2013 Wawasee Open Regatta - Day One
Although 29 boats were ready to race – the wind wasn’t. A light thermal breeze kept everyone’s hopes up that the predicted south wind would get started by mid afternoon. At 2:30 the PRO told everyone to launch and be ready for a 3:30 warning signal. After the 3:35 start the fleet split with several going for the pressure on the left while others were thinking the right would fill first with a favorable south shift. Dick Tillman (WA-22) came from the right as the last favorable shift of the leg came from the right side and he was followed by Tom Munroe (WH-77), Steve Johanson (TO-33), Pete Price (CR-11), and Bob Herdrich (WA-47). The boats split at the top mark after most of the first group jibed at the offset to carry the same shift downwind which brought them into the lead at the top mark. It seemed like Tillman and Munroe must have laid the bottom mark as it took him only 4 minutes to complete the downwind leg, still one and two at the bottom mark. Johanson slipped a couple of boats as Price and Herdich moved up a notch. The wind remained unsettled for most of the race and on the next upwind the course was like Swiss cheese – holes everywhere, and large shifts to spice things up. It made many teams think they were brilliant, but only momentarily as a group that was sitting in a hole, now had what they had – and they sat and watched them go by. The top group of 9 boats each thought they might be first around the next upwind mark if the wind they had would only hold – Mother Nature just laughed at these teams with their hallucinating and wishful thinking, as she poked each of their bubbles and left them sitting in a hole deflated. Well almost everyone - Pete Price rounded first and Steve Johanson regained his confidence getting back the boats he lost on the last leg and passing Herdich as well to be second around. Phil Zalog (H-88) was in 15th place at the bottom mark and resisted tacking on all the shifts, went for the right side and was blessed with a shaft of wind that moved him into 5th at the next up wind mark. Munroe was trying to play the shifts and got a little too far left and fell 7 places by the second upwind mark. Zalog slammed a quick jibe at the upwind offset and rode over the leaders as they were a little late to get in the wind streak that took Phil Zalog into the lead at the finish. The boats from behind rode a new puff down to close the gap and put a scare into Johanson, Brett Hatton (SL-4), Tillman, but they were able to finish just before a pack of 10 boats, which all finished in a very short time. Rob Terry (CR-66) had been slowly catching up after a 360 penalty turn at the first make and the pirates finished 5th, followed by Munroe and Schoor, while Price dropped 7 boats to finish 8th. The last downwind lasted 6 minutes for the leader and the entire 4 leg race was over in 31 minutes.