2002 S20 Eastern Regional Championships

Sponsored by WD Schock .

Report by Andrew Kerr

 

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This years S 20 Eastern regional Championships and S 20 seminar -- both sponsored by Tom Schock and the WD Schock corporation, were held in perfect Florida sailing conditions at the Sarasota sailing squadron as part of the Squadron's Midwinter championship regatta and attracted S20's from all over the eastern part of the country.

From the eastern seaboard came Craig Ekman and his team of Andrew brasmer and Doug Savage from Virginia / Maryland on "Opfor." Craig is a big promoter of the class and is looking into getting some one design class racing going on the East coast. Two teams came from Maryland - Tom Clint and his team on "Amanda" and Michael Murphy and his team sailing the original Hull # 1 ! Tom had just bought "Amanda," he has another S 20 already and Michael came down to Sarasota with hull # 1 to meet other class members, look at new layouts and to do some great sailing on the boat.

Britt Williams brought his boat and his team of Ron and Marlene Carnahan on #920 from Tulsa, Oklahoma. This team are road warriors and sailed together at the last National Championships in Klamath Falls. They will always hitch up their trailer to go and sail in good one design class sailing and will lead the Oklahoma contingent to the National Championships to be held in Marina Del Rey in August. Ron and Marlene emphasize practicing and preparing -- a skippers dream!

Britt and and his team are very active in getting the 20 class energized in Oklahoma and his club is hosting the S 20 south west regional championships over the weekend of May 18th and 19th. This should be a great regatta with lots of good sailing and I encourage as many S 20 class members as possible to attend. Class president Adam Kline will also be in attendance.

 

Britt 

Alan Shedd brought his team of Wes Mcann and Stu Kelley on # 568 from Atlanta's Lake Lanier. Alan and his team, along with Edith Collins are very active in the Atlanta fleet. Alan very kindly lent his video camera and made a video of last years seminar. One of the big regatta's on Lake Lanier is the barefoot open, it would be great to get a big class racing in this and many other events on the lake.

Doug Messer came all the way from the Detroit River in Michigan with "Joint venture" -- hull # 5 - the boat that would be skippered by Tom Schock with Andrew Kerr in the middle for the championship. Doug is the local dealer for WD Schock in Michigan and is also very active in promoting the Santana 20 . He has noted that there are a number of them around Lake Eerie.

Two Florida boats were also present from the Tampa area - Gregg Binshedler and his team of Matt Dalton and Martha Bindshedler on "Naboo" and a brand new red boat -- # 922 skippered by Dan Borrer with his team of Nate Vilartibo and Bill Borrer who is the local dealer for WD Schock . This team are very good sailors in a variety of one design classes, Dan sails on the top Mumm30 fromAnnapolis - "Turbo Duck."

All these teams showed a great commitment to the class to come to this regatta -- it truly was amazing to have hull # 1 and Hull # 922 racing along side each other after 26 years of boat production!

Tom and Jane Schock and the WD Schock corporation helped sponsor the regatta and they also sponsored a two day seminar that was put on by Andrew Kerr.Sarasota was the original site of the WD Schock production factory in the 1970s before it was moved to California in 1979. A lot of the early S20's were made in Sarasota and the Midwinter's was held their regularly in the late 70's.

On the Thursday morning teams gathered at the the club and prepared their boats, that morning Andrew gave a talk on preparation, boatspeed and tactics which was filmed by Alan Shedd. In the early afternoon Andrew went out on each boat individually for about an hour each as teams tuned and practiced in front of the club. This was a great time for teams to gear up and get back in the racing mode. Afterward there was a debrief as teams socialized at the club. One of the themes of the weekend was participation and folks travelling to different events and supporting other S20 fleets. We talked about how great it would be for teams to come to the class Nationals Championships in Marina Del Rey, August 5th to the 9th (see the website for details) to meet other 20 sailors. Teams could either bring there own boat, charter, crew or just observe the sailing and the boats and to socialize and share ideas with 20 sailors from all over the country.

Friday was like Thursday - sunny and breezy. The water was classic Gulf coast of Florida - warm with shades of blue and green. Sailor's escaping from winter were glad to be wearing shorts, sunscreen and sunglasses! This day called for two practice races on the water. The wind was up 15 to 18 knots with higher gusts and the gulf was whitecapping -- this was a glorious day for sailing!

Andrew gave a talk on Heavy weather sailing and techniques in the morning and visited with various teams as they prepared their boats for some exhilarating sailing! With the fleet all sporting Jibs the 20 fleet jostled hard at the starting line, International canoes would spectacularly capsize around the starting area as teams tacked back and forth while waiting for the warning signal! Andrew followed the fleet in a chase boat graciously lent to us for the day with the owner , 3 time class champ Jane Schock and Ace Roberts from Alabama on board. Ace, a former NASA engineer, had bought an S 20 recently and was down to watch the action and look at other boats set ups and meet other class members.

The racing was very tight - Britt Williams team was the only one to fly a spinnaker and they flew down the run! The mark roundings were close and hotly contested. Andrew was able to get some good video footage which we reviewed when we reached the dock and which was followed by a question and answer session on the day's sailing. Craig Ekman's team score won overall for the two practice races -- tactician Andrew Brasmer - owner of the Northern sailing school in Havre De Grace, MD (who use S20's as coaching boats), put "Opfor " in good places on the race course and Craig was doing a good job driving.

That evening the entire class went to a local steak house for dinner and it was a great time for everyone to meet and to socialize. The spirit amongst the group was terrific and the whole group was very much looking forward to the Eastern regional championships to start the next day.

Saturday's weather was again warm with blue sky and puffy white cumulus clouds -- but with much less wind in the morning. The first race proved to be a much lighter air affair with the wind doing some big shifts as the easterly fought the South westerly.

