2021 DF-95 April Showers
Allan Vinson put on a clinic on how to sail a DF-95 as he won the 12 race 2 throw out event with 11 points. Under Blue skies and a shifty fresh breeze, Allan hit every shift . Even on the rare occasion when his start timing was off his speed quickly put him back in the hunt. Al Lehman, Jr. spotted the fleet a race with a late arrival when he assisted a fellow sailor with a medical emergency, yet managed to garner 2nd and keeping Allan looking over his shoulder all day. Graham Johnson Captured the chevron for third in this Red Chevron event. The really started with the 10th race as Mike Eades, the Race Director called for a reverse course as the wind shift 180 degrees but before the start the wind shift back. Finally for the last race the wind did swing and hold causing, proving Pavlov was right as chaos reigned within the fleet as the windward and standoff marks became a leeward gate and the former leeward gate became the windward mark and standoff marks.
2018 SeaWind Holiday Classic
The Seawind Holiday Classic turned out to be a war of attrition. We went from a 30 minute delay, due to dead calm, to 15-20 mph winds within the next 30 minutes which continued that way or the remainder of the day. The toll on equipment was felt by virtually everyone at one time or another. Congratulations to all the survivors and especially Allan Vinson who took home the cup in dominating fashion.
A special thanks to Bruce Rasch who came down form Payson to RD the Regatta.
DF-95 Fall Classic
Congratulations to Kelly Martin on a near perfect competition. And, once again, thank you all for participation in the DF 95 Fall Classic. Strong competition helps all of us to better our skills.
Micro Magic Fall Classic Regatta
The Micro Magic Fall Classic Regatta was sailed at South Lake, Estrella on Saturday October 20 with seven hearty and devoted skippers attending. The winds were forecast to be the big esultsstory, but that is not how it turned out, even though the winds showed up as expected, somewhere in the 15mph range, so did Mike Eades. We all know that Mike loves sailing this boat in the high winds, but it has been a long time since we have been reminded why. Mike dominated the day with 10 wins in 12 races and no ﬁnish higher than second, which only means that he threw those out for a perfect score, way to go Mike! Ok, enough about that, there were others that shined as well, Jerry Robertson came down from Flagstaﬀ and managed to ﬁnish second overall with two wins and a total of eight top three ﬁnishes despite sailing with a B rig while others had gone to smaller C rigs, great sailing Jerry! Graham Johnson had two second’s before retiring with a broken boat as well. Allan Vinson managed a third place ﬁnish after breaking down in race 8 and sitting out the rest of the day. The Attrition was enormous as only three boats were running at the end of the day. Buria Vinson managed a fourth place ﬁnish to match his best eﬀort while sailing with the club. A big thank you to Dave Nydell for sticking around to score the event, and other’s for helping out through the day after retiring their boats. Thank you all for coming out and sailing with your club
2018 SeaWind "It's a Dry Heat" Regatta
2018 SeaWind Spring Showers Regatta
The SeaWind Spring Showers Regatta was held April 21, 2018 at Estrella South Lake with an excellent field of 18 skippers including 2 new skippers from the Payson Club, Al Lehman and Bruce Rasch, as well as old friends, Bob Spraker from Tucson and Dennis Desprois and Rob Shaw from Mesa MYC. Winds began quite nicely at 5-6 mph but soon dwindled to mere whispers necessitating single lap races until things picked up again for the last 3 races of the day; 9 races, 18 heats were completed. Competition in the Odd-Even heats was fierce with 14 skippers securing podium finishes. Allan Vinson, current National Champion showed his class throwing out a 4th place and ending with 9 points, great sailing! Bob Spraker and Dave Nydell were separated for 2nd and 3rd places only by a tie-breaker, closely followed by Mike Eades in 4th place. 5th through 8th places were separated by only 2 points including yet another tie-breaker with newcomer Al Lehman taking 6th place, an excellent performance!
A great day's sailing with many helpers pitching in with scoring, mark setting, set up and tear down. Thanks to all involved!
