A great time was had by all at the 36th Annual Sam Myers Regatta at Pymatuning Sailing Club. We ended up with one Fireball short of having our own separate start with only four boats showing up and were placed in a very competitive handicap fleet consisting of four Fireballs, two Lasers and one very good Windmill.
Saturday broke with blue skies and the wind blowing from the south in the 10-12 mph range with gusts coming in at 15 with just the hint of white caps on the lake. The race committee got us off on time using a windward leeward course with Dave and Lainey White and the Windmill crossing the line together but with the handicap the win went to the Windmill and Dave had to settle for second place. Cal Cotton crossed the line in third followed by Fred Steward and John Abby brought up the rear. The second race saw the wind increase a bit and the race committee opted for a triangle course. The Windmill kept up with Dave and Lainey for the weather leg but the resulting reaches put the Fireball way in front but the Windmill still managed to beat Fred Steward for second place with Cal Cotton coming in fourth and John Abby taking fifth. The Lasers were in the group as well but at that point in time nobody was really keeping track of them. One more race was done on Saturday which went back to the windward leeward format only this time it was twice around and the Windmill got Dave and Lainey at the finish with Fred taking another third and John Abby placing fourth. Cal had to settle for a fifth due to a capsize on the last windward leg.
As usual the club had a good meal with plenty of conversation and partying into the night, leaving everyone wanting Sunday to come so we could do it again. But as Jimmy Buffet sings, there’s a big difference between Saturday night and Sunday morning. During the night a series of storm fronts started to push through the area and the weather turned grey with heavy showers and some thunder in the early morning. The race committee postponed the racing for about an hour and a half and checked the radar and the conditions on the lake several times before lowering the postponement flag and giving us the half hour gun. The wind was blowing in the 18-20 mph range with gust hitting the mid twenty’s easily. The waves were also starting to build into the legendary Pymatuning rollers which happens when the wind comes from the south. The race committee wanted to get as many races in as possible before the next set of storm came through so all courses were windward leeward. Once again Dave and Lainey White battled the Windmill for first place with Cal Cotton and John Abby fighting for second place. Both suffered a capsize and split the first two races. Fred Steward decided to call it a weekend and packed his boat up for home before the racing started. The last race saw the winds increase a bit and both the Windmill and the Whites had a great time planning both to weather and downwind with Dave and Lainey White getting to finish line first but again the course wasn’t long enough to beat the Windmill on time.
After sorting out the final standings and times the Windmill took first place in our division and Dave and Lainey took second followed by a Laser which ended up in third place. This was one regatta were another Fireball or four more Windmills would have helped. But the competition was good and everyone enjoyed themselves and in the end that’s what it’s all about anyway. Breaking down the boat in a rain storm wasn’t exactly fun but the memory of all three sails up and planning faster than anyone else heading down to the leeward mark was. So congratulations to Pymatuning Sailing Club for hosting another great Sam Myers and to everyone who came out to support it.