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17th Oct


Crow’s Nest 10/18/22 – Fall Regatta Summary

Our short window of sailboat racing and general enjoyment of all things warm weather related, has come and gone. The Clear Lake “off-season” has just begun, however, some sailors are still taking advantage of the promise of great sailing conditions around the country!  While many regattas are held after Labor Day, none have the pomp and circumstance, notoriety and competition like the events attended by our Clear Lake die-hards. It’s been written in Crows Nest editions on and off for years, but it’s worth noting the level of competition our CLYC sailors are engaging in.  Several America’s Cup winners and participants, multiple Olympians (from various countries), Olympic campaigners, World Champs, National Champs and Regional studs were in attendance at every regatta in the following recaps.

E Scow Nationals:

The 2022 E Scow National Championship started out with a “funkiness” reminiscent of our Club racing during the summer. A long wait for the breeze to settle on a direction and velocity, challenged the patience of the sailors and race committee alike on Day 1.  Day 2 was more of what you would hope for; medium breezes and three fantastic races. Day 3… Ugh, skunked…

Starting out in fantastic fashion was the Z-23 team of Emily Haugerud, husband Dave, father Stu Oltrogge and great friend Deb Tesar… After nearly 7 hours on the water as storms passed by, attempted starts thwarted by general recalls and postponements, the wind settled in on a direction and velocity, allowing Race 1 to get going!  Rain soaked, hungry and tired, Team Loon bolted out with a great start, eventually finishing 4th in that first race!  Emily and team had just one finish outside the top half of the competitive fleet, made many mark roundings in the top 10-15 and twice beat the eventual regatta winner!  The greatest honor was Emily bringing home the hardware for the Top Woman Skipper at the regatta!

Brad Price and his modified Z-9 team, consisting of Wil Huerth in the middle, Wil Price on the bow and Kelly Purviance had some great highlights of their own!  A 21st in Race 4 propelled them up the leaderboard; they too had many exciting moments in high positions during the regatta, including rounding in the top 10-15 on multiple occasions.

The Clear Lake E scow fleet is vastly improving folks.  Before we know it, we could have a couple National contenders on our lake!

Hobie 16 and 17 North Americans (recap by Chris Wessels):

The 3 members of the CLYC Hobie Fleet 10 traveled to the Hobie 17 North American Championships Aug 16-20th at Perry Yacht Club, Perry KS. The conditions were mercilessly light and shifty, with only 2 races the entire week that could be trapped out. Xander Wessels had an outstanding regatta, finishing in 5th overall and winning the final race of the regatta.  Chris Wessels didn’t fare nearly as well coming in 12th and Steve Brewer ended up 14th.

Xander Wessels and Chris Wessels sailed in the Hobie 16 North American Championships on awesome Lake Michigan at Michigan City Indiana Sept 11-16.   Conditions were challenging, big surf and swells some days and flat and shifty others…..Chris Wessels finished the series in 21st of 44 boats, and Xander Wessels ended up in 29th place.

MC Nationals: 

The Lavallette Yacht Club on Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, played host to 84 boats for the MC National Championship Regatta. New challenges for Clear Lake sailors Mark Tesar, Dan Allen and Nathan Kotz; sea breeze, tide/current, salt water and no local knowledge… At least not any recent local knowledge. Registration day was cold, windy and rainy, not at all conducive to good practice. The planned on water clinic by North Sails was canceled in favor of a warmer chalk talk on the deck, though that wasn’t very warm either!

Big wind and waves due to Hurricane Fiona’s offshore presence greeted the sailors on Day 1; in fact during the competitors briefing, a gust was recorded at 44mph, that’s Gale Force by the way! The decision to stay ashore for the day was quickly made; Shortly after, the beer truck was opened, games of bags commenced, even a few poker games; fun was still had by all despite the windy and cold conditions.

Day 2 started with a breeze just above class limits and cold temperatures, prompting several shoreside postponements. Just after noon, the fleet got started…Three fantastic, windy and wavy races were sailed!  Dan Allen had a great finish in race 2 posting a 7th after briefly leading the race; Mark Tesar had a good race 3, posting a 16th.

Day 3 dawned with lighter winds than forecast; the fleet started earlier to get more races in before the predicted heavy winds came in. Race 4, the first race of the day, was another good one for Dan Allen as he scored a 13th.

At the end of the regatta, with two top 15 race finishes and no finishes outside the top half, Dan Allen led the way for the Clear Lake boats, ending in 21st overall in the 84 boat fleet.  Dan, Mark and Nathan all had a great time, now have plenty more stories to tell back home and learned valuable lessons to build upon.

Black Tie Regatta:

“The Champagne of Regattas” is back! A new fall time slot has renewed interest in the long held tradition at Rush Creek Yacht Club in Rockwall, TX.  Mark and Todd Tesar made their way down to Texas for the event.  A favorite venue among sailors, Rush Creek is also the host of the 2023 MC Nationals in June.

Day one was sunny, warm and windless… Postponements ashore finally led to the call to wait until Saturday morning which had much more favorable forecasted conditions.

More favorable for sure! A 10-15 knot breeze filled in for Day Two where four races were sailed.  Mark Tesar started out with a 6th and 10th in the incredibly deep fleet.  Todd Tesar started with a 9th before being hit with a U Flag in Race 2.  Unfortunately for everyone, the breeze faded throughout the day; the 3rd and 4th races were sailed in a light shifty breeze.

No races were able to be completed on Sunday as the wind just wouldn’t come in. Mark Tesar finished the regatta in 13th place and Todd finished 17th.

Hobie Wave North Americans: 

Chris and Jake Wessels made the trip down to Shreveport Yacht Club on beautiful Cross Lake.  For those of you who don’t know; this is also the home of MC Scow Fleet 1.  While Northwestern Louisiana is beautiful this time of year, Mother Nature made the experience “challenging” for all 29 boats competing!

The entire event was plagued by light air; not many sailors like the very light shifty breezes which these sailors endured, especially not Hobie sailors! Only six races were completed; Chris had two top ten finishes in the difficult conditions! Good sailing Chris!

Thank you to all the members and potential members of the Clear Lake Yacht Club for a fantastic 2022.  Whether it’s your sailing prowess, generous volunteerism, leadership or accident/incident prone behavior, you’ve made my “Job” of writing the newsletter very easy! I’m flattered by the comments I receive regarding the Crows Nest, I once again thank all of you for those comments.  It’s truly a fun outlet for me!  I look forward to invading your Inbox again in 2023; until then friends…

Stay in the Clear Air,

Dan Allen
MC 2811- Relentless
E Scow – Z-11 Wild Side

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