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US Nationals at CGOD

US Nationals at the CGOD 2014, August 1-3. Aka; The Gorge.

12 courageous Fireball teams made the journey from afar to gather at the sailing mecca of Cascade Locks, Oregon for the 2014 US Nationals. In attendance were two boats from Oregon, four from Victoria, three from Calgary, one each from Arizona and Colorado, and a team from Montreal. All who came were rewarded with sunny days in the 90‘s and three days of fine wind. The trip and effort were regretted by none.

Friday opened with an unexpectedly light wind day. Well, at least light for the Gorge. The day was fine with sunshine and light clouds with winds in the mid-teens and gusts around twenty. After four races, the first day leaders were Frank Crawford and Sean Holmes-Smith in boat #14156. Showing all that the old North American (Ed Note Australian) boats still have plenty of fight. The front group was tight with Joe Jospe/Tom Egli and Debbie Kirkby/Gregg Ferguson tied at one point back followed by Jamie Cox/Simon Pearson just one more back.

Day two brought on real Gorge conditions. Medium wind on the way out led to racing conditions in the mid-twenties with gusts strong enough to knock everyone down. Every team had the opportunity to wash their boats as no one was upright all day (Ed Note Jospe and Egli dispute this!). Several boats broke and ran into shore for repairs and a few teams decided it was best to retire for the later races. The heavy winds gave Joe and Tom a chance to prove their experience and use their size and strength to pull off three bullets and take a commanding lead.

On the final day, again the wind wasn’t quite up to truly Gorge-like conditions. Instead of brutality we had beautiful sun, fairly flat water, and great sailing with winds again in the high teens low twenties. The lighter conditions kept all the boats much closer together and gave some of the lighter teams a chance to box with the front group. The ‘evil doctor’ Rob Thompson/Francis Westlake had two strong bullets in his new boat. the other wins went to Debbie and Gregg and Joe and Tom.

Other teams competing were Mianne Erne/Clay Poulson, Mark Cummings/Evelyn Chisholm, Peter Wirth/Mike Leitch, Paithen Larkens/Alana, Greg Desilets/ Pete Adam, Liz Brennan/Michael Moleski, and Leigh Anderson with Vanessa Edwards.

Everyone who attended this event was thrilled to be at this great event. The Western North American fleet meets here every year for a reason. Wonderful weather, fabulously consistent winds, and great company. Every Fireballer on the planet should at least once in their lifetime, sail the Gorge!!!

Clay Poulson

USIFA President

Fireball (12 boats) (top)
Series Standing – 12 races scored

Sail   Boat   Skipper Yacht Club  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12  Total Pos
USA14968      Joe Jospe   Pointe Claire Yacht Club   [5]   1   [4]   1   2   1   1   1   3   3   1   3   17  
1  
14680   TANGERRO   JAMES COX   ROYAL VICTORIA YACHT CLUB   1   [7]   2   2   1   3   3   [4]   2   1   4   2   21  
2  
14156   Go Deja   Frank Crawford   Glenmore Sailing Club   3   3   1   3   3   2   2   3   [4]   2   [13/RET]   4   26  
3  
CAN14766      Debbie Kirkby   Glenmore Sailing Club   2   2   3   4   5   4   5   2   6   [13/OCS]   2   [13/OCS]   35  
4  
15098   Robert Thompson   Robert Thompson   Royal Victoria Yacht Club   4   4   5   8   4   [13/DNF]   7   5   1   [13/OCS]   5   1   44  
5  
15034   Queso Suiza   Mianne Erne   Hallvil Yacht Club   7   6   7   5   [9]   6   [9]   6   5   4   3   7   56  
6  
14425   Dannces With Waves   Peter Wirth   Aspen Yacht Club   [9]   5   6   6   7   7   4   [9]   9   8   7   5   64T  
7  
11800   eeyore   MARK CUMMINGS   cbsa   6   8   8   [9]   6   5   6   7   7   5   [13/OCS]   6   64T  
8  
14758   Incorrigible   Leigh Andersen   CBSA   8   [10]   10   7   8   8   8   10   [12]   7   8   10   84  
9  
14428   Jane   Paithen Larkins   VLSC   [13/DNF]   9   9   [11]   10   9   10   8   11   6   6   8   86  
10  
15051   Trois Voiles an Vent   Greg Desilets   VLSC   10   11   11   10   11   [13/DNF]   [13/DNS]   13/DNS   8   10   9   9   102  
11  
CAN14481   Concorde   Liz Brennan   Glenmore Sailing Club   11   12   12   12   12   [13/DNF]   [13/DNS]   13/DNS   10   9   10   11   112  
12  

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