The Eugene Yacht Club Live on the Edge Regatta
2018 Regatta Report
Fortunately we cannot order the weather: we would have never chosen the forecast we were dealt and yet we ended up having an excellent regatta with stories to tell! The conditions on Saturday were quite testing, caused by storm cells from the front that was passing over Western Oregon, rolling over the lake. It made the wind very strong at times and very gusty. It whipped up a considerable chop, making sailing even more challenging. Dinner discussions ensued over the wind speed in gusts. Whatever that was, the gusts combined with the chop, proved too much for quite a few boats.
The race course was the America’s Cup course, from the start a reach to a turning mark in between leeward and windward gates, down to the leeward gate and then, depending on the Race Committee’s call, one, two or three laps with a reach from the leeward mark to the finish. This course makes for exciting starts and first leg to the turning mark. In the conditions we had on Saturday, that turning mark bear away was a challenge.
To finish first, you first have to finish! For the first race we had 23 boats on the starting line, but only 15 made it to the finish. Quite a few capsized and some had to retire with damage to the boat. The second race of the day brought fewer boats to the start line, which turned out to be a wise decision for those who headed for shore after the first race. The wind really picked up and so did the waves and the race became a test to keep the mast pointing up. That is exactly what Stan and Roeland on their A-Cats focused on. They managed to make their way around the course, but with limited control and a number of near capsizes. On one downwind leg Roeland clocked a top speed of 19.1 knots. That surely was ‘Living on the Edge’. The other fleets each had their ‘toughies’ who powered through and even enjoyed the conditions.
Not everyone who started race 2 made it to the finish; only 9 did, leading to further attrition of the racing fleet. The Race Committee made the wise decision to call off any further racing for the day. The Rescue boats were in high demand, assisting capsized boats getting back up again and reuniting crew with their boat. Once separated from the boat, there is no way to catch it anymore. We were glad they were there; they were needed. One rescue boat crew confessed that he actually kind of enjoyed the mayhem, having a first row seat to the wild rides going by.
Back on shore we were able to share our experiences and assess the damage: broken bridle wire, a lost crossbeam bolt, broken tiller, and more. Some had spare parts and others took a desperate trip to Jerry’s Home Improvement Center, only a few miles away. Amazingly it had all the parts needed to put the boats back together!
During dinner there were lively discussions about the experiences of the day. The stories perhaps got taller as the evening progressed, but in the end everyone agreed it was an eventful day.
On Sunday the conditions were much milder and we started around 11:00 AM. Wind was still variable in strength and shifty, but not the storm cells from the day before; excellent sailing conditions. The Race Committee managed to get us off on 4 races before 2:30 PM, making 6 races for the Regatta!
The boats sailing on handicap were split in a High Portsmouth and Low Portsmouth fleet. The High Portsmouth was a tight battle between J Rosenbach/Jaeden Bott (first) and Dan Nicholson (second) who were very consistent, with Tim Webb/Landen close behind in third place. In the Low Portsmouth fleet, Kelly Havig was almost untouchable. Whether under the testing conditions on Saturday or the ideal sailing conditions on Sunday, her lowest score was a second place, ‘stolen’ by Ken Lefton on his Nacra 5.2. Ryan Sagan was very consistent finishing behind Kelly, earning him second place.
In the Hobie 14 fleet the top three boats were very even (when sailing), all taking firsts and seconds. It were the DNF/DNS that determined the outcome in the end. Mike Hensel sailed all six races and won the fleet. Valerie Pioszak and Dave Wilder shared second place.
In the A-Cat fleet a few breaks resulted in DNFs and DNSs for Randy Nikolai and Ken Marshack on Saturday, which sealed their fate for the Regatta. At times Ken Marshack found some good conditions on Sunday to get his boat on the foils and then really took off, far and wide, but still fast enough to take a win in race 5. Roeland forgot to do the third lap in race 4, and got a DSQ. Otherwise he was always in the front, three firsts and two seconds, which earned him first place. Stan Breed kept it all together on Saturday with a first and a second, fell back on Sunday, but still good for second place.
Our ‘Live on the Edge’ Team Trophy was created to bring sailors together. The concept is simple; we randomly pick 4 boats from different fleets (if possible) to form a team and their individual final ranking within their fleet is then put into a formula to account for the fleet size and calculated toward team points.
One of our regular regatta participants from earlier years and Team Trophy winner in 2015 and 2016, Jerry Valeske, embodied this concept of bringing sailors together and to promote catamaran sailing to a wider and younger public. Jerry passed away in the summer of 2016, while sailing. To honor his commitment to inclusion and bringing new enthusiasts into our world of catamaran sailing, we have dedicated our Team Trophy to Jerry and renamed it the “Jerry Valeske Team Trophy”. The first winners of the “Jerry Valeske Team Trophy” was Team Red: Jon & Leslie Nilan, Todd Morrill, Dan Nicholson, Mike Hensel.
The overall winner of the ‘Live on the Edge’ Pennant was Kelly Havig, who dominated the Low Portsmouth fleet. Single handing her Hobie 17 with main and jib, she was unfazed by the weather on Saturday, having a blast. With a near perfect score, she claimed the overall prize. This is the second time Kelly won the Pennant, she also won in it 2015, with equal dominance. Last year Pennant winner Ken Marshack had the privilege and duty to hand over the Pennant to Kelly.
Thank you to all sailors who were not deterred by the weather forecast. You were rewarded with challenging conditions and a story to tell. Sailing and camping, you have been all good sports. As far as I could tell, despite capsizes, breakages and wet camping gear, everyone left with good memories and thankfully no injuries.
We hope to see you again next year: June 8 & 9, 2019, 2nd weekend in June, two weeks after Memorial Day weekend.
Our thanks to all our volunteers, without whom this would not have been possible:
Race Committee:Richard Johnson, Karen Nousen, Andy Nousen, Gordon Mattatall
Finish boat:Kenn Meneely, Joanne Jones, Jamie Skeen
Rescue boat 1: Rex Ballenger, Alan Stults
Rescue boat 2: Matt Sprick, Glen Hughes, Ron Fish
Rescue boat 3: John Franklin, Gale Morgan
Friday supper: Joanne Jones
Saturday breakfast: Shelley Johnson, Nick Tabet
Saturday dinner: Marie and Richard Johnson, Stephanie
Sunday breakfast: Matt Fleischman, Shelley Johnson, Nich Tabett
Organizing committee: Larry Cox, Joanne Jones, Dan Nicholson, Roeland Kapsenberg
The amazing facilities: EYC
EYC offers excellent facilities for boat handling, camping and recreation and an experienced Race Committee to get the best from what the weather will offer us. We combine competitive racing with good ambience on and off the water. Experienced sailors share their knowledge with the novices, creating a welcoming atmosphere among all participants. Sailors who participated in prior events, have been returning and brought their friends. Some raced for the first time in our Regatta and vowed to be back and bring new friends.
We offer prizes for various classes. Depending on number of entries, we will have one design fleets and Portsmouth handicap based fleets. In addition we have the coveted “Live on the Edge” pennant for the overall winner and the Team Trophy: all regatta entries are randomly grouped in teams of four and awarded points based on the individual team member’s ranking in his/her fleet. You can open the Pennant Rules and Team Trophy Rules from this page.
Browse our website for photos and results from prior year events and put this weekend on your calendar!