|Check out that big growler approaching|
12-7-13 Balboa Yacht Club, Harbor 20 Fleet 1, Sunkist Series #2. The first words that come to mind is “Dark and Stormy” and I am not talking about cocktails. Starting time was 1300 and that’s exactly when the largest squall of the day rolled through. Eleven skippers ignored the gale wind forecast and the two red flags above the harbor department and watched the squall roll in from the west.
I had to work this day, at least that’s what I was telling everyone, but it was my understanding that prior to the squall arriving many skippers had thrown a reef in their mains as they watch the wind speed push into the twenties.
Chris Killian told me he had his wife Cathy and son Porter with him and was one of the skippers who placed a reef in his main before heading out onto the race course. To quote Chris “We had green water rolling over the top of the boat, I mean lots of green water,” he explained with excitement still in his voice. Fleet one races inside Newport Harbor and it does take some breeze before we get water rolling over the tops of our boats.
After the squall rolled through the wind eased some and the race committee took down the postponement. Skippers sailing with two crew members and a full main had the advantage off the wind. BYC races lean more towards random leg than windward/leewards.
Per Trebler was the only C fleeter to make it to the starting line. This allowed him to catch up in the series after missing the first day of the series. Rod Graham extended his lead in the B fleet with two firsts. In A fleet Ed Kimball and Gary Throne split the day both getting a 1 & 2. Tucker Cheadle is in a close third place in the series and has been sailing very consistently.
12-8-13 Newport Harbor Yacht Club, Harbor 20, Fleet 1, Winter Series Day 2 High Point Event. The forecast was for light wind, sunshine and cooler temperatures. In fact more racers made it to the starting line than I had expected. The forecast for Saturday night was “Dark and Stormy”, and this time I am talking about cocktails, with three yacht clubs in town having their installation dinners and Fleet 1 was having their Awards Banquet after the racing on Sunday.
We had a good turnout with thirty six boats out. Thirteen in A’s and 21in B’s. The racing was difficult in the light breeze because you needed a little luck to find it. I received a rather kind complement from Bill Menninger “You seem to find the breeze when it’s coming in from every direction” with a little bit of frustration in his voice. In the second race of the day Bill got off the line and found the first shift coming in from the right side. He punched out to a big lead as we worked our way downwind towards the PCH bridge. Unfortunately for Bill the wind filled in from behind and Kurt Wiese and I interrupted his party. Kurt won that race and Bill went on to win the day to take home the high points.
In B fleet Carter Ford had his game face on and sailed through most of A fleet through out the day keeping the hammer down until he returns back to A’s. Kathryn Reed aboard “Wood In It Be Nice” has been sailing very consistently and has a good hold on second place.
|John Whitney taking home the prestigious Arthur Strock Award|
12-8-13 Lido Isle Yacht Club, Harbor 20, Fleet 1, Awards Ceremony. Starting time 1800 with close to 110 members attending. Shana Conzelman chaired the event and after a tremendous amount of effort by Shana and her committee, one word comes to mind, and that is spectacular.
The first awards given out was for the High Point Series. Gary Thorne 1st Bob Yates 2nd and Len Bose 3rd. The High Point awards are given to A, B, & C skippers who have the best total score for the season in their respective fleets.
The Rain or Shine Series is presented to the fleet one skipper who races in the greatest number of Rain or Shine races for the season. This year’s recipient was Michael Volk who participated in seventy six races. In a close second was Rod Swift with seventy four and in third was Peter Haynes with seventy two. The inflection in Peter Haynes voice, as he graciously presented the award to Michael, indicated that this award will be contested next season. From what I can tell the record is eighty two races set by Peter in 2012.
The Arthur Strock is awarded to the member who has performed outstanding service for the Harbor 20, fleet one organization. After observing the fleet for the first time, as a skipper, this year I could have guessed this one. I first noticed John Whitney busting his butt in The Baldwin Cup this year. He helped organized the rules seminar, and helped us at BCYC obtain boats for our club championships. I mean everywhere I went this season John was already there. Well done John, you raised the bar on this award and thank you.
Next was the Broken Rudder Award. This fine awarded is given to the skipper whose boat sustained the most damage in the heat of battle. I was sailing that fateful Tuesday night, the wind was in the high teens and the racing area was very tight. Mark Conzelman aboard Shana’s Secret sailed just past the leeward mark on the starting line and with all the excitement of a windy starting sequence did not notice the bow sprint of the big power boat and caught one of his stays that caused his mast to collapse. That one could happen to anyone in those conditions. Unfortunately it happened to one of our fleets newest members with his new boat.
This years First Mate Awards goes to the highest placing husband and wife teams in A and B fleet at the fleet one championships. In A fleet Diane and Bill Menninger won and in B fleet Barrie & Len Connelly took home the award.
Next was Fleet 1 Grand Masters Trophy that is awarded to the highest placing skipper over the age of sixty five at the Fleet 1 championships in A and B fleet. In B fleet Win Fullar received the award and in A’s Bob Yates was the winner.
|Jessica Newman and Diane Menninger|
This year a new award was donated to the fleet by the Drayton family. The “Phyllis Rawlins Drayton” trophy. This award is presented to the top women finishers in A and B divisions (either skipper or crew). Now this award was particularly emotional as it was awarded and received. John Drayton and the family had obviously spent a lot of time putting this together and it meant a great deal to them and the fleet. What made the inaugural presentation so special, to me, was the reaction from one of its first recipients
Jessica Newman. Jessica and her father Greg where sitting at our table and Jessica reaction was truly emotional, inspirational and priceless. In A fleet Diane Menninger received the award and it was obvious she to was also very grateful to have received this award.
It was a perfect night and good times will be remembered for years to come.