The Muskegon Sail and Power Squadron and Torresen Marine Inc. are inviting all boaters to join them for a day of fun and learning how to handle emergencies on your boat.
The schedule is as follows:
10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Emergencies On Board Your Boat Seminar- Given by Captain Richard Young of the Muskegon Sail and Power Squadron. Located at Torresen Marine’s seminar room in the Ships Store. There is a fee of $3 per person for the seminar.RSVP to 231-759-8596
Noon - Cookout & Potluck- Hotdogs, beans, chips and soft drinks provided. Please bring a dish to pass. RSVP to 231-759-8596. This event will take place on the point in between Torresen Marine’s slip area.
1:15 p.m. Controlled Burn- The Muskegon Fire Department will have a “controlled burn” set up to practice using fire extinguishers. If anyone has any expired flares and/or rockets, please bring them. Boaters will be taught how to light them and shoot them off. The Muskegon Fire Department will bring a fire truck, practice fire equipment and personnel from Station # 4. This event will take place on the point in between Torresen Marine’s slip area.
All of these events will take place at Torresen Marine, Inc. RSVP required for the Emergencies On Board Your Boat Seminar and the Cookout. Please call 231-759-8596 to make your reservation. No reservation needed for the Controlled Burn and Police Boat Display.
There may be a possible appearance of the Deputy Todd Dunham and the Sheriff’s new patrol boat.
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10:00am – 4:00pm Torresen Marine will be offering free sailboat rides to the public. Space is limited so please RSVP 231-759-8596 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to the restrictive dock access and the nature of sailing, ride participants must be able to board and maneuver about the vessel with minimal help.
11am – 1pm Torresen Marine Customer Cookout & Potluck. RSVP 231-759-8596 or email@example.com.
SOLAR NOON Cannon shoot off by the mark.
After your boat goes in the water there is one more thing that often gets overlooked. Check over your cradle. Is it ready for next year? If it needs repair, make it part of your summer plan.
Do you have any boat “stuff” laying around? Have your been saying to yourself “I really should sell this?” Or maybe you’ve been looking to replace something but it’s either an odd piece that is hard to find or you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg. If you can relate to any of these, please come visit the Torresen Marine Ship Store on Saturday, April 20th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for our first annual Stuff Sale!
This is your chance to sell, trade or buy marine equipment, accessories, electronics, tools, books, etc. It is $35 per table to sell your “stuff”. Registrants keep all the proceeds from their sales.
Admission is free to come in to browse or buy another sailors “stuff”. Who knows what you might find?
Contact Karen in our ships store for more details or to rent a table for the day. Hope to see you there!
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It may be cold right now but spring is right around the corner along with the Torresen Marine Spring Thaw Open House. Join us on Saturday, March 9th, for a day full of fun, educational seminars, manufacturer representatives, new products, refreshments, special pricing and door prizes. Sign up for our Spring Seminar series while you are here. The Torresen Marine service team will be on hand to help plan your spring work.
9:30 a.m. – “Overview of NOAA Science Initiatives & Investment in the Lake Michigan Field Station” by Dennis Donahue of NOAA
11:00 a.m. – “Do It Yourself Blister Repair & Prevention” by Tony Palabrica of Interlux Yacht Finishes
12:30 p.m. – “Using Real-time Buoy Systems for Weather & Water Information in West Michigan” by Scott Kendall of Grand Valley State University Annis Water Resources Institute
2:00 p.m. – ” Raymarine New Instruments & MFD’s for 2013″ by Jeff Fink of Raymarine
Elite Canvas – 10% off any order placed at the show
Harken – 5% discount on most hardware, 10% discount on most winches & winch products
Interlux Paint – VC17 $5 rebate, rebates on other Interlux products, Buy one get one free on Cetol products and 20% off Awlcare, Awlgrip and Awlwash products.
Raymarine – Free 7″ tablet with purchase of a Raymarine 9″, 12″ or 15″ MFD
Pettit Paint – Rebates on SR21
Quantum Sails – 15% off sail services
Raymarine – Free 7″ tablet with purchase of 9″, 12″ or 15″ MFD
Samson Rope – 10% off all running rigging
Sea-Tech – $100 off Marine Training classes in the Muskegon with sign up during Spring Thaw.
Come on out and take advantage of great sale prices while visiting with your sailing friends after a long winter. We look forward to seeing you!
