The Eugene Yacht Club Live on the Edge Regatta

June 10 & 11, 2017

 2017 Regatta Report

Another successful regatta. I measure success by the response we get from our sailors. They enjoy our event for the sailing, the facilities EYC has for hosting this event, the food we serve, the camaraderie among them. It makes everyone come back year after year. No better compliment than that! Well done EYC, thank you sailors!

In the days leading up to our weekend the weather forecast was rather discouraging: cold and rain in the form of thunderstorms, with a slight chance of improving for Sunday. Kudos to the sailors who were not deterred by this and started showing up on Thursday, pitched their tents (or parked their motor homes) and rigged their boats. The rain certainly materialized and on Saturday morning it was cold (it is mid-June after all) and the sky dark.

Our Race Committee, headed by Richard Johnson, told the sailors about the risks of thunderstorms that he would monitor closely and order us off the water in case they would be developing over the lake. Luckily those did not materialize, but during the racing we had several squalls roll over us, causing rain, shifting winds and strongly fluctuating in strength. It made for interesting sailing. Those who had time, other than paying attention to the racing (from sailors to rescue boats and race committee), were treated with fabulous cloud formations in all shades from grey to black, broken up with bursts of sunshine. With the colorful sails contrasting the dark sky, it was a painter’s canvas. Sunday again the weather exceeded our expectations set by the forecast, giving us light winds, light cloud cover, no rain.

New for this year was our race course: Richard, after some persistent nudging from Roeland, accepted the challenge to set up an America’s Cup style course. It is a windward- leeward course with gates on both ends, with a starboard reach start and port reach finish.

All the sailors were quite excited about the prospect. Richard’s initial reservations were related to the possible large number of marks that had to be set (and reset with wind changes) and possible protests that may ensue due to the unfamiliarity with the course. Both concerns turned out to be unfounded, for one because we never had significant wind shifts and, two, our sailors are pretty laid back, giving others room when required. No protests were filed. An unintended benefit was the closeness of start and finish lines which meant less wait time until the next race.

After six races, the feedback from sailors and Race Committee was very positive. The sailors enjoyed the excitement of a mad dash for the turning mark. Richard reported that as the regatta progressed, the starts became more aggressive, as sailors became more familiar with the format.

Saturday’s racing started around 1:00 PM, later than Richard wanted, but it took time to get 20 boats out on the water from one ramp. We will need some improvement in launch logistics, utilizing more ramps and the beach. On the other hand, I think our sailors weren’t quite as convinced that racing would start as quick as the Race Committee was. If you know Richard though, if he calls for racing, it is time: wind is coming!

Launching was also slowed down by the wind direction (South), making the attenuator a formidable lee obstacle. Greg Cole had trouble getting his high-tech foiling A-Cat sail ready (this boat is not a beach cat!) and capsized onto the attenuator. Thankfully the limited damage was non-structural, but it kept Greg from sailing on Saturday.

The regatta was split in three fleets:
A-Cats – 5 (unfortunately a sixth entry had canceled earlier in the week due to an injury)
Hobie 16, double handed – 7
Handicap Fleet – 8. This group had two singled handed Hobie 16s, two Hobie 17s, three EYC Prindle 16s and Matt Fleishmann’s F-24 trimaran. Matt is the big boat among the beach cats, stealing all the wind from whoever is close. Everyone gave him a pass on that, after all he and his crew prepared our Sunday breakfast…….

We got three races in by 3:00 PM or so and sailors, Rescue crew and Race Committee all were chilled to the point that RC called it a day. Good call too, as shortly after we arrived back on shore the wind all but died.

Sunday started close to schedule, with the wind now from the north, again fluctuating in strength, but not in direction. RC gave each fleet three short races in rapid succession, worried about the wind holding up. We were on shore in time to have the awards ceremony by 3:00 PM, giving our “out of town” sailors time to make it back home still at a decent hour.

The A-Class fleet was dominated by Ken Marshack, with 6 wins. This result also awarded him the Overall “Live on the Edge” Pennant, our perpetual trophy. Ken will back next year to defend it. Roeland posted very consistent 2nds (5 in all), Randy was a consistent 3rd (5 in all), while Sandy had to yield two races to Greg on Sunday.

The Hobie 16 fleet was won by John Ped, our very last minute entry (at 11:01 AM actually). He was fortunate that we all were watching the live America’s Cup racing on TV, which slightly delayed our Skippers Meeting. Racing in this fleet was very competitive and close, trading first places among several boats.

The Portsmouth Fleet was won by EYC’s Dan Nicholson, on his Prindle 16, with EYC’s Larry Cox coming in second, also on a Prindle 16. Brand new EYC member and enthusiast Prindle 16 owner Elliott Dahl enjoyed himself on what was his first sail on his boat and on a beach cat in general. He was proud to have finished his first race and then steadily improved with each race. He got lots of ideas to tinker with and tips. Watch out for him on Thursday night racing.

The Team Winners were Dan Nicholson, Greg Cole and Josh Markovich, sailing under the Red/White Team flag.

A big thank you to all who volunteered to make this regatta happen:
Start Boat: Richard Johnson, Nan Weed, Mike Merrifield, John Ward
Finish Boat: Dean Mitchell, Joanne Jones, Kelly Reis, Jamie Skeen
Rescue: Dave Brown, Matt Sprick, Scott Landgreen, Glen Hughes, Gale Morgan, Rex Ballenger, Ron Fish, Phill Root
Friday’s welcome “Picnic at the gate”: Joanne Jones, Larry Cox
Saturday breakfast: Shelley Johnson
Saturday hors d’ouvres: Marie Johnson (fabulous!), pizzas: Marie and Richard Johnson
Sunday breakfast: Matt Fleischmann, Nick Tabet, Bret Diamond
Website: Charlie Magee
Regatta organization: Larry Cox, Dan Nicholson, Roeland Kapsenberg

See you Next Year!

You might be interested in taking a look at this new weather website for our current wind, and use it for other events you’re planning.

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.