Emerald Cup Regatta

Eugene, Oregon

by Mark Forrest

 

Eugene sailors awoke to picture perfect conditions for this year’s Emerald Cup Regatta, June 28th and 29th.  Saturday was 85 degrees with clear skies and featured a classic 10-15 knot breeze out of the North.  Racing was very close and competitive over the twice around windward-leeward course, with the exception of one boat.  Gordon Mattatall, with crew Don Southwood and Mike Merryfield, led the first three races wire to wire on H20 Boa.  They followed the proven formula; get out in front and extend your lead.  “I don’t have any good stories to tell.  We just had boat speed,” said Mattatall. 

Sunday the wind shifted 180 degrees, and the Southerly can have a temper.  The first race started off around 11:30 in about 15 kts.  H20 Boa started toward the leeward end of the line, and were caught in bad air shortly after the start.  They footed off for clear air but suffered on the left side and ultimately rounded the windward mark in seventh place.  Despite all the speed they demonstrated over the weekend, they were only able to pass two boats in the next four legs.  

Crews still sore from Saturday were brow beat on Sunday by high wind and rough water.  With a strong breeze moving in from the South, there was enough fetch to build up a healthy chop on the course.  Going upwind, shifty gusts touched down threatening to auto-tack unsuspecting skippers.  Cool Cat got caught by a gust and auto tacked.  Middle crew Phil Collins said, “I was sitting with my hand on the winch and my back in the water, so the mast must have been in the water also.  Then we went into irons for the longest time.”  Ron Fish and crew got caught twice in the last race.  Jolly Mon was leading the last race and trying to pinch up to fetch the windward mark when the jib back-winded, pinning foredeck Leeanne Bale-Fish between the spinnaker pole and shrouds.  “She looked just like a cat caught in a screen door,” chuckled H20 Boa’s crew as they sailed on by.  “Instead of being first around the mark, we were way behind,” said Leeanne.  Near the finish of the same race, Jolly Mon had second place locked up, with Bob and Hot Rod safely in their wake.  Two boat lengths from the line, they were caught by big gust and auto-tacked again.  It was all they could do to avoid fouling the other two boats, so they were forced to watch them sail past with a tear in their eye.

 

During race four, Cool Cat had a spectacular broach.  A PHRF sailor remarked, “Cool Cat’s Rudder was waving at us like Keiko the killer whale!”  The knockdown liberated several cases worth of recently emptied beer bottles below decks.  From then on, each time they tacked, it sounded like a thousand golf balls had been dumped in the hull as the bottles rolled around.  On last downwind leg, Cool Cat kept the chute safely stowed.  “We said screw it, and opened another beer,” said Collins.  Rounding the leeward mark, it was blowing 20-25 knots (the NOAA station nearby recorded up to 28 mph), and the beat to the finish was an exercise in survival.  Keeping the boat on its feet and moving fast was key to making the uphill climb to the finish. 

Pat Bryant double handed Scooby Doo with his wife Tanna.   This was Tanna’s first regatta.  “I was lovin’ it,”  Pat said.  “It was all pure adrenaline for me.  My wife was just petrified.  She couldn’t even talk.  Actually, she says she really enjoyed it.  Now she’s ready to go and she knows what to expect.”  The couple also shared their first broach on the new boat.  “There was one time we set the spinnaker, and I ran forward to adjust the pole and we just rounded up hard.  I fell into the companion way and almost went in.  It was so close, we just barely pulled that one off.” 

Triton Yacht Club hosts the annual Emerald Cup.  The perpetual trophy is awarded to an owner/skipper based on performance and Corinthian spirit.  Each fleet nominates a candidate for the prize and presents them to the regatta chair.  Criteria considered include overall score, competitiveness of the fleet, and Corinthian Spirit, both on and off the water.

This years Emerald Cup winner was Gordon Mattatall, skipper of H20 Boa.  He took first place in the Santana 20 fleet with four bullets in five races.  He was commended for his generosity in sharing his time and advice with fellow sailors.  The fleet also gave a special mention to Pat and Tanna Bryant on Scooby Doo, for double handing in very challenging conditions.

 

     

 Race Results

Boat

Sail #

Race 1

Race 2

Race 3

Race 4

Race 5

Total

H20 Boa

649

1

1

1

5

1

9

 

Gordon Mattathal, Don Southwood, Mike Merryfield

 

 

Bob

115

5

2

2

4

3

16

 

Evert Slijper, Shannon Clune, Judy Musto

 

 

 

Hot Rod

99

2

8

4

3

2

19

 

Mark Fortier, Rodney Reece, Josh Reece

 

 

 

Pizzazz

331

3

3

3

2

8

19

 

Chris Murschel, Denise Murschel, Jim Martinez

 

 

Jolly Mon

314

8

4

5

1

4

22

 

Ron Fish, Dave Schmunk, Leeanne Bale-Fish

 

 

Cool Cat

777

4

6

6

6

6

28

 

Hector Rosado, Phil Collins, David Paufler

 

 

 

Tattoo

615

6

5

8

8

5

32

 

Bill Crutchfield, Stephanie Ferdenansen, Spencer Morganfelder

 

Radost

279

7

7

7

7

7

35

 

Mark Forrest, Scott Forrest, Summer Bauman

 

 

Scooby Doo

603

9

9

9

9

DNF

46

 

Pat Bryant, Tanna Bryant