DAY 1 :
Reporting this week from Grand Rapids, Michigan where we are sailing with 26 teams who are obviously all getting ready for the upcoming MC National Championship at nearby White Lake, Michigan.
While a smaller spring regatta we are not short on heavy hitters for this event. Also, the event really started yesterday on Friday with a late afternoon training event hosted by EHood and Justin Hood . The seminar included a one hour chalk talk and then another hour and a half on the water for 8 teams.
So now to some racing. Two light air races and two light-medium races. Crazy and shifty is all we can say about today. Getting off the good starting lines though was really important. After that is was all about "velocity rules over direction". In other words you absolutely had to be in the dark water all the time or you could quickly be shot out the back. Trying to stay on the shortest route to the mark without velocity was not always a great move.
Tight small lake sailing today. Dead flat water. So boat speed did matter but being in velocity still was a primary concern today. All in all fun spring practice racing today. Nice job Grand Rapids Yacht Club!!!!
Here are some scores.
Race winners for the day: Cam McNeil wins two, Jamie Kimball wins one and Pete Comfort wins one today.
Here are the top ten after four races.
Cam Mc Neil 13, Jamie Kimball 14, Rob Kimball 20, EHood 26, Pete Comfort 29, Chris Craig 30, Curt Bradley 32, Peter Fox 34, John Hann 39, John Knape 39.
One race here on Sunday at Reeds Lake in Grand Rapids , Michigan. Light conditions for race 5 and the modified W2 course.
Jamie Kimball had a great start and worked up the middle along with Pete Comfort and were both met by EHood at the top mark who sailed up the right center in pressure . It was a struggle in the shifty conditions under the trees at the top mark to get around the offset with a big 30 degree left shift that came in as boats 3-10 tried to get around the offset. This allowed EHood and Pete Comfort to slip away on the first downwind and they held that position throughout most of the race until another big shakeup at the last downwind mark. EHood survived it but it got crazy for 2-27 . In the end EHood wins the race and Cam McNeil survived with a 6th to save the regatta win.
Scores below. Cam McNeil wins, Jamie Kimball is second , Ehood moves up to third, Pete Comfort moved up to fourth and Rob Kimball slipped from 3rd to 5th after collecting a 14th in the last race.
Lessons learned for the event were valuable as this group clearly had the upcoming National Championship in mind at nearby White Lake. Lots of light air starts and mark roundings in tight quarters was both fun and challenging. Staying in dark water all the time was critical. Example today I started last but was first to the new pressure after having to duck everyone on starboard. So last to first in about 2 minutes because of pressure. Never give up after a bad start . Light air races things can change and change quickly. You have to stay focused and just keep plugging away at what you know is right and in light air that is staying in pressure. Gentle boat handling was a premium up in front this weekend. Keeping the air attached to the sail was important and the only way to do that was gentle body movements, light touch on the tiller and trying to tack/gybe when the pressure was up.
Top 7 Boats powered by North Sails
1. Cam McNeil
2. Jamie Kimball
3. Eric Hood
4. Pete Comfort
5. Rob Kimball
6. Dan Chappell
7. Weldon Schwartz
A little less than 100 days till the Nationals. Sign up today. Connect with Cam McNeil and his very large support team to get your logistics all sorted out. This is going to be a seriously fun event and probably the toughest National Championship we have ever had. It is a bucket list event for sure. White Lake, Lake Michigan, the historic White Lake Yacht Club. At least 10 different and maybe more current or former National Champions will be sailing. A very large junior crowd, a great line up of women are slated to be skippering. This is the big one you all. BE THERE!!!!