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2019 Region V Championship
Ensign Region V Championship Regatta – June 14 -16, 2019
Cleveland Race Week, Edgewater Yacht Club, Cleveland, Ohio
Hosted by Fleet 29
This year’s Region V Championship, hosted by Fleet #29, was held in conjunction with Cleveland Race Week – an annual event at Edgewater Yacht Club that drew over 80 one-design boats racing in 10 classes over one weekend and another 80+ boats sailing the following weekend in PHRF and JAM classes.
The weather seemed to be the major factor on the minds of the competitors in this year’s Region V Championship Regatta held on Lake Erie. Forecasts during the week leading up to the first races, scheduled for Friday afternoon June 14th, were not at all encouraging. Some of the content in the forecasts was actually quite scary and intimidating. This excerpt from the NOAA forecast on Friday morning will give you an idea of what we were fearing:
“Lake Erie Lake Erie nearshore waters from Avon Point to Willowick OH - 340 AM EDT Fri Jun 14 2019 ...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH THIS AFTERNOON... .TODAY...West winds 15 to 25 knots becoming southwest. Sunny. Waves 5 to 8 feet subsiding to 3 to 6 feet. Waves occasionally around 10 feet.”
The only part of the forecast that was encouraging was the word “Sunny” and Friday was the last we would see of the sun for the entire weekend. The PRO for our course on Friday was quite familiar with the Ensign Class as he had been the PRO for the 2012 Nationals in Marquette and recalled the calamities during the final day of racing there. This was reassuring.
Surprisingly, Friday dawned with far less wind than predicted – around 10 knots – yet the lake was quite rough from waves that had built up overnight during stronger NW winds.
Friday the Ensign Class shared a race course with the T-10 and J-70 fleets, sailing on a windward-leeward, twice around course with a one-mile distance to the weather mark. We were able to start three races Friday afternoon and to finish two of those races. The two visiting boats – Questar #1226 (Jonathan and Anna Gorbold) from Canandaigua, NY (Fleet #23) and Babe #513 (Fran Trapp) from Lake Murray, SC (Fleet #83) showed the locals how to sail on Lake Erie. Questar won both races and Babe took two seconds. Jim Collins skippering Jager #747 – a boat that has been on Lake Erie and in the Collins family for years and which should be familiar to many long time Ensign sailors – took two thirds. A third race was started but with a shifting wind (the predicted shift to the SW finally arrived) on leg 4, the RC abandoned the race.
We all went in and enjoyed some comradery at the Edgewater Yacht Club pavilion overlooking the lake. Many thanks to Maggie Conkey for organizing the food, beverages, and everything else that goes into making for an enjoyable post-racing event. Our Ensign get together was supplemented by the beer and other drinks provided by various sponsors of Cleveland Race Week.
Saturday welcomed us with much stronger wind than Friday and several boats left the dock with the #2 Genoa on deck while others changed from a #1 to a #2 prior to the start of the first race. The lake was smoother with the SW wind, but gusts made sailing exciting – at least during the first two races. The skies were already grey and rain would arrive earlier than forecast drenching all of us on the race course as the day wore on.
The Ensign Class was on a race course (designated “Charlie”) with the Jet 14 and Interlake classes giving us windward-leeward twice around courses of approximately 0.7 miles. Finishes changed up on Saturday with Jager (#747) winning the first race, Questar (#1226) the second race, and Sleuth (#1219 – Bob Conkey) the third race. After the second race, the wind had subsided somewhat and #2 Genoas were few and far between. A fourth race, with five legs, was started but the wind did not cooperate and soon was fading as well as swinging to the west and north. That race was ultimately abandoned as only one boat crossed the finish line and the balance of the fleet was scored as TLE.
We all headed back in, under power and in the rain, to take part in Cleveland Race Week festivities – and to try to dry out and get warm again.
Sunday, the final day, dawned with a deep fog shrouding Cleveland and Lake Erie. The RC opted to postpone and sent out the following message around 8:15 AM – well before our first signal scheduled for 10:25:
“In consideration of the fog (>0.25 nm visibility) and the light wind, the RC will be hoisting AP over 1 - a one our delay - for all race circles today. No warning signal will be made before the scheduled time for each circle +1 hour. (1055 for Alpha, Bravo and Delta; 1125 for Charlie)”
Wisely, the RC abandoned all racing for Sunday about an hour later. The fog had not lifted, the wind had not increased, and rain was starting to fall more heavily. Bob Conkey and his crew helped the visiting boats to haul out and get on their trailers before the awards ceremony that was held at 11:15 Sunday morning.
The final standings are as follows:
We thank the visiting boats and skippers for joining us for the Region V Championship as well as the local competitors, Edgewater Yacht Club and the Cleveland Race Week organizers for an exciting and challenging weekend of sailing.
Fleet Captain, Fleet #29 Edgewater Yacht Club, Cleveland, Ohio