Tag Archives: Pymatuning

36th Sam Myers Memorial Regatta

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.

2013 US Nationals

This year’s US National Regatta was a success in many ways.   Ten teams from various locations  reflected a true national representation.   Greg Desilets came from Portland, OR, Clay Poulson made the trip from Phoenix, AZ, Graeme Sandwith along with Mike Sykes traveled from Chicago IL, and Pat Crump and Jane came from Tampa, FL.  Mike McEvoy and the team of Jochen Mihosh and Rune Lausten came from Ottawa, Canada.   Four local teams from Pittsburgh and Cleveland  rounded out the fleet.  Ron McHenry, a legend from years past, came out of Fireball retirement.  He teamed up with Greg Desilets and proved he could still skipper a Fireball as competitively as the best.

Friday evening, Cal Cotton and the Pymatuning Sailing Club hosted a welcome party with hot dogs and corn on the cob along with grilled sweet potatoes.  Registration was during this time.  Later on we played an ice breaker game to get to know everyone.  Two selected teams  participated in a round of Family Feud.  The survey asked for the top 5 songs dealing with sailing or boats.   The first family, named the Fire family, went against the second family, the Ball family.  For future information,  Christopher Cross’s Sailing was not one of the top five answers.  In the end, the Fire family managed to steal the answers and win embroidered Fireball thermal lunch totes donated by Thirty One Purse and Tote Products.

Saturday broke grey and overcast, but the race committee managed to get two races in before the wind died.  The first race found  Duncan Schaefer starting where he left off at the Mid-winters.   He won the first race followed by Jochen Mikosch, with Pat Crump finishing third.   The second race proved to be just as competitive.    Jochen took the lead position, followed by Pat Crump, while Ron McHenry rounded out the top three places.  Duncan Schaefer had to settle for a fourth place finish, but found himself tied with Pat Cump for second place overall at the end of the first day.  With the winds dying, the race committee called it a day and everybody headed in to shore.

While we waited for the charcoal to get heated up for dinner,  another selected  group participated in a homemade board game titled Regatta.   The object was to race to the weather mark and win an organizing tote  donated by Thirty One products.  In the end Cal Cotton got to the weather mark first and stated it was his first regatta win ever.  The baked potatoes were done and everyone began grilling their own steak.  Dinner included green beans and corn, toss salad, roll and butter, and cake for dessert.    After dinner more names were selected to participate in a Let’s Make A Deal type game.  Annapolis Performance Sailing donated $110.00 in gift certificates and Thirty One donated an embroidered Fireball travel tote for the prize deals.   But the unique prize went to Pat Crump when he chose  the larger of two bags and ended up with a set of Red -Neck Wine Glasses.  For those not familiar with them,  they are a red plastic Solo cup glued onto a glass candlestick holder.  How elegant will Pat look tapping the keg at the next regatta?

The annual meeting was called to order and several items were discussed.    Lainey White was elected to replace Dave White as the US Secretary.    Clay Poulson was elected to replace Peter Wirth as President of USIFA.  Another topic discussed was the idea that the 2015 North American Championships which would be hosted by Canada could be moved to Tampa,  to be a part of the golden anniversary celebration of Davis Island Yacht Club hosting our Mid-winters.  More on this will follow at a later date.  The meeting was adjourned and everybody retired for a night of well deserved rest.

Sunday dawned with no rain but still over-casted.  The wind had shifted to the north and one more new boat was added to the fleet.   Saturday, Dave White spent all day rigging his new boat getting it ready to sail.  It seems fitting that he named it “At Last”.   The first of three races found Pat and Jane taking the top spot, followed by Jochen and Rune, with Duncan and his brother Geof finishing third.  The next race was the same with the exception of Graham Schaefer and Phil Pepera replacing the older Schaefer in the third spot.   The final race found Pat in the top spot, Jochen taking second and Ron McHenry rounding out the top three positions.  With one throw out allowed, the final tally put Pat and Jane winning the National Title followed by Jochen and Rune in second place and Duncan and Geof taking third place.

Lunch was Sloppy Joes and salad before the trophy presentation and everyone packed up for home.    On behalf of the US Fireball Association,  I would like to thank everyone who made the trip to participate in this year’s National Championship Regatta.   Between Pymatuning Sailing Club’s hospitality, our sponsors generosity, and a true national representation, this year’s National Championship can be called a complete success.

Pat Crump, Jane – 3,2,1,1,1
Jochen Mikosch Rune Lausten – 2,1,2,2,2
Duncan Schaefer, Geoffrey Schaefer – 1,4,3,5,5
Ron McHenry, Greg Desilets – 5,3,4,4,3
Graham Schaefer, Phil Pepera – 4,6,5,3,4
Mike McEvoy, Brian Fort – 6,5,6,6,6
Clay Poulson, T.J. Belsterling – 8, DNF,8,8,7
Cal Cotton, Sarah Belsterling – 7, DNF,9,9,8
Dave White, Lainey White – DNS, DNS,7,7, DNF
Mike Sykes, Graeme Sandwith – 9, DNF, DNS, DNS, DNS