2018 DragonFlite 95 Winter Blast Regatta
The DragonFlite 95 Winter Blast Regatta was held at the Estrella Communities' South Lake on Saturday February 17, 2018 with 11 skippers participating. Winds were forecast to be light, however the wind gods smiled on the skippers and the 5-7mph winds made for a great day of sailing. Visiting skipper Ken Campbell started off the day with two wins and a top three finish to be the early favorite. Barry Donaher also had an early win to start his day off right. Allan Vinson then came on strong with a string of 4 wins beginning with the fourth race. Ken and Barry remained close while Ray Dagenais and Graham Johnson were consistently in the top 5 as well. Rick Smith and David Van Dalsen both had consistent days, with 4 and 3 top five finishes respectively. Hal Birkey had several good finishes despite having boat trouble throughout the day, and Robert Parks had an up and down day with several good finishes. Eventually Allan Vinson was able to sail consistently and stay out of trouble and get the win, Barry Donaher finished in second place, and Ken Campbell in third. Thanks to all who participated and thanks to Barry Donaher for running the event, and to Dave Nydell and Jed Korthals for scoring and calling the line, I appreciate all of your hard work.
2017 DF95 Fall Classic
I know you all have heard this phrase all too often from me, but what a great day of sailing. I can't remember a better day of sailing, light air, heavy air, at least heavy for AZ and shifty winds to boot, if you wanted it you got it on this day. Thirteen skippers showed up to race in the DF95 Fall Classic at South Lake, Estrella and not one was disappointed. Some were a bit worried wether the wind would increase, calling for a rig change, but as the morning went on it was clear it was going to settle into a typical light to moderate wind day, so common in AZ this time of year. Kelly Martin started off the day, as he often does, with four straight wins, followed closely by a group of boats vying for top fives. Mike Eades was the first of the "mortals" to win a race in race four, getting two wins in the morning. The afternoon belonged mainly to Kelly Martin and Barry Donaher, Barry winning three and Kelly winning two in the afternoon while Allan Vinson picked one win off while the others were busy battling it out. Other interesting battles were going on throughout the day, while you could throw a blanket over the top five, with only twenty points separating first to fifth, you could throw a hanky over seventh to eleventh, with two skippers tying on 90pts and two others finishing within six points above or below, the racing was very close. Not everyone will win a regatta, however racing closely with other skippers is very rewarding and hopefully everyone got a thrill out of fighting for good finishes. I for one enjoyed seeing the fierce competition throughout the fleet. In the end Kelly Martin went on to win, followed closely by Barry Donaher, Allan Vinson, Mike Eades, and Graham Johnson. Another nice surprise on the day was Hap McGill joining us once again for racing, and showing that time off doesn't slow him down, well done Hap. A big thank you to Barry Donaher, Gary Spendlove, and Jed Korthals for making the day great for all of us, these things don't happen without your hard work and we appreciate it.
2017 SeaWind NCR
The 2017 SeaWind NCR started off with a "practice only" day on Friday and many of the skippers were sitting on shore wondering what in the world they had signed up for. The wind was blowing a steady 12-14 knots out of the west with even stronger gusts. A few brave souls took part in the practice races, while the wiser few chose to believe the forecast of light winds for Saturday and not subject their boats to the pounding of the Friday winds, and right they were. Saturday morning in the desert was cool and still, however the wind gave us just enough to enjoy a day of light air sailing. Some of the sailors that traveled from windier places found the situation frustrating, however the local skippers were in their element. Allan Vinson put together a stellar day with seven wins in ten races. The rest of the field was having a competitive regatta with almost every other skipper finishing in the top five at least once in the first ten races. Mike Eades, Bob Spraker, Peter Jennings, Hal Birkey, and Dennis Desprois fought very hard for positions all day long. Other skippers, such as Rob Shaw, with a win, and Jim Tarr with a 2nd and Dave Nydell with several top five finishes found their form as well. Day two was a very typical Arizona sailing day, if such a thing exists, with winds in the 5-6mph range with shifts and puffs a plenty. The biggest challenge of day two was picking the lay lines and rounding marks in a large fleet. Allan Vinson was not as dominant on day two, as many in the field were determined that they would get their share of the wins. On this day there were six different winners, Allan Vinson, Mike Eades, Bob Spraker, Peter Jennings, Hal Birkey, Dennis Desprois, and Al Stiewing all taking race wins. Additionally, many skippers turned in great finishes with the more consistent winds. Jim Tarr had three top fives, Mark Erdrich improved greatly on day two as well, thanks to a dry transmitter and some wind to work with. At the front of the fleet Mike Eades and Bob Spraker finished only seven points apart, two points separated Peter Jennings and Dennis Desprois with Hal Birkey only seven points behind them. It all ended with Allan Vinson, winning his first championship, Mike Eades, second place, and Bob Spraker, third place, followed closely by Peter Jennings, fourth and Dennis Desprois in fifth. Special thanks to volunteers Howard Thiel, Clairissa Vinson, Rick Smith, Hap McGill, Jack David and Barbara Rhunke-David, I appreciate all of your help.
