a row, there was no wind to be found on Sunday morning so the regatta ended with the results from the 5 Saturday races (much as 4 Saturday races in 2014).
Everyone had a great time and we certainly hope a few more Florida boats as well as one or two additional "Northern" boats can come to this wonderful location next year!
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