Pewaukee Yacht Club - Pewaukee, WI
Our final day of sailing for this year’s MC Scow National Championship for races six and seven brings us little to no breeze. However we have had five fantastic medium to medium/heavy air races our two previous days for the 93 MC teams at MC Scow’s most important championship of the year. Let me break it down into a few categories highlighted below and hopefully paint a picture of all that we have experienced here at Pewaukee Yacht Club this year. But wait a minute the breeze came and two more races were held on Sunday for the full series of seven scheduled championship races.
Pewaukee Lake is a fantastic inland lake for those around the country who have not been here before. This is also a yacht club with a long and deep history of scow sailing. Take all the scow lakes in the U.S. and this is a top five with regards to number of races that have been run for scow sailing. Conditions were very good but also very challenging this week. Good news was the 93 sailboats dominated the lake and powerboats did not. Great winds from really one of the few directions where it all works well for 93 boats. Winds varied from 40-80 degrees ENE to ESE. Velocities ranged for the first five races from 8-16mph. For the last two light air races we raced in zero to 7mph from the south with W5 courses. The lake is and east-west lake for the most part. Look at Google maps and you can see it well. We raced in the larger mid-section and a good part of the west section. Nice thing about the easterlies on Pewaukee is the wind drops down and shows on the water. You know what is coming and that makes it both fun and also nerve wracking if you are a bit out of phase or trapped in traffic and cannot intercept the new breeze on the way to the windward mark. Weeds were a challenge that is cut weeds. The water is nice on Pewaukee but they have a shoreline weed challenge in the shallow areas and you had to be sharp and aware of when you might have hooked some of those cut weeds.
The Race Courses
Larry Krause the PRO along with a very large four boat RC Team crew did a fantastic job with our five races on day one and day two. Race 6 in light air out of the south on Sunday was a good fair race. Race 7 was one of those clunkers you wish you had not started but it made in the time limit and it is on the books. Unlike the 88 boat ILYA Championships from last year where we did not have a mid-line boat this year for 93 boat at the National Championship PRO Krause decided it was probably best to have the mid-line boat. It worked out well. Only a couple of general recalls, 1 ZFlag start as a result for race 2. All W5 race courses with .8 to .9 mile legs. Again, just a great job by the PRO and the whole RC Team.
The Racing and Learnings
We could have called the first two days of sailing “The Andy Burdick and Mark Tesar School of Fast Sailing Week”. So racing and learnings well we all know that Mark Tesar was in an absolute sweet spot with the medium to medium-heavy wind conditions. He was simply hard to keep up with on all points of sail. Andy Burdick who has won 11 MC Scow National Championships is sailing on his home lake that he has put laps in by the thousands for forty plus years. Andy was in his best possible element, happy and at his home lake. He absolutely dominated this event but had one sailor in Mark Tesar keeping pressure on most of the time. Sunday certainly was another story with light very fluky winds and was all about survival , some luck and getting to the finish line in good shape when others were struggling with the conditions. Probably Bill Draheim and Frank Reeg our hot young Youth Champ would be the winner of “Survival of the Fittest” and of course along with Andy Burdick.
Probably the largest learning from my viewpoint was three things had to be in place for a top ten finish. A great start, clear air and dark water.
First to the great start. So in my case I had three top ten and two dingers. Two of my top ten races I had to tack sail 25-50 yards to get that clear lane and only one of my top ten finishes did I have a clear lane that I was able to hold. I saw Andy and Mark along with Bill Draheim and Kenny Wolfe all take very quick clearing tacks to insure a fast clear lane for those first three to five minutes of the race. It pretty much shapes the race for the forward group. Without the clear air you are instantly working at about 75% horsepower for boat speed. So work on that clear lane no matter what. Second the clear air. I can honestly say because I am looking up the course all the time no matter what place I am in the race that I never ever saw Andy or Mark sailing in a bad lane. It obviously was a high value that both of them made as a #1 priority this week. Clear air is 100% horsepower period end of story. Third dark water is like a supercharger on your engine. If you want more than 100% horsepower you need a super charger and that is dark water. Do everything you can to be in it all times. Another little trick to add to your sailing game plan is to always tack and gybe in dark water or when the wind velocities are up. Extra horsepower and speed can fix a million other problems you might have on the race course.
Last I would like to say have a game plan, sail the first beat in your head but be flexible for the changes that come at you. Focus is key. I know on my first two dinger races I actually looked back and resailed both races and realized I really did not stick to my game plan of staying in dark water and having clear air. Focus and work on process (the basics of sailing – correct angle of heel, smooth steering, great sail trim, calm boat)
The North Sails Results - Go to www.sailwave.com for complete results.
1st Overall:Andy Burdick
Top 10 powered by North: 1,3,4,5,6,7,10!
1st : Singlehanded:Mark Tesar
1st Grandmaster:Paul Reilly
1st Megamaster:Tim Fredman
1st Woman:Michelle Heinze
1st Junior: Frank Reeg
ALL 7 RACES WON BY NORTH POWERED BOATS!
Mari Costea Johnson our MC Class Social Media Director has some of her best photographs ever available for all to see. She will be splashing those soon on all of our channels and with Bob Wynkoop our Communications Class Director for our “Touch of Class” MC Magazine and also of course our class website.
Three more major MC events left this year. Two in August and one in September. First up the Western Michigan Championships at Torch Lake in early August. Look for 60-80 MCs at that event. Then our big ILYA Championships on Lake Geneva. Last year we had 88 boats for that event. If at all possible you want to do this event and see the all new Buddy Melges Sailing Center. All classes are racing at this five day event. I would call it a “Life List Event”. Then of course the Masters down at Privateer Yacht Club in Chattanooga, TN at the end of September.
Our class is in great shape. Big growth year with almost 50 new boats built. Melges is rock solid and on track with new boat production. In fact you can still have a new MC right now for the ILYA, WMYA or Masters Championships. Great class meeting. Class is financially healthy.
My encouragement to all who love this class. Write to all of your class officers and encourage them with your thoughts ,ideas and more. Even if your ideas may seem a little outside the norm. We need to look at our future. We need to develop some “POVs” Points of View on how we want to grow. We need to help the class officers define a rock solid “Missions and Values” statement. We also for some of you smart financial types we need to help our officers figure out how to start some financial legacy type planning to insure our classes financial health and stability for years to come. Last I would also encourage some of you who love this class and are afflicted with wealth to step up and help with financial planning/direction for our future. It would be a blessing for the class to have your knowledge, ideas and even financial help in this area.
WOW – what can you say? We have been treated like Kings and Queens this week. Regatta co-chair Kim and Tobi Tornehl, AJ Schweda , the Louie Morgan Rib Team and about as I could count around 60 -75 volunteers made all this happen. The Junior Yacht Club was huge with their dinghy service. If you ever want to learn how a volunteer network works this is a club to model after for sure. HUGE THANK YOU to all at PYC. It was a fantastic regatta.
So that is it for now. Hope to see you at the big ILYA Championships at Lake Geneva in August.