2018 Geneva Spring Regatta
By Peter Strothman
After a brief delay for the wind to settle in on Saturday, race one began as a course W2 with a NW breeze about 4-8mph. The port end of the line was close to the south shore, putting certain piers into play quickly after the start for many boats. The left side was favored, so the boats who tacked several times along the left shore generally benefited the most. At the top mark, a mix of boats from both sides convened and stuck together the rest of the race as the conditions lightened. The first downwind was largely a significant port shift for those who could get to it, and the second upwind was all about bow-down mode and maximizing speed to jump for shift to shift. The final downwind leg saw real drama at the finish – I66 was several boat lengths in the lead to cross the line, followed by I-9 and I-1 within a half boat length of each other. At this point, boats were purely drifting to cross the finish, and those who needed to jibe were at a real disadvantage. Places 2-11 were separated by a matter of 10-15 boat lengths, making the finish exciting for all. Rounding out the top five for race one were V-137 and V-37, respectively, who coincidentally finished their place in the regatta that same way.
Race two on Saturday started after another break for the breeze to fill in. Many boats went to shore but some remained on the water for the break. Eventually a second race began with a significant left side advantage to begin with. Boats stuck on the right really felt the pain. The conditions remained light but a sailable 4-8mph for the remainder of the race. An exciting battle between I-2, I-66, I-1, I-49, V-66, V-37 and V-137 finally culminated with I-2 as the winner, erasing some of the burn from the final three boat lengths of the first race finish for I-2.
Competitors were greeted Sunday morning to very cold and rainy conditions. Wind from the NE about 10-15mph with gusts higher made the 45 degree temps seem worse, compounded by the low water temperature of the lake. Due to storms in the area of the first few hours of the racing day, competitors stayed postponed on shore until the first and only race was conducted about 11:50am. Given the last race couldn’t start after 1pm, the race committee elected to run a longer course than the prior day and to stretch the legs to 1.2-1.5 miles, sailing a course of W2.5. The race started with a port favored line but somehow I-59 used a catapult to jump into the lead from the center of the starting area. They remained in contention the entire race, complemented by several consistent boats from prior races. The left side of the course worked best the first upwind and downwind, and then the second upwind shifted strong right especially as the beat progressed, impacting those further back more than the leaders. The last downwind saw a mix of shifts from both sides, and the final upwind was another balance of breeze from both sides of the course. I-1 managed to hold on to the race win, followed by I-2, V-137, V-736 and V-37. During the race, I-66 fought back from a rough beginning to a respectable sixth place in the race, but couldn’t catch up to fourth in order to protect the regatta lead from I-1.
After three races in diverse conditions, the boat to have all top five finishes in each race was the regatta winner. Congratulations to Harry Melges IV and his team aboard I-1 as the 2018 Lake Geneva E Spring Regatta champions!
Results can be found at:
2018 Geneva Spring Results