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March 16-18, 2018
By Ted Weihe
Our northern E-Scow competitors avoided 30-degree weather and came to Sarasota for excellent racing, camaraderie, sun and warm temperatures. And, oh yes, teaching their southern E-Scow skippers how much they need to learn to be more competitive. It must be added that they were racing in new Es – but we know the skipper and crew make the difference.
The Friday and Saturday racing were delayed until the sea breeze kicked in. We got four excellent races in on Friday with westerly winds of up to 14 knots. The wind was pretty consistent: good starts and boat speed paid off. On Saturday, the wind was much lighter under 10 knots from the west with 30-degree shifts – going up the center or left paid off. Sunday racing was cancelled when the usually reliable sea breeze never showed up.
In six races, Sean Bradley with his crew of Jaret Lynn and Ryan Bradley dominated with five bullets out of six races and a third throw out for a perfect score of six. They come from the Metedeconk River Yacht Club near Ocean City, New Jersey. His boat is named Smoke for Indian smoke signals that appear on his spinnaker. Sean said that his wife said he must buy a new boat and our fleet is the beneficiary with his old boat.
Mark Grinder, a snowbird from Buffalo, NY, finished second in Sweet Thing with a first, three seconds and a third. Mark comes to Sarasota for all the major E-Scow events and with a crew of Bill Meisenheimer, Michelle Lee and Anne Spindel. We kid him on leaving all that wonderful snow behind.
Mark Schneider with Lucinda Schneider, Clint Newman and Benjamin Kelly finished third in Checkmate. They finished in a tie with Bob Cole in Encore with 22 points each but won on the tie breaker. The Checkmate’s crew comes from LEHYC club in upstate New York. Mark said his wife buys them new sails each year so they go fast. Bob and his wife, Marie, are recent transplants from New York and raced with Pete Weir and David Cameron.
The rest of the fleet finished in this order:
5th Jeff Nicholas from Clear Lake, Iowa and Sarasota
6th Christopher Creighton from Chautauque Lake, N.Y.
7th Richard Elsishans from Sarasota
8th John Gallick from Sarasota and Illinois
9th Ted Weihe from Sarasota
10th Monte Echols from Southern Yacht Club, Louisiana.
11th Bob Blomquist from Sarasota
12th Jim Barr from Sarasota and Wisconsin
13th Bill Kimbell from Sarasota and Rhode Island
A total of 104 boats participated in the Sarasota Midwinters from 17 states and Canada. If my count is right, the E-Scow fleet had crews from at least eight states, if you include summer homes. The regatta was well run with excellent courses and led by Richard Elsishans and Donna Hillmyer.