Racing News and Results

Anomalous Winds
for Black Tie Regatta

By Jimneta Christian

Lambent winds persisted during most of the Black Tie's 40th Anniversary Regatta making the racing esprit of skippers and crew paramount. This "Champagne of Regattas" was hosted by Rush Creek Yacht Club, Heath, Texas, over the sunny weekend of April 11th through the 13th.
As contestants neared the venue, vivid purplish-blue Texas bluebonnets heralded them. They trekked from seventeen states, namely Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Teaser breezes, an azure sky, and temperatures hovering around 78 degrees tried to entice 96 skippers, plus those requiring minimal crews, onto the waters of Lake Ray Hubbard on Friday afternoon. For all A, E, C, I-20, and MC scows, the commencement of the first two races was postponed until the forces that be generated a somewhat steady, southerly breeze.
For the day, the wind's velocity ranged from 10-3 m.p.h., in that order.

The I-20 and MC Fleets shared a common starting line and course with variable winds. The first race, the wind was light from the southeast, with shifts from the south causing a change of course. Propelling puffs pushed the envelope to about 7 m.p.h. for the day. Waning wind and pockets of zilch movement caused the course to be shortened during the second race. Both fleets finished downwind.
Saturday morning's scenario of stillness cultivated even less of a lure to be upon the lake than the day before. Helmsmen, their crews, families, and friends watched and waited wishing for the winds to whip up. They never did
Those who partied late saw an even earlier Sunday morning as the gun blast began the first race at 8:30! Dittoed from yesterday, there were the same fleet groupings, shared starting lines, and respective courses. As on Friday afternoon, crewmembers, along with a few spectators, viewed the races from their appropriate boats or barges waiting in the wings for their skippers if the winds would wax.
The wind's range, for the two morning races, was clocked from a southerly direction at around 12-16 m.p.h. for the A, C, and E Fleets. Iterated from yesterday's races, the A and C Fleets raced their original courses. But for the E Fleet's races, they experienced a shortened course and finished at the leeward mark.
Simultaneously, the I-20 and MC Fleets were given their own individual class starts. They had to contend with squirrelly wind shifts. Adroitness in reading the winds and heading for the correct side of the course was utmost in being successful in these races.
Winds blowing from the southeast were scaled to a light breeze. As the first race proceeded, the wind grew into a gentle breeze, and a shift came from the south. No course changes were necessary.

During the in-between-race respite, some skippers high-tailed it to the barges to pick up their crew. Some continued to assess the situation. Some deferred boarding their crew. Then, just a few minutes shy of the five-minute gun, the wind settled down a bit. Some skippers returned their crews to the barge.
The deadline of six ship's bells to begin the second race was drawing nigh. Its start was in the nick of time meeting the S.I.'s qualification!

The wind's tempo grew to a gentle breeze and tipped over into a moderate breeze during the last race. A huge, bodacious wind shift from the east-southeast caught many adept skippers off guard! There was a major course change with a hoopla at the windward rounding and offset mark!

PRO sage Brad Davis, for the A, E, and C Fleets, commented about the weekend's wind challenges, "I was impressed with the quality of the (race) committee work with such great people under difficult conditions."

Class trophy results for each one-design, racing division were as follows: A-scows--4 boats in division 1) Skipper Andy Burdick & crew George Beukema, Jim Petersen, Charlie Harrison, Peter Keck, Max Avery: Lake Geneva YC, WI 2) Skipper Rob Evans & crew Richard Evans, Geoff Evans, Mark Christensen, Pete Crawford, Dug Buffington, Steve Kennedy: Minnetonka YC, MN 3) Skipper Brian Henke & crew Geoff Ackley, Dave Halaska, Steve Halaska, Howard Halaska, Bob Stoltz, Jim Glueck:
Pewaukee YC, WI E-scows--4 boats in division 1) Skipper Pat Hughes & crew Mike Norman, Gordy Bowers, Nancy Hughes: Minnetonka YC, MN 2) Skipper John Bobnowski & crew Dave Magno, Greg Barow, Parker Stanzione: Lavallette
YC, NJ 3) Skipper Kristopher Koehnen & crew: Al Christian, Peter Ryan, Julia Wyland: MN C-scows--33 boats in division 1) Skipper John Dennis & crew John Loomis, Courtney Krejci: Upper Minnetonka YC, MN 2) Skipper Erick Youngquist & crew Nathan Quist, Jaymie Youngquist: Lake Geneva YC, WI
3) Skipper Peter Strothman & crew Zak Fanberg: Minnetonka YC, MN 4) Skipper Michael Lynch & crew Christopher Impens, Mary Lynch: Browns Lake YC, WI 5) Skipper Tom Frentzel & crew Rick Kotovic: Pewaukee YC, WI 6) Skipper Augie Barkow & crew Chris Andert, Amanda Allen: Pewaukee YC, WI 7) Skipper Scott Helms & crew Charlie Harrett, Kristi Erickson: White Bear YC, MN 8) Skipper James Flood & crew Patrick Flood, Aimee Flood: Reeds Lake YC, MI Second Place C Scow Black Tie Regatta Perpetual Trophy--Skipper Erick Youngquist & crew Nathan Quist, Jaymie Youngquist: Lake Geneva YC, WI I-20 scows--13 boats in division 1) Skipper John Spargo & crew Jim Brust: Mendota YC, WI 2) Skipper Alec Chabalowski & crew Anita Bersie: MI 3) Skipper Paul Bates & crew Steve Scheck: Mendota YC, WI
MC-scows--41 boats in division 1) Skipper Greg Gust and crew Court Bookout: Rush Creek YC, TX 2) Skipper
Jack Kern: Rush Creek YC, TX 3) Skipper Scott Slocum: Rush Creek YC, TX 4) Skipper Doug Kern: Austin YC, TX 5) Skipper Lewis Conger: Shreveport YC, LA 6) Skipper Danny Ziegler: Windycrest SC, OK 7) Skipper Dan Fink: Little Muskego YC, WI. MC Master--Skipper Greg Gust: Rush Creek YC, TX. MC Grand Master--Skipper Jack Kern: Rush Creek YC, TX
The Perpetual MC Single-Handed Trophy--Skipper Lewis Conger: Shreveport YC, LA The Black Tie MC Perpetual Trophy--Skipper Greg Gust & crew Court Bookout: Rush Creek YC, TX

"Once again, the sailors who finished on top were the ones who sailed conservative races. It's interesting to point out that out of the four races which made up the regatta, the (top) two finishers in the MC Scow Class never won a race the entire weekend."