The Muskegon Sail and Power Squadron will be hosting a free boater class beginning Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at the Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum. The museum is located at 1346 Bluff, Muskegon, Michigan next to the USS Silversides submarine. Registration will be form 6:40 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Six, two hour, weekly classes will be offered on the topics of required safety equipment, state and federal regulations, navigation aids, tying knots, and how to use GPS equipment. For those interested in taking an exam to earn a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Boating Safety Certificate, there is a $10.00 charge. An optional 243 page course book, with two Cd’s, is available for $35.00. This cost includes the DNR exam fee. Please call Peter Van Hoesen at 231-755-3476 for more information and to register.
We are visiting today with our new 2012 MC Scow National Champion Jamie Kimball from Spring Lake, Michigan. First of all on behalf of the entire MC Class we have to say congratulations Jamie on winning big at the National Championship at White Lake, plus winning two other majors and the season class rankings. We have some questions we would love to get your thoughts and insights on about your sailing program that might help the rest of us get better with our sailing programs. So here we go with our first question.
E Hood: Jamie can you give us some basics on how long you have been sailing, how you got started and talk about a few mentors who really made a difference for your enthusiasm and career for sailing?
Jamie: Thanks Eric! I grew up in Grand Rapids, MI so I began sailing on Reeds Lake at the Grand Rapids Yacht Club and later the Spring Lake Yacht Club. The butterfly was the junior boat, which is what I first learned to sail. Rather than heading to summer camp when I was younger, my parents dropped me off at the yacht club every morning for sailing school and the better part of most days. This is where I developed a passion for the sport and some of my closest friendships that I still have today. I’d encourage anyone and everyone to enlist their children in their local sailing school. Forget camp, and send them to the closest yacht club.
As my brother, Rob, and I got older, we eventually transitioned into MC, C, and E scows at the Spring Lake Yacht Club in MI. Truthfully, and a lot of enthusiasm for the sport came from beating my older brother. I loved how angry he would get- it was awesome! Over the years, we’ve learned to sail together and we’ve had some great success, but I still like to put it to him when I get the chance. If you don’t have an older brother or sister, you might not be able to see where I’m coming from. Even though I typically put it to him, he has been my greatest mentor for sailing and pretty much everything else.
E Hood: What can you share with MC sailors and for that matter sailors from other classes about your regatta preparation? I guess we are really asking three questions today. One, what is your physical prep, two, what is your mental prep and three, how do you prep your boat? A follow-up question to these three questions would be how much does preparation truly play in the total equation?
Jamie: Regatta preparation really comes down to how serious you want to get. During college I always tried to be the most physically fit sailor on the water, since I was never the lightest. This was difficult with all the distractions in Charleston, SC, but I think I did a pretty good job. I needed this advantage to make up for my weight and lack of talent and experience in the FJ and 420. I typically had better results at windier events. In any scow, it helps to be physically fit, so I try to stay in decent shape. I need to lift weights more often, but I still run 4 to 5 miles almost every day.
With regards to mental preparation, I try not to over think things and basically try to keep “fun” a focus. I also try to think about the process rather than focus on the results. The process of having good starts, tacks, gybes, boat speed, tactics, and a little bit of good luck leads to good results. If you focus on executing the process, results will follow. With regards to boat preparation, the last thing you want to be thinking during a race is that your boat is slow or your sail is bad. My goal for every race is to leave the dock with the feeling that I have the fastest boat in the fleet. That might take a pre-regatta waxing, washing, new lines, or maybe even a new sail. Over the years, I’ve been fortunate (aka spoiled) to race with good equipment, so I haven’t had to put too much work into this area and have been able to devote more time on the water. Melges also does a great job of having the boats race-ready when the leave the factory. We’re really fortunate that we don’t have to mess with too much.
E Hood: I know that when sailing in big fleets like this one with 94 boats that I set some goals for starting and the first mark just to survive. I missed my goals in three of seven races and it truly hurt not hitting a good start or being in the top 15 at the first mark no matter what. Give us some thoughts on what your game plan included. Run us through pre-start to start to first beat and beyond. Do you have some non-negotiables in your game plan like not sailing in dirty air, headers (at what point do you pull the trigger and tack). Give us a few examples from the seven races at the Nationals this year.
Jamie: For me it goes back to the process and not focusing on the results. Before the regatta at White Lake ever started, I knew that I was going to be deep and have to battle back throughout the series. With 94 boats or any large fleet for that matter, you’re bound to run into trouble and find yourself deep in the fleet at some point. What can lead to a good result or a bad result is the process that follows.
