Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Challenging Sailing In Colors Regatta

J/111s sailing off starting lineJ/111 KASHMIR, J/109 KIII, J/105 THE ASYLUM Win Class
(Chicago, IL)- For the past several years, the Columbia Yacht Club hosts their "Colors Regatta" as the "warm-up" for the summer offshore racing season in Chicago.  The event has continued to grow in popularity simply because it has become the "fourth" regatta on the summer sailing calendar locally, an important one to grind out the old rust from the winter, tune up the boat and the crew and basically get the wheels greased before they simply spin off the shopping trolley before you can collect ANY silverware! Rest assured, the CYC Support Crew at this event bend over backwards to make sure all sailors are having a fun time, hard not to. With a wonderful dinner and entertainment Saturday night on the afterdeck of their ship (literally!) moored on Chicago's fabulous waterfront and a trophy presentation on the docks after Sunday's sailing, it's hard not to enjoy the sights and sounds of sailors enjoying the best that Chicago has to offer.

Continuing their strong sailing over the past season in the J/111 class, the trio of Brummel/ Henderson/ Mayer on KASHMIR have continued to lead the class, but only barely.  After the first day of racing, Paul Stahlberg's crew on MENTAL were leading the fleet with a 1-1-1-2 for 5 pts.  The KASHMIR crew had managed a 3-2-2-1, showing improvement every race.  Sunday dawned with an even shiftier, crazier wind pattern from the WNW.  In the end, the KASHMIR boys led by their ever-present Spinnaker Goddess, Karen Gottwald, managed to strike a 1-2 in the last two races to "seal the deal", winning the regatta by 2 pts.  Paul's crew on MENTAL had a bit of a "brain fade" on Sunday, managing a 4-5 to swing their delta from a 3 pt lead to a 2 pt loss.  Steve Dabrowski's NIGHTHAWK sailed a consistent series to grab third.  Fourth was George Miz's IMPULSE.  And, J/111 newcomer Rich Witzel on ROWDY managed to be a "spoiler" on Sunday, racking up a 2-1 to throw a curve-ball into the class standings.

Amongst the J/109s, Irv Kerbel's team on KIII put a dent into the usual pecking order to win by 3 pts over the rest of the madding crowd.  KIII's 1-3-2-2-2 tally for 10 pts was remarkably consistent despite the crazy, shifty, puffy conditions the fleet experienced off the Chicago waterfront just off the famous McCormick Place (a.k.a.- the place where NATO members and Osama-bama recently had a chat with some protestors nearby).  Don Meyer's CERTAINLY managed two bullets, but not enough to overcome Irv's crew, amassing just a 5-1-1-3-3 for 13 pts.  Kevin Saedi's team on MOMENTUS were always in the hunt with a 3-4-3-1-4 for 15 pts.

As the J/105 fleet continues to evolve in Chicago, new faces in the crowd pop-out of the woodwork and put their stamp on the local fleet.  So it seemed it was the case in this regatta and time will tell if this holds true for the balance of the Chicago NOOD Regatta, Chicago-Mackinac Race and the Verve Cup during the season.  Nevertheless, Jon Weglarz's team on THE ASYLUM certainly showed it was NOT the "inmates running the asylum", it was the inmates ruling the roost!  Their 1-1-1 was, to say the least, pretty good?  Not bad?  OK?  A schooling? A spanking? Just plain luck?  Whatever one's opinion, they sailed "well".  Congratulations to the ASYLUM gang.  Another up and comer was Clark Pellet's crew on SEALARK sailing a perfect "3"- all 3rd to grab 2nd overall.  Past champs Tom & Gyt Petkus on VYTIS sailed a 4-2-5 to snare 3rd.  Mike Newman's VALHALLA was 4th and JohnnY Moore's HERE'S JOHNNY was 5th.   For more Colors Regatta sailing information