Labor Day Regatta
District III Championships
September 5-6, 2015
Many may remember the last time 10+ Jets made the voyage to the beautiful Lake Norman Yacht Club. The 2013 Nationals featured 3 straight days of 8-15 kt winds and this year's Labor Day regatta came pretty close. The fleet featured eight skippers from District III, including newcomers Don and Rebecca Janeway who were showcasing their recently restored ride (#1115). We were happy to welcome our out of town guests too - Dave and Sue Michos made the drive down from Edgewater and Nicky Einthoven came all the way from New Jersey to show Barry Saunders that #962 is indeed a fast boat. Asheville Sailing Club was well represented with Connie "Sail Master" Berchem/Teri "The Painter's In The Way" Fosmire (#951), Lenny Wells (who still remembers the early days when LNYC race committee made him race on the junior course with his Laser) and emergiing super-crew Daniel Titus (#1130), Paula and Olivia Hennon (#1129), and Chris Hennon/Meg Russell (#483). Unfortunately Olivia came down with a virus Friday night and 1129 was unable to make it out during the weekend.
Other competitors included:
Tim and Madison Porter (#626 (hull), #544 (sails)): Last seen being mocked at Nationals for having a hull that "made Tom Grace's boat look like a beauty", Porter showed up with a fresh coat of paint and some additional speed.
Tom Grace/Paula Pacheco (#717): Undeterred by how far off his measurements were at Nationals from the 50+ years of established go-fast settings, Grace and Pacheco return to the their home club to keep their own victory "streak" alive.
Barry Saunders/Todd Ochoa (#737): Attempted mind games by arriving with a hull that looked like it moved troops onto Omaha beach during D-Day.
The Jet fleet was the largest among other one design classes, including Thistle, Highlander, Flying Scot, Ultimate 20, J70, and even a couple of MC Scows. Before the beginning of Race 1, race committee was flying a series of 34 flags that included the postpone, abandon, and several other exotic designs not flown since the 1984 Americas Cup. Confusion persisted as crews desperately checked their flag encryption key to piece together the message that RC was attempting to convey. Afterwards it was determined that Sue Michos was the only person in the Northern Hemisphere to to get it right - "Reverse the starting sequence". All that Hennon and Russell could come up with is "Return to Shore and Eat a Cheeseburger".
With the honor of getting the first start, the Jet fleet showed the rest of the fleets how to get off the line clean and which direction to go. Apparently the RC thought Jets had boat speed comparable to a 12-meter Tri-maran as they set a 2 lap modified windward leeward course with a total sailing distance of about 8 miles. Berchem and Fosmire had a good first beat but evidently failed to test the spinnaker rigging before the race. The real excitement happened about 30 minutes in as Grace and Pacheco inexplicably capsized to windward near the leeward mark with their chute up. Tom later blamed it on "an unexpected 10 kt puff" but Paula set the record straight, explaining that Tom "was up in my grill" and wouldn't leave me alone, throwing the weight distribution off. Team Michos was still within catching distance at that point but they clearly had better boat speed than the rest of the fleet and won the first race by about 3 miles. Saunders, Porter, and Hennon approached the finish line about 20 minutes later and battled for second. Barry and Todd impressed by taking second and Team Porter edged Hennon/Russell by 1/2 a boat length to take third.
There was a noticeable drop in wind velocity as the second race began. Several of the boats that finished back in the first race found the lighter air more to their liking. Wells/Titus had a great first leg and rounded ahead of everyone, only to not notice the little green offset mark that RC set to windward of the windward mark. Tom and Paula, still dripping wet from their holiday swim, found their mojo and built a sizeable gap heading up to the windward mark for the second time. They were followed by Einthonven and Katherine Porter and Berchem/Fosmire. Unfortunately, all of them did not realize the race was a 1-lapper, allowing Michos and then Hennon to slip in to the top two finishing positions.
The lighter conditions persisted into the last race of the day on Saturday. Team Michos made the appropriate adjustments and lead the fleet down the only downwind leg of the race. Unfortunately for them, a new wind filled in from the right and behind, pushing not only the trailing Jets but about 45 other boats up to the leaders. Michos dropped the chute to try to reach over to the right side but ended up getting swallowed by a few Thistles and Highlanders. Hennon/Russell stayed low at the top of the course and out of the shipping lanes to the right and managed to work their way into a favorable position as a timely header saw booms flipping over to port as the mark approached. Team Porter rounded first with Hennon/Russell just behind, followed by a flaming mob with hails of "Room!" and "Starboard!" accompanied by crashing noises. The clear rounding gave Porter's the bullett and Team Michos had to settle for their only non-winning finish. With racing done for the day, Jetters hijacked some dude's Jeep and set up a blender bar complete with salted peanuts and plenty of trash talking.
The forecast for day 2 was similar, with ENE winds around 5-10 kt. Hennon/Russell could not handle the pressure of their 2nd place standing overnight and just completely fell apart. Grace/Pacheco, completely out of contention after their ridiculous capsize and finishing faux pas, sailed free and loose to make up some ground in the standings. The RC noticed this fresh attitude and promptly scored them DNS in the final race even though they crossed 5th. Team Porter had a solid and consistent day to easily wrap up second place for the regatta. Einthoven finished strong with a second in the final race, showing Barry that yes, #962 could go. Connie and Teri also had a much better day Sunday and are already planning their next regatta road trip in October. But the day and the regatta belonged to Dave and Sue Michos, who proved that it doesn't matter if your truck won't run or your professional football team blows, skill, teamwork, and boat speed usually win in the end.
Unfortunately for the travellers the RC had about 24 protest hearings and the awards cerremony didn't start until Sept. 10. A special shout out to Don and Rebecca Janeway for taking the plunge into the scary waters of large-regatta racing and finishing all of the races. And we're all appreciative of LNYC for putting on a great event - we look forward to returning next year.
Chris Hennon (#483)
|Place||Sail||Skipper||Crew||Race 1||Race 2||Race 3||Race 4||Race 5||Total|
|1||217||Dave Michos||Sue Michos||1||1||4||1||1||8|
|2||544||Tim Porter||Madison Porter||3||6||1||3||4||17|
|3||483||Chris Hennon||Meg Russell||4||2||2||8||8||24|
|4||962||Nicky Einthoven||Katherine Porter||7||3||5||7||2||24|
|5||1130||Lenny Wells||Daniel Titus||5||5||7||5||3||25|
|6||737||Barry Saunders||Todd Ochoa||2||8||3||7||7||26|
|7||203||Connie Berchem||Teri Fosmire||6||4||8||4||6||28|
|8||717||Tom Grace||Paula Pacheco||DNF||7||6||2||5||30|
|9||1115||Don Janeway||Rebecca Janeway||8||9||9||9||9||44|
|10||1129||Paula Hennon||Olivia Hennon||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||DNS||50|