In the 5th race at the nationals on White Lake, I found myself deep up the first beat. I started just to leeward of the midline boat as I had done in the previous four races. My start was actually pretty good, but soon after a big left shift came in. Pretty much all 94 boats tacked to port. I still had a nice lane on port tack sailing up the beat, but I was on the wrong side of this persistent shift. At the windward mark, I was probably mid fleet. I assessed the situation and noticed I was right next to two good boats- Cam McNeil and Justin Hood. At this point you have two choices- panic and give up or focus on the process.
Fortunately I had been in this situation a time or two before, and knew I could still salvage a good result if I focused on doing the little things right. I didn’t panic and continued on with my process. The winds for this race were in the 8-12 mph range and were pretty shifty. Perfect conditions to pass a lot of boats! With a big fleet, it can be tough to find clear air, so you need to determine early on what is more important – clear air or sailing the lifted tack. With the shifty conditions, I thought it was more important to be on the lifted tack, and at times sacrificing clear air.
Recently I’ve had the opportunity to sail the Melges 20 with Chris Rast and Michael Kiss, two really good sailors, and we often set up to practice sailing in dirty air (not while we are actually racing). Chris and Michael think it’s important to be able to sail well in bad air. If you can sail your boat fast in bad air, you should be all right. In this fifth race at the nationals, I committed to sailing the lifted tack and doing the little things right, all along sailing in dirtier air than I normally would have liked. In the end, it seemed to pay off and I was able to crawl all the way up to 12th. Although my “result” was the lowest of my series, I thought it was my best race.
E Hood: So a big group was from Western Michigan. Heck, I grew up there. You sail there a lot with the likes of Cam McNeil, John McNeil, Ben McNeil, Doug McNeil and so many others who have a ton of hours on White Lake. Then we all had the curve ball thrown at us and we sailed in a part of the lake that has not been used in about 10,000 years. We had some great racing there but it was really tricky. Looking at the scores for everyone really just you , maybe Bill Colburn and Andy Burdick who tied for second came even close to surviving all the races on this course. In my mind the top of the course the last 200 yards in was a game changer for most of us. Give us your viewpoint of the tough spots on this course. Did you see anything race after race that most everyone was missing (it is okay to share now)?
Jamie: You are spot on! The last 200 yards into the windward mark were crucial (especially the first windward mark). Often there were 15 boats from the left and 15 boats from the right converging at the first windward mark in just a few seconds. The left was a little more favored than the right. It was easier to cross starboard tack boats, and more leaders came from the left. On average, there were 2-3 shifts in the last 200 yards, so it did not pay to get to a layline early.
Trying to avoid the layline too early, I did my best to sail the shifts between the leaders on both sides, all along keeping an eye on the starboard train coming to the windward mark. Luckily, I never had to duck too many starboard boats entering the 3 boat length circle on port tack. Ducking the starboard train can be a race killer! A great passing opportunity for me was to lee bow and tack below boats on the starboard tack layline knowing that a left shift would occur sometime in the last 200 yards. The left shift would allow me to tack and cross boats that were ahead of me.
We had the same wind direction and course setup for the first 2 days of the regatta. Generally, I thought the left side of the course was favored, so I always went left if I was ever in doubt. With that said, I still started every race somewhere in the middle of the starting line. I thought it was important for me to stay out of trouble and keep my options open. On average, I thought there were 10 shifts per beat, so you typically did not have to bang a corner. Having decent air and sailing the shifts usually got me to the windward mark in the top group, which is really half the battle. If you can make it around the first mark in the top group, it usually gets easier from there. Hopefully, anyway!
E Hood: What would be your best advice to anyone new to the class or somebody who has been in for a while but really wants to improve their game. For example I got some great advice from a good friend of mine Bill Hybels a couple of years ago and he said just get 5-10% better each year. Ever since I heard that I am always looking at things differently. Five yards at a time or one boat length at a time. Anything special you can share with new sailors?
Jamie: Best advice? That is tough. I have learned a lot by watching other sailors sail their boat. The next time you are at a regatta, tune up with the regatta leader before the race, or watch them during the race. Ask yourself the following. How is their body positioned in the boat? How hard are they hiking? How hard are they trimming their main? How much boomvang, Cunningham, and outhaul do they have on? For instance, Andy Burdick rounded a leeward mark right behind me at the Nationals. I looked back and noticed he had more boomvang on, wasn’t hiking as hard, wasn’t trimming his main as hard, and had his traveler higher. I adjusted my settings and tried to replicate his setup. The result…unfortunately Andy passed me! But you get my point. If you are able to sail your boat exactly like the leaders in the fleet, you will improve your results.
