2008 SCYA Midwinter Regatta

SCYA Midwinter Regatta

Santana 20's Hosted by Mission Bay YC

February 21 & 22, 2009

Team “Alexa” Wins at SCYA Midwinters/S20 Western Regionals!!!


Eric Kownacki, Bob Martin, and the crew of “Alexa” sailed a superb 2nd day of the SCYA Midwinter Regatta (and S20 Class Association Western Regional Championships) with three bullets to win the regatta. The conditions out on the beautiful blue pacific were perfect for racing: partly cloudy skies, winds 280-295 at 8-13 knots, temps in the 60’s, and a decent swell to make you feel like you were really sailing in the ocean – but with a long enough frequency that you could sail without slamming through the waves. What made the regatta was the great turnout of our friends from out-of-town: teams from Eugene and Tulsa journeyed in from the gray and cold of winter, and our friends from LA made the trek south to race with their San Diego compadres. A great time was had by all, and gave us a taste of what the National Championship will be like this summer. A total of six races were held, three each day, some with upwind and some with downwind finishes, and one throw-out was allowed.


Race One: This was especially sweet for Derek Martin, who led all 5-legs from start to finish, because he had not been able to race since last September. His plan? Have fun, be happy with a second row start at the CB, go right early to avoid the kelp in the middle of the course and the stronger current, seek clear air and just enjoy the racing. Amazing how well we sail when we’re not all tied up with how well we need to do! Bob Martin and Britt Williams did their best to reel him in, and finished 2nd and 3rd. Another noteworthy story is Pete Hunter, who finished 4th after having to back down for kelp and also do a precautionary 720!


Race Two:  This was all Pete Hunter, who had a fantastic start at the pin end and just l-a-u-n-c-h-e-d. After that, it was just a question of following the numbers and covering the fleet. Bob Martin (Eric’s stunt double for Day One), was again sailing a consistently excellent race, took second, and Derek won the drag race with Jeff Keenan (with a little help from a well-placed Lightning) for third.


Race Three: This one had fireworks at the start. Derek was over early (see what greed does to you?) The RC also called #921 over early. Problem was that there were two boats with “921” on their main: Bob Martin on “Alexa” and Shawn Prestidge on “Duster”. Shawn had apparently picked the main up for the previous owner of 921 and hadn’t altered the numbers yet. Shawn was most definitely over, but Bob chose the prudent course of action and went back too. To come all the way back and take a 3rd is a real testament to how well these guys were sailing all weekend long. Almost a shame they had to use it as their throw-out. BTW, Shawn, and his team of juniors definitely earned high praise for their sportsmanship and maturity. As soon as the boats were docked, Shawn approached the RC and Protest Committee to say that it was their boat that was over early. Well done Shawn. You’ve earned a lot of respect from the rest of us on how you handled yourself this past weekend.


Race Four: Eric Kownacki was now at the helm of “Alexa” and quickly reminded us of why he is the reigning National Champion. He picked off Derek at the first leeward mark rounding and never looked back. Smooth, methodical, patient – his trademark for racing. Pete and Britt rounded out 2nd and 3rd, respectively, in what was the race with the lightest air for the weekend.


Race Five:  The finishes for this race were the same as in race four, with Eric, Pete and Britt showing how they would also finish over all for the regatta. Again Eric had a nice lead, but the drama in this race was Pete and Britt duking it out for 2nd place. Approaching the port gybe layline  for the downwind finish line, Pete just managed to get close enough to Britt to keep him from gybing for the finish. Pete was able to carry him out past the layline, and then gybe for the finish line in front of Britt and with a comfortable cover.


Race Six: The wind freshened up again which also helped us all get back to the dock that much quicker. Eric once again took  the gun, with Britt close behind. What was fun was the first leeward mark rounding that had Pete on the inside, and Derek, Jeff Keenan, Ron Fish (who had returned from the dead after battling a nasty cold on Day One), and Doug Smith clustered to the outside. Pete called out “OK folks, here comes the pinwheel – let’s all play nicely with one another!”. This gave us all a chuckle, and we all made it around without incident. So guess who benefited the most from the gaggle? Well, tail-end Charlie of course! Jeff Keenan, the farthest back, made a sweet move to the inside after the rounding and got us all, finishing the regatta strong with a well-earned 3rd.


It was a fantastic regatta overall. A lot of the out-of-towners got in early and set their boats up in time to spend a day or two sailing in the ocean and it obviously paid dividends, both for this regatta and for the upcoming Nationals. Plus, it gave them a chance to knock the rust off after the long winter layoff, and get that ol’ adrenaline surge going again. The RC committee also did a great job setting the courses that were no kidding square and no-kidding Windward-Leeward.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights the bar was humming with Tuna Sailors, and Mary Brooks and Linda Polich provided a fantastic chili verde’ dinner with all the trimmin’s on Saturday night on the back deck under a beautiful San Diego night sky. You just couldn’t ask for a better weekend of sailing, and of yeah, it was held in the middle of frickin’ winter! Life is good!


The WD Schock Memorial Regatta is next weekend with 8 boats registered so far. This is a huge improvement over last year and big THANK YOU goes out to all who are registered. Let’s keep that great momentum going! Spring will soon be here!



Place Skipper Sail # Home Town R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 T
1st Eric Kownacki 921 San Diego, CA 2 2 (3) 1 1 1 7
2nd Pete Hunter 914 San Diego, CA (4) 1 1 2 2 4 10
3rd Britton Williams 920 Tulsa, OK 3 (9) 2 3 3 2 13
4th Derek Martin 926 Fallbrook, CA 1 3 (7) 4 5 5 18
5th Jeff Keenan 341 Newport Beach, CA 7 4 10 (11) 4 3 28
6th David Oborn 285 Huntington Beach, CA (9) 5 6 5 7 8 31
7th Ron and Leanne Fish 779 Eugene, OR (8) 7 5 8 6 7 33
8th Robert Noe 458 San Diego, CA (10) 6 4 6 10 10 36
9th Doug Smith/Rick Gilstrap 551 Eugene, OR 6 (11) 9 7 9 6 37
10th Dave Wright 783 San Diego, CA 5 10 (11) 9 11 9 44
11th Jerald Skeen 906 Eugene, OR (11) 8 8 10 8 11 45
12th Mary Brooks 661 Imperial Beach, CA (DNC) 12 12 13 DNC DNC 67
13th Shaun Prestige 92 San Clemente, CA 12 (DNC) 13 DNC DNC DNC 70
14th Kevin Bagg 677 San Diego, CA (DNC) DNC DNC 12 DNC DNC 72