Memorial Day Regatta
May 29 & 30, 2012
Hosted by Eugene Yacht Club
For those on the fence thinking about whether to make the journey to Eugene for the Nationals this July, take a look at the photos on the Eugene YC Facebook page. For the Memorial Day regatta this year, we had better than normal conditions for this early in the season. We didnít get rained on and had wind for nearly all races but one. Rich Johnson, PRO, plays the patience game knowing that the longer he waits, the better conditions will be as the breeze and thermal tend to settle in nicely later in the day. This year we only had one race where the breeze shut down on one leg for about 10 minutes. Otherwise, we enjoyed nice 10-15 on Saturday with the last race topping out at about 17-18 knots. There were plenty of shifts and the challenge was to connect the dots and sail on a lift towards the next pressure band.
This year we had 17 entries with two from out of town. Team Alexa from Mission Bay and Fusion from Stockton. Alexa got off to a quick start in the first two races Saturday. They won the pin which was heavily favored due to a 20 degree shift south just prior to each of the starts and was able to tack quickly and cross the fleet. With clear air they were able to "hunt" the pressure and were clear to tack as needed. The third race Saturday should have been the same but they out thought themselves and hoisted the kite with a few twists. This allowed the every sneaky Gordon to slip by on the last run. Sunday morning there was only a 1 point difference between Alexa and H2O. Alexa jumped out and won race 4 but the spread was still tight at H2O was only 3 points behind. The RC wanted to get a total of 6 races in on Sunday so with a throw out, it was still a 1 point game. Prior to the start of race 5, H2O jousted a bit with Alexa. Unfortunately it didnít work out well and H2O earned what would be their throw out. Alexa won and didnít sail the last and final race and raced to the dock. H2O put the hammer down in race 6 and led by a large margin the entire race.
Had the RC wanted to keep us out a little bit longer on Saturday afternoon/early evening, there would not have been a problem getting 7 races in. It wasnít for lack of wind. But, with two ice cold kegs and dinner awaiting the sailors, they decided to call it a day Saturday and sent us in. I didnít hear any complaints as it was a perfect afternoon, sunny and warm and a nice way to kick off the season in Eugene. The Nationals also have 7 races scheduled over 3 days instead of two and if conditions remain, it should be great.
Please see for yourself by visiting the Eugene YC Facebook page where you will find results and about 150 photos.
Report by Eric Kownacki