E Hood: Okay we so appreciate your thoughts on the questions and ideas above. As National Champion the floor is yours. Anything you want to share with the MC sailors and other sailors about the regatta, our sport please do so.
Jamie: Eric, thanks again for giving me the opportunity. I’d like to give some praise to Cam McNeil, a close friend and great competitor, who chaired the MC Nationals this year. I think everyone would agree that he did an incredible job and deserves all the credit. With a 94 boat fleet, housing was made available to everyone who requested it. This is a true testament to the class and character of the White Lake Yacht Club members and families. A great deal of gratitude is owed to Cam and his team.
To my knowledge there were 9 junior skippers at this event. Encouraging youth participation should be a primary goal of the MC Class Association. You mentioned this in your speech at the Saturday dinner. We need to teach the younger sailors and expose the next generation to our great sport. It should be our focus going forward to maintain the health and growth of our great class! The 2013 MC Nationals will be held in Clear Lake, IA next June. As a class, we should promote, set a goal, and create an initiative to get as many juniors to this event as possible.
E Hood: Again, Jamie for all of us in the class at the factory and in the sport of sailing want to congratulate you on a fantastic season with great wins!!!
Thank you sharing your thoughts with all of us. You are a great sport and asset to the sport of sailing
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The Chicago Match Race Center’s Don Wilson and his crew of sister Jen Wilson, Sally Barkow, Tod Reynolds and Erik Shampain have today claimed victory in the Yacht Racing Union of the Great Lakes’ 100th edition of the Richardson Trophy on an impressive streak of victories: in 24 flights, Wilson and team lost only three matches in the three days of this event. By doing so, Wilson joins a long tradition of repeat winners of this venerable trophy, the world’s oldest match racing trophy that is not a challenge cup.
‘The top four teams were all solid, but we knew we had our work cut out for us in the semis and finals,’ says Wilson. ‘The scoreline made the finals look easy; it was anything but that. Sally and the team did a great job keeping us on the lifted tack at all times which was crucial to success upwind. We are stoked to have won this two years in a row.’
Besides their opponents in today’s concluding matches of the double Round Robin, Semi-Finals and Finals, another adversary for Wilson and the other ten teams was the weather. A strong approaching cold front brought 15-25 knot conditions, accompanied by sudden shifts and rain squalls so dense to obscure the race course set off Chicago’s Belmont Harbor. Accordingly, CMRC race managers ordered reefed mains and no spinnakers to limit any damage, especially after yesterday’s dismasting towards the end of the day.
This made passing lanes downwind more difficult while just under main and jib, but it also kept the racing close so that the upwind legs could be used to play the frequent shifts. It was here that Wilson and team did especially well, gaining back after trailing to rival Nathan Hollerbach in the Finals pre-starts. Hollerbach’s eventual loss to Wilson was a hard one, as he was hoping to not only repeat his win earned in 2002 with brother Adam, but also carry on a family tradition of bringing the trophy home to Detroit’s Bayview YC: Hollerbachs won three Richardson Trophies in the 1970′s.
But Hollerbach did win the only stage to go to three matches in the first-to-two point Semi-Finals against Lake Minnetonka YC’s Sam Rogers, who sailing his first Grade 3 match racing event as a skipper and not a crew.
Another former Richardson winner in the Final Four was Terry McLaughlin of the Royal Canadian YC, who won in 2007 but today could not get past Wilson in the Semi-Finals, falling to the Chicago team 2-0. Against Rogers, however, he went on to win third place in a straight 2-0 series.
Chicago Match Race Center website
by Chicago Match Race Center
9 October 2012
The 2012 Melges 24 Fall Championship hosted by Lake Geneva Yacht Club proved to be a huge success with plenty of competitive racing and great social events. A strong fleet of 24 boats from 6 different states traveled to Lake Geneva to compete for top honors. An ambitious 7 races were scheduled for the two day event. Lake Geneva kept her promise the first day with winds out of the Northwest 18-20 mph with the shoreline scenery in peak Fall color. PRO Mike Sherin and the competitors kept the racing on the water as there were only one set of letters (DNC) posted on the final results.
