Eastern Regional Championships and Seminar 2003


March 20 - 23, 2003


The 2003 Sarasota Sailing Squadron's Midwinter Regatta was the venue for the third annual Santana 20 sailing clinic sponsored by the W. D. Schock Corp. It was also the Santana 20 Class Eastern Regional Championships. The pre-regatta seminar, which was given by Andrew Kerr, attracted five teams from all over the country who, despite the international turmoil, made the trip to Western Florida for some great sailing on the warm waters

of the Gulf of Mexico. Seminar participants included Alan Shedd, Stu McCann & Wes Kelley came from Atlanta; Doug Messer, Gene Johnson and Dwight Timm from Michigan; Tom Clint, Brian O'Leary, and Tommy Whalen Ashtabula, Ohio; and Craig Ekman from Alexandria, Virginia. Kate Medicus (Annapolis) and Andrew Kerr (San Diego) crewed for Crig. Dan Borrer, Nate Vilardebo,

and Will Morris came down from Tampa.


The Sarasota Sailing squadron is a perfect venue for the S20 fleet. The atmosphere is very low key and welcoming, with camping and RV use encouraged. There is always a barbeque going, and the club and its members are extremely hospitable and welcoming to our class. This year's Santana 20 seminar kicked off on Thursday with a presentation on tactics & boat speed, with many questions on a wide variety of topics. We then went to each competitors boat and reviewed deck layouts and boat handling techniques. With the wind blowing 25 knots plus, the group

decided to postpone sailing until the next day's tuning races and continued preparing and tuning their boats. Thanks to Alan Shedd for filming the on land part of the seminar.


On day two we met up and reviewed some specific boat handling techniques and tactics before watching a S20 class video. As the breeze started to drop to a perfect 8 to 12 knots, the fleet headed out and Andrew went from boat to boat as each team practiced on Sarasota Bay. The sailing was terrific, and the teams enjoyed the warm water and temps in the low 80's! A great respite from the eastern winter! As we sailed into the dock, we experienced a beautiful Key West-type sunset that spanned the Gulf of

Mexico and Sarasota Bay, a great way to end a day on the water!

That evening the whole group went out to a local restaurant for a fleet dinner. Doug Messer was awarded a prize for the longest distance traveled, Alan Shedd and his team were awarded a prize for great S20 class spirit, and Alan and Craig Ekman was recognized for attending the event all three years.




Saturday's first day of racing brought keen anticipation from all of the teams. After an hour and a half delay due to light wind the first race started with all of the boats full speed and on the line. The breeze was 5 to 10 knots with 10-degree oscillations and a mild chop.


Dan Borrer's team, (on S20 #900, actually hull # 922) capitalized on the best start and led at the first mark with Alan Shedds's team and Craig Ekman's team in hot pursuit. Doug Messer's team was up there too and gamely sailed the day with a new team that was evolving as they sailed together.


Craig Ekman's team (on " Opfor") showed a lot of downwind speed and challenged Dan Borrer's team, the race ended with the team on " Opfor" trying everything to get by the team on #900 with "Opfor" forcing #900 into a tacking dual and making good gains. At the end of the race #900 was 1st, " Opfor" 2nd, Alan Shedds's team 3rd and Doug Messer's team (on " Fly") 4th.


Race #2 was another great start for the fleet with everyone on the line at full speed! " The breeze had increased to 10 to 15 knots with 5 to 10 degree shifts and a bigger chop. The wind was in a right phase at the weather mark and this put the premium on a set without the pole and immediate jibe on to port. Opfor" took the early lead in this and extended steadily around the course to win handily. Bill Borrer was 2nd and Alan Shedd finished third 3rd. Doug and his team showed persistence and improvement with a good start and finished 4th. As we arrived back at the dock we were treated to another great Florida sunset, and the fleet enjoyed a social evening at the club.


Sunday dawned with the forecast of thunderstorms for the day and the fleet was postponed at the dock until 10:30 a.m. The last race saw the team on #900 and the team on " Opfor" tied for first, with the Eastern Regional Championships in the balance. A light North Westerly filled in with about few knots of incoming current holding the fleet off the line. "Opfor" won the start at the pin end and took an early lead, with # 900 tacking on to port at the RC end. The two boats split tacks for a long time; and if there had been a " Virtual spectator", it would have shown a lot of leverage! Finally the two teams tacked back and converged together.


#900 took the lead on the crossing; meanwhile Alan Shedds's team had got caught between the shifts and trailed both "Opfor" and # 900 at the first mark. " Opfor" gained lots of ground on # 900 on the downwind leg and looked to almost take the lead at the leeward mark. #900 led by a boat length at this point and then the wind shifted 40 degrees to the left and made the subsequent two legs fetches with no passing lanes. #900 won the race, with

" Opfor " 2nd and Alan Shedds team 3rd. #900's win gave them the regatta and Eastern Regional Championships title over " Opfor" by 1 point.


Congratulations to the team on # 900 - Skipper Dan Borrer, Will Morris on the bow and Nate Vilardebo, they sailed a great regatta.



1st - Dan Borrer, Will Morris, Nate Vilardebo- Tampa, FL. - 4 points. 2nd - Craig Ekman, Andrew Kerr, Kate Medicus - Alexandria, VA. - 5 points. 3rd - Alan Shedd, Stu McCann, Wes Kelley - Lake Lanier, Atlanta, GA. - 9 points. 4th - Doug Messer, Gene Johnson, Dwight Timm - Detroit river, Michigan. -

13 points 5th - Tom Clint, Brian O Leary, Tommy Whalen - Ashtabula, Ohio - 18 points.

By Andrew Kerr



Craig Ekman's " Opfor" leading race # 2 of the Eastern Regionals in Sarasota.


Eastern regional Champions Dan Borrer, Will Morris, Nate Vilardebo. Andrew Kerr presenting trophy. At left is regatta charman Jim Barr.


2nd overall - Craig Ekman, Andrew Kerr, Kate Medicus.

3rd overall - Alan Shedd.

New S20 in Sarasota - Jib Fine tune led to both sides

Backstay lines on new boat

Boat Tuning

Eating Lunch