Dan Borrer sailing # 922 sailed a great race in trying conditions. Of great importance was clear air from the other fleets and clean rounding. Dan and his team did this the best, they showed great patience when the wind died and shifted! Tom Schock and team finished 2nd in this race followed by Britt Williams team who made a huge comeback and managed to nip by Alan Shedds team at the finish.

For race # 2 the wind really kicked in nicely. The start was hotly contested with a couple of boats over early. Tom Schocks team on "Joint Venture" fouled Britt Williams team and did a 720 penalty. The fleet was bunched tightly at the first mark with only a few boatlenghts separating the whole fleet. Tom's team was the first to jibe on to port and catch the big right shift that had come down the course and this team took the lead. On board "Joint Venture" the spinnaker pole end had snapped off so the team free flied the spinnaker with no pole for this and the remaining race. With the twings all the way off and the boat heeled to windward to get the spinnaker away from the mainsail the boat sailed very well with no pole. This team went on to win the race followed by Alan Shedd and Craig Ekman's team as the constantly changed places.

For race #3 the breeze came in at 16 to 18 knots and shifted back to the left 20 degrees. The fleet was split with Genoas and Jibs - the inboard tracks making this option very competitive. However, with a decent chop the Genoa was the right sail to have and it put the emphasis on teams having to keep the boat upright. Shifting the weight aft on the rail upwind helped keep the rudder in the water and prevented the bow from digging when the boats heeled over. At the start the fleet went off all bow even and sailed out to the left.

Michael Murphy was gamely doublehanding Hull # 1 with his father and having a great time sailing the boat! "Joint Venture" led at the weather mark hotly pursued by Alan Shedd's team and Dan Borrer's team. With the leeward mark being to the left downwind it still paid to jibe on to port fairly quickly and take the long jibe first to the mark. "Joint Venture" went on to win this race with Alan and Dan battling it out with Britt Williams and Craig Ekman's teams. The teams finished in that order at a very close upwind finish!

It had been an exhilarating day of racing for the fleet and at the post race get together at the club competitors shared the day's stories and did the classic "Karate sailing" (use of the hands to explain crossings/overlaps, etc. )! Over peel and eat shrimp and a beer.

The Sarasota sailing squadron is a perfect venue for the class -- plenty of parking for RV's, camping, a BBQ serving all sorts of food and a real laid back campsite type atmosphere conducive to socializing and people staying on the site. It's emphasis on small boat one design is evident. Sunday was another warm day with blue sky. The wind had shifted to the East and was coming off the city -- puffs and shifts rolled followed very often by light spots. The key elements today would be tacking on the shifts and staying in the velocity. Wind velocity ranged between 6 knots and 15 knots with a very light chop

Race # 4 was an exciting one. The fleet all flew Genoa's and arrived at the weather mark together. # 922 unfortunately snagged the mark and Britt Williams team seized there opportunity and took the lead. On the second beat

Tom Schocks team made a move up the left side of the course but on the ensuing tack on the favorable shift Doug Messer fell off the boat but managed to hang on to a spinnaker sheet on the leeward side as he was trailing astern! Doug got back on board and immediately went to the rail and hiked out as this team rejoined the chase, not a word was said on board -- how many boats are like that?

Britt Williams team sailed a great race and got the gun followed by Tom's team and and Craig Ekmans team who were going very well upwind. Race # 5 was shifty - 15 degree headers with a sudden light spot followed by a big puff and a lift!

After a very competitive start that was won by Alan Shedd's team at the committee boat end the fleet tacked it's way up the course. Tom Schocks team led all the way around and won this race with Britt Williams team sailing very well into 2nd place and 2nd overall. The Oklahoman's were liking the breeze and # 920 was cooking! Craig Ekman put in another steady performance with a 3rd closely followed by Alan Shedd and team.

 

For the 6th and final race the wind lightened a little but still continued to oscillate. The sides of the course were starting to pay as the multiple fleets had chopped up the air in the middle and the puffs were rolling in on the side. "Stay in phase and breeze" was our mantra on "Joint Venture" as we surveyed the other classes going upwind.

The start was very competitive again with all of the boats bow even at the gun. With places changing and close ducks and lee bow's through out the fleet the racing was very fun and tight.

"Joint Venture" grabbed the lead at the windward mark and jibed immediately into a puff that gave them a good lead by the leeward mark. The fleet was battling away all the way around the course. Britt Williams team eventually broke away from the pack and got them selves into a solid second place by playing some nice shifts and sailing fast. Dan Borrer, Craig Ekman and Alan Shedd were very close and finished close together in that order in this last race.

At the prizegiving ceremony everyone talked about what a great time and great sailing it was. The goal of the class is to increase participation and interest in the boat everywhere in the East and the Sarasota Midwinter's/Eastern regionals is a great venue to to help that happen. Our goal is 15 boats at next years event -- come and join us for a great regatta!

 

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S 20 Eastern Regional Championships Results . 6 Races.

1st - # 05 - "Joint Venture" - Tom Schock, Andrew Kerr, Doug Messer - 8points.

2nd - # 920 - Britt Williams, Ron Carnahan, Marlene Carnahan - 17 points.

3rd- #922 - Dan Borrer, Nate Vilardebo, Bill Borrer - 20 points.

4th - #568 - Alan Shedd, Stu Kelley, Wes Mcann - 22 points.

5th - "Opfor" - #258 - Craig Ekman, Andrew Brasmer, Doug Savage - 23 points.

6th - # 430 - "Amanda" - Tom Clint.

7th - # 557 - "Naboo" - Gregg Binshedler, Matt Dalton, Martha Binshedle - 47 points.

8th - # 1 - Mike Murphy - 53 points. (Mikes team did not sail on Sunday.)

Apologies for not having all the teams names.