The excitement started with three short races to jumpstart the regatta. Starts were of premium importance and race 2 saw plenty of action at the boat end and the beloved LGYC Flag Ship got broad sided just before the starting gun. Local favorite Brian Porter aboard Full Throttle took the gun the first two races. The second race he won by a full two minutes! Lake Geneva Yacht Club Commodore John Simms aboard Chaos 24/7 took third. Porter would have gotten a third bullet in race three had not his good friend and rival from Coast Mesa, California, Brian Ayres aboard Monsoon squeezed ahead of him at the finish by a little more than a boat length. The always colorful Mike Dow from Grand Traverse Yacht Club aboard Flying Toaster finished third.
Race 4 and 5 were of the longer variety and the race committee adjusted the course for an East shift. Another local, Mike Keefe aboard Oxygen and 2011 National Champion Bora Gulari aboard borrowed boat Hoodlum battled it out for the top spot. Bora got the win at the end finishing with Lake Geneva Yacht Club’s Mike Keefe well ahead of the fleet.
For Race 5 the wind shifted even a little bit more right and after two consecutive general recalls PRO Mike Sherin had to give the fleet a little “religion” and the black flag was displayed. The fleet got the message and the longest race of the day started without a penalty. Bora Gulari won followed by Brian Porter.
The wind was a bit lighter the second day but still in the 10-12 mph range. Overcast skies still prevailed and though the competitors hoped for a rise in temperature, the bite of Autumn chill was still in the air. Aboard Tom Freytag’s Wicked Feet a crew sported a sombrero though there was no concern of sun. Race 6 saw Pat Sagan aboard The Djiin taking the top spot. Pat also had a good regatta finishing 7th overall. In second place was Porter’s Full Throttle with J. Ledsworth aboard Blufton Bay Sails taking third.
The final race of the regatta saw a left wind shift at the finish that came too late for a Charlie.” Brian Porter again took the final gun followed by Lake Geneva local Mike Keefe aboard Oxygen. Also aboard Oxygen was Kevin Jewitt and fiancé Carolina Davila with bags packed for their move to Charleston, South Carolina. Good Luck! Midwest Melges 24 Fleet Captain Augi Hernandez pulled out the third. As the last boat finished the first glimpse of sunshine all weekend burst through the clouds.
Brian Porter and Full Throttle masterfully won the regatta 1-1-2-3-2-2-1 followed by Bora Guluari, Mike Dow and Mike Keefe. Congratulations to all!
TOP TEN RESULTS (FINAL)
1.Brian Porter, Full Throttle 1-1-2-3-2-2-1=12
2.Bora Gulari, West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes 2-9-6-1-1-6-4=29
3.Mike Dow, Flying Toaster 3-13-3-5-6-8-8=46
4.Mike Keefe, Oxygen 4-10-9-2-17-7-2=51
5.Dan Wright, Maggie 9-6-7-7-8-5-9=51
6.Sailor Vowels, I’m with Stupid 5-7-10-6-5-10-10=53
7.GS Gray/Sagan, The Djinn 8-5-8-10-12-1-11=55
8.Bruce Ayres, Monsoon 10-14-1-14-3-9-7=58
9.Tom Freytag, Wicked Feet 6-22-4-8-4-14-6=64
10.August Hernandez, High Voltage 7-18-5-9-9-16-3=67
Being the Mystery Guest
By Peter Isler
“It’s the best regatta! Just stay out of the middle on the runs,” counseled my friend Dave Ullman. “You’ll have a great time, the E-Scow is one of the most refined one design classes in the world – it’s on par with the Star,” said Dennis Conner. “You’ll do great, just don’t let them over-serve you,” added Gary Jobson. Those were some of the tidbits of advice I got from former Mystery Guests at the fabled E Scow Blue Chip regatta. This past weekend (Sept. 21-23) in Pewaukee, WI… it was my turn!
Everybody should get the chance to be a “Mystery Guest” at some point in their life. Here’s the gist of it: sail with a crew of four in one of the fastest and most developed one design classes in the world in big breeze against the best sailors in that class on a lake with a deep rooted sailing tradition that has made it the “heartland of American sailing” for many years. On the surface the Mystery Guest’s role might seem pretty obvious – but as the late Roy Disney used to say, “The devil is in the details.”
Over the past 47 years of the Blue Chip, a wide variety of “celebrity sailors” have been invited to take part in this epic three day regatta – which closes down the sailing season for the class with a bang. The obvious duties of the Mystery Guest are to take the helm of an E boat with a local ace crew for the regatta – racing against 20 or so teams from around the E Scow universe that have qualified during the season to attend the event. But there’s so much more.
You have to put up with some of the best hospitality imaginable … being treated better than a king for four days. You quickly realize that the regatta is not just about the sailing… the shoreside feasting and festivities are more than equal in importance. And the Mystery Guest is asked to keep up with the “pedal to the metal” pace of the participants both on and off the water!
