|2017 Windmill Midwesterns
Westerville Ohio, June 2nd - 4th, 2017. Hoover Sailing Club (HSC) Fleet #60 hosted the annual Midwestern Memorial Regatta. As the longest-standing WCA class event since 1965, teams from 7 different states completed 8 races in light to medium and heavy air conditions. Past national champions from Maryland (Ralph & Matt Sponar), New Hampshire (Larry Christian & Allie Sponar) and Virginia (John & Anne Dannenberger) made the trek as well as teams from Chicago (Rick Beale), North Carolina (Jerry Rezab), Tampa (Lon Ethington & Meg Gimmi), Washington D.C. (Allen Chauvenet & Sarah Stewart).
The "Midwesterns" known for its food and camaraderie, greeted guests Friday with a happy hour and cocktails followed by a casual dinner with 12 different gourmet pizzas. As tradition goes, many of the out-of-town competitors stayed with fleet members where correspondingly they host us at their events. Also, 8 of 12 boats had a family crew.
Flying Scot Fleet #37 ran races in difficult conditions, often shifting 20° and from either side of the reservoir predominantly from North, Northwest. PRO, Ross Long, and his team did a commendable job moving marks as needed and changing from two Triangles (2T) to an effective, Gold Cup course (T, W, L, W). Races would surprisingly average and expedient 35 minutes regardless of wind strength. Saturday, Day One racing consisted of light conditions and grew throughout for medium to heavy air on Sunday.
To optimize time on the water the traditional Saturday lunch break became a short postponement after race three affording completion of five (5) good races. The fact that 4 different winners of the 5 exhibits the difficulty of sailing consistently in such conditions. From Day One standings, one can ascertain that the out-of-towners grew more comfortable as the regatta developed. Initially, a port favored line would be erased by a starboard favored course and vice a versa -- until things settled. Note that class stalwart, Allen Chauvenet won the first race taking advantage of the starboard breeze that erased the port favored start. As a leader would cover the following boat upwind to finish, often the third following boat would breakaway to win. It came to where leaders had the sail their own races or became someone else's. You needed to sail to head up and seat-of-the-pants.
The Saturday dinner was wonderfully orchestrated as always by Kathy Bachman, Julie Himmelsbach and a cadre of veterans -- the Prebihalos, Mickelsons and Fergusons. Chef Peter Rothman grilled smoked beef and pork. Awesome!
Day Two, Sunday saw the prevailing, consistent heavy Southwest winds – full planing conditions. The 2016 national runner-up (Chris & Nancy Demler), Lon & Meg, and Team Sponar clawed back up the scoreboard while Team Christian and The Dannenbergers slugged it out with the later winning the tie-breaker. Congratulations!