2017 Green Lake Regatta

Nearly everyone has heard the saying, “There’s always a calm before a storm”. At the Green Lake Regatta, this phenomenon showed true once again.
CRAW members began gathering at Sunset Park along the shore of Green Lake early on the morning of Saturday, June 3rd, 2017. The sailors began to rig their boats while rain came down in waves, varying from heavy, to drizzle, to mist, but a little rain never hurt anyone. Throughout the morning, there was a slight and delicate breeze. Nothing powerful enough for the catamaran racers to go out on the water. The sailors decided to wait around on shore until the wind became strong enough to race. This lull was the calm before the “storm” that catamaran racers would experience this day.
The wind picked up mid-morning, so the sailors decided to begin a day full of exciting races. Once the boats launched, the first race of the regatta began shortly after. As the five-minute sequence started, the sailors were notified this race would be two laps. While the opening of the regatta neared, the fleet of twelve became increasingly clustered along the starting line, but as soon as the horn sounded, the boats were flying through the starting gate. Throughout the duration of this race, the fleet stayed generally close with one another, and in some moments, a little too close. On the second lap, the Korte’s and Hearn’s collided. Following Daniel Hearn’s famous words, “We either got ‘em, or we split ‘em”, a hole magically appeared in the Korte’s boat. The collision sent them both to shore and neither could finish the first race. When the Korte’s arrived on shore, they quickly repaired the hole in their boat with a patch of electrical tape. Although these two boats hit, the close racing within the rest of the fleet did not alter until the race was finished. One. Two. Three. The first three boats flashed through the finish line, all within two seconds of each other. The rest of the fleet was soon to follow, completing the opening race.
Shortly after the first race was completed, the five-minute sequence of the second race began. Similarly to the first race, the starting line was busy with the whole fleet trying to cross the line as soon as the horn sounded. As soon as the race began, the “storm” started to roll in. Once the boats had rounded the windward mark on the first lap, the storm hit. First, Ed tipped from a powerful puff. While the first crash boat was on their way to help him, a second boat, Dale and Lily, took a spill. The second crash boat headed over to Dale and Lilly to ensure they were unharmed. However, in the same moment, the Hearn’s followed the trend of taking a swim. At this point in time, there were more fallen boats than there were crash boats, yet to make the situation more chaotic, while Clay and Al were rounding the leeward mark, their boat was thrown into the water. As their boat laid on its side, Brent and Michael came barreling in towards the leeward mark unable to dodge Clay’s boat, causing a collision and a fu*@%$* hole slightly larger than the size of a basketball (or Clay’s head) into the starboard hull of Clay’s boat. The crash boats were already occupied with other sailors, so while Clay, Al, Brent, and Michael waited for a crash boat they struggled to get their boats untangled. Meanwhile Clay’s boat began to sink, for there was a fu*@%$* hole in their hull. The four sailors were unsuccessful in their attempt to separate the two boats until a crash boat arrived and dragged Brent’s boat out of the mess. While the boats were caught up in this mayhem they began to drift towards the rocky shore. Not only were these two boats headed to shore, but Dustin’s boat was on autopilot, since neither Dustin nor Dakota were aboard the boat, so they too, began to head to shore, resulting in assistance from another crash boat. As the situation finally established some progress, Clay’s starboard hull was filled with water, so they were unable to pull the boat into the upright position. When Clay derigged the boat in the water, he and Al were slowly towed on the catamaran to a less rocky shore to drain the hull. Once the sinking boat was on shore, wheels and extra help was brought over on both crash boats, and a kind neighbor man gave permission for the boat to be drained on his shoreline. He not only provided his hospitality, but duct tape and towels to allow Clay’s boat to be temporarily repaired. The boat was then able to be towed back to the launch site, where the damages were fully assessed.
Notably, only five boats completed the second race. Since so many boats had capsized, the wind speed continued to climb, along with the limited number of crash boats, the committee boat made the executive decision to call the racing for the day. Once CRAW members arrived on shore, everyone proceeded to derig their boats for the day, which was soon followed by admiration of the fu*@%$* hole in Clay’s boat. To end the exciting day of racing, CRAW members gathered at the Pilgrim Campground to enjoy a potluck, socializing, and many different games. What a better way to end the day than with s’mores and many memories.
Sunday morning began with a chef’s breakfast at the Pilgrim Camp. Once the CRAW Sailors were fueled up, they made their way back to Sunset Park to embark the final day of the Green Lake Regatta. The morning wind speed was light, and sailors were relieved, for they thought today would be less eventful of a racing day. As the sailors impatiently waited for the committee boat to start the races, they practiced starts together. When the committee boat arrived, the first race of two laps in the second day soon began with a wind speed of around 3 miles per hour. During the first race, the wind shifted a fair amount, which required the course to be reset after the first race. Shortly followed was the start of the second race, which was a slightly shorter course, so the race was three laps. Amid the second race of the day, the wind became fluky, and during the last leg of the race, the wind shifted 180 degrees. So, the course was moved yet again to accommodate the change in wind direction. The final two races the wind picked up to be more consistent and powerful. To finish the day and the regatta, two more races were completed. With Saturday filled with capsizing and holes, Sunday was much calmer. As no boats tipped or had any more fu*@%$* holes magically appear in them.

Crawsailing.org features photography by Moving Target, © Copyright 2006 Geoff Sobering
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