Mystery guest lore runs deep – but looking back at the score sheet – success on the water is rare – only a few have mastered the E Scow’s secrets and broken the code to the wind shifts on little Pewaukee Lake. In 47 years only seven Mystery Guests have made it into the top three. Two San Diego sailors, Dennis Conner (1977) and Andrew Campbell (2011) pulled off the impossible by winning the ultimate “away game”. But nobody at Pewaukee YC seems to put too much of import of the MG’s regatta score… it’s all about showing the Mystery Guest a real good time, and looking forward to the big Saturday night banquet when the Mystery Guest gets to entertain the crowd with some tasty sea stories over dessert.
I had never sailed an E Scow – but I had seen them before, and I had spent three days out on Pewaukee Lake – teaching a US Sailing Advanced Racing Clinic to the E-Scow and M20 fleet. I was a hot college sailor and I’d never seen a scow sailing before – but I soon was hooked. The boats are super powered up – and sail on their edges, heeled over to reduce wetted surface, increase waterline and orient the lee board vertically – in 12 knots they are flying and in 20 knots they are off the chart sailing fun – especially downwind. I didn’t have a pocket gps, but we had great breeze all weekend and I’d bet the boats go upwind at about 9 knots – tacking through 75 degrees… and downwind, with the masthead A-sail the boats easily break 20 knots. A local sailor told me they pulled 2 wake boarders behind the boat earlier in the summer – I believe it.
The first real cold front of the season came through on schedule – on the first day of fall and we had some smoking great breeze that proved a bit much for some of the class “experts” on Saturday. I counted about 7 capsizes including two directly in front of us that caused my heart to race just a bit to avoid them. Talking to the victims later – the blame was not placed on the 45 degree – 25 knot puffs – but the “activities” of the previous evening – or should I say early morning? Luckily the Mystery Guest was able to keep the mast pointed at the sky – though we did have a couple of heart wrenching moments. I seemed to get the hang of upwind boatspeed pretty quickly – but picking the right side of the course sailing downwind (and concurrently keeping the mast pointed at the sky) were a challenge and when the six race scores were tallied – we finished in 13th place.
2012 Class National Champion, Andy Burdick and team completed a season “hat trick” – averaging better than 2nd place and winning his second Blue Chip by 18 points. Andy and gang also won the big A Scow Nationals in 2012 – an impressive clean sweep of the big scow Classes for the well-liked President of Melges Performance Sailboats.
The impressive thing for me was to see how successful the 28 foot, E Scow has been in transitioning through the generations. It’s roots come from the big 38 foot A Scow – created in 1901, that was, for many years, the world’s fastest monohull. The E Scow is easily on its third generation of sailors and still attracting the best young sailors in the Inland Lakes region… for good reason; this boat is well balanced, well rigged and very high performance. And on the smooth water of Pewaukee Lake – you wouldn’t want to race any other boat.
Except maybe the giant big brother A scow! After the awards’ ceremony on Sunday, PYC Commodore Dave Decker made good on his late Saturday night promise and we launched his A boat and I got to take the helm for spin around the lake. Tick another item off my bucket list! I still had a few more hours before my plane departed, so in the Blue Chip spirit of keeping the pedal to the metal, I rode over to the brand new Harken headquarters where I got a tour from my good friend and Pewaukee legend, Olaf Harken.
Olaf and his brother Peter represent, to me the epitome of American business success. The new facility is huge and state of the art … who knew that robots built the blocks that we all use on our boats! A cool touch that hammers home the one design performance heritage of the Harken company is a fully rigged Finn dinghy (with USA sail numbers) on display in the foyer. Olaf said it was the last boat manufactured by their sister company Vanguard – part of the fleet that went to the 1996 Olympics – it’s never touched the water!
So I got to add my name to the long and illustrious list of Blue Chip Mystery Guests. It was so much fun – I’m thinking of trying to sail a few E regattas next summer! Hopefully I upheld the tradition and the high bar set by my peers. But somehow I don’t think anyone will be able to surpass the performance of Russell Coutts, mystery guest in 1995 (the year Black Magic took the Cup to NZL). Over the course of four days I heard more stories about Russell than any other Mystery Guest. But none of them were about the sailing… no one ever even hinted on how he finished – the Mystery Guest’s legacy is clearly tied to their performance on shore as well as on the water!
Photos by Tammy Sawyer