2017 Madtown Throwdown

Madison Throw Down YAH, could get anything for conditions at Madison. Saturday race conditions could easily have been worse. A bit light and of course that shiftiness (maybe it has to do with politics). You would have to say, when considering all the years events, that it was a pretty nice day. Tyler and I felt we sailed fair. The wind ranged from 4-6 to 10-12 so everyone enjoyed the sailing. Nothing over-powering so all enjoyed. Sunday - no wind. Well, truth is 0-5 mph, mostly 0-3 mph through the sailing. After sailing upwind with the spinnaker a few times (just wanted to see if it would help, results questionable) and being stuck at the start with 0 wind, fouled, etc. I remembered my mantra for attending events, "just enjoy the sailing" so we went in to relax.

Thanks for doing race committee Mark, good job.

DO N O T READ PAST THIS LINE YES THIS LINE RIGHT HERE ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!! NOT OFFICIAL CRAW RACE MONDAY

The clanging of halyards. What a sweet sound. Mendota around-the-lake race held yearly. The forecast was correct. Three cats GO ALL IN. Ben Malcheski and his 2nd-time-on-a-cat wife Catie on a Tornado. Tyler Gruen manned up with his fairly inexperienced crew Marley on a F18. Myself and Glenn , aka Mr. Google from CA on my Tornado, and 20+ monohulls were up for the event . It was a proper wind for what was once called "catamaran sailing." Wind out of the NW 15 mph and building. Seven buoys placed clockwise around the lake, taking you into each bay and with that, a variety of conditions as you sail next to the bluffs and shoreline with mature trees, rounding each mark to your starboard side. 15 mph at the start…. 20 mph and stiff gusts by the end a little over an hour later. BANG…. goes the shotgun. Individual recall at the start…. did not think it was us but didn't want to chance it. Went back, was not us. So we're a bit behind Ben and Tyler…. not exactly my master plan. Up to the bay near UW Mad, into some light air with stiff gusts that were very easy to see coming on the flat water as you neared shore, just to remind you what would happen after you sailed out of the cover of the trees. Out past and around Picnic Point into some proper breeze. GOOD STUFF. Past Tyler in here somewhere, Ben has 1000 yards on us yet. What is Ben doing… looks like he is sailing too far north,,, where is the next buoy????.... DOG GONE,,, HE SAILED A BIT TOO FAR AROUND THE POINT… WELL DOG GONE!!! DARN. Thanks BEN, I know Catie probably told you to let us get past you since we are older. Sailed in near Merril Springs Park to round the 2nd buoy, air is lighter in here behind the trees. Next is north to the Branch Creek inlet area, rounding bouy 3. Watch for the puffs coming and try to get as many as you can in this light stuff (6 to 10 mph), but gusts that put you double-trapped, again easy to see. Round buoy 3, again close to shore, light wind. Now, how far south to go to get back into enough wind, but not too much extra distance? 1000 yards from shore, enough wind to get back in the proper breeze. OOOOKAAAYY that's far enough out with the chute up….. saved it. Snuff the chute and head back north to buoy 4 near Governor Nelson State Park. Man the water is flat in here but don't be tricked, the gusts are hitting hard and shifty here. I thought we would round on the last tack but shifts necessitate two more tacks. Do we want to pull the chute up this near to shore with the crazy shifty gusts? WELL "WHEN IN DOUBT PULL THE CHUTE OUT". Tornado sleigh ride south into open lake before turning into the bay between the big bluffs with the wind behind us. Washed the bows a few times heading out of the shore gusts and into the downwind part of the lake. Wind has stiffened, I think…. YEEEEEEH IT HAS FOR SURE. Into the bay… Hmmm… I'm wondering what it will be like as we enter the bay north of Maple Bluff to round bouy 5 at Warner Park with the wind banking off the bluff. WHOA pull it down, no we got to put it back up, no down we're past the mark… upwind trapping… no put it back up… I'm getting nervous. Then I remember what Clay Selsmeyer… N E V E R tells me…. keep the mast up… it's faster. In some roundabout way I got to say "Thanks Clay" I H A V E learned from you. Round buoy 5. Now chute up or down, man I can't wait to get out into a somewhat steady breeze. GOT THAT THING GOING ON IN MY GUT. Cleared Maple Bluff, some nice strong breeze here and the waves are steep, as we are on the downwind end of the lake. Next down near the CRAW launch site at Burrows Park. WOW. The waves at this end of the lake are….. notable for a lake. Maybe Glenn and I aren't too heavy to sail together. Round buoy 6. Now to the finish. Chute up or down,,, who you fooling… DOWN. Sort of a reach to the finish, fast and wet, waves and breeze are picking up. I wonder if Ben and Tyler will be OK. I can see both boats are upright. Across the finish!!!!!!!!! Hey Glenn let's sail back up near UW Mad. Glenn "OK". Double-trapped, a gust hits hard and we are up almost going over backward… Maybe just head in. "OK" Here comes Ben and Catie WITH THE CHUTE UP. Crazy B@#$%^. Catie, you know he did not have to have it up!!!!!!!!!!! As we near Burrows I can see Tyler coming in for a successful finish. You know Tyler, I believe that is the best sailing "I" personally have seen an F18 do in proper breeze… not to mention the lack of cat experience of your crew. Good job. I guess about 18-20 miles sailed. Did not write it down, someone said it was a record??? About 72 minutes. That's not official as the race is not official. It's just fun. Well, like I said, my mantra "Just ENJOY the sailing."

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