Micro Magic Early Bird Regatta
The Micro Magic Early Bird Regatta was held in light to very light winds on the first sub hundred degree day of the fall, and a beautiful day it was. The most important thing to note about this regatta was how competitive the Green Fleet has become. There was a 23 point spread between the five Green Fleet participants, however there was only a three points separating Buria Vinson and Richard Campbell and another three points between Walt Thomas and Gary Wollenhaupt, which made for some close and entertaining racing. The top three finishers came from the Red Fleet with Graham Johnson and Hal Birkey separated by three points as well, Hal edging Graham with three wins on the day and consistently finishing in the top three. Allan Vinson had a solid day to finish first, but it won't be long until some of the Green Fleet skippers are going to be challenging for wins.
SeaWind Fall Classic Regatta
The SeaWind Fall Classic Regatta came on the day that the wind gods made up for the rotten luck we have been having this season. 12 skippers came to Estrella's South Lake, boats ready, intending to do battle on the racecourse. Tucson Skipper Bob Spraker joined members of the club for the day and he certainly came to race winning two of the first three races before the rest of the fleet knew what hit them. Newcomer David Van Dalsen started the day off strong as well with two thirds surprising everyone, including himself. Bob continued his strong run, however Dennis Desprois and Allan Vinson finally hit their stride. Dennis had a win and two seconds in the next four races, picking up a 6 as well, so he would have a throuwout, while Allan had three wins and a second, to Bob's consistent run of four third place finishes. The rest of the fleet had some great racing as well, notably David Van Dalsen with consistent top fives and Tom Woods, returning after a long layoff, with six top fives in seven races to start off the regatta. Rick Smith had some good runs as well early on. The latter half of the day saw several skippers turn it on, Buria Vinson had several good finishes late in the day, with two fourth place finishes, while Terry Kraus turned his day around as well. Robert Parks had an up and down day as well with three top five finishes early. In the end the scores were tight with four points separating 8th through 11th and two points separating first and second. In the end Allan Vinson prevailed, finishing ahead of Bob Spraker in second and Dennis Desprois in third. David Van Dalsen headed up the Green fleet followed by Tom Woods, Terry kraus and Rick Smith, don't discount your efforts guys it was good hard racing. I appreciate you all for showing up and being a part of one of the best days of sailing I can remember in a long time, at least since we last raced!
Micro Magic Winter Blast Regatta
To say that the wind and weather have not been cooperating with us this season would be an understatement and for the second month in a row we delayed our monthly regatta due to weather. This did not, however, guarantee that the weather would be any better and despite starting off with good wind in the morning the skippers dealt with changing conditions and light winds most of the day. Eight skippers came out to South Lake and there was excellent racing through the fleet. The day started with winds in the 5-7mph range and Allan Vinson won the first race, with Hap McGill and Dave Nydell close on his heels. Mike Eades, despite sailing from his chair at lakeside was just getting warmed up. We all know what Mike can do with a sailboat and he proved he hadn't lost any of his ability on this day. Mike only had two finishes out of the top three, everyone needs throwouts, and won 6 races. Allan Vinson was able to win five races on the day and tie Mike on points, however the tie break being wins the regatta was Mike's, proving that the man that taught us all what real sailboat racing is, still has a lot more left in the tank. Dave Nydell was third and Hal Birkey a very close fourth. Hap McGill won a race and had some great finishes through the day. Buria Vinson was first in the Green Fleet ahead of Walt Thomas and newcomer David Van Dalsen, way to go guys. Thanks to all who came out and supported the club, it turned out to be a great day of sailboat racing, but hey, aren't they all!
DF95 Frostbite Regatta
SeaWind Holiday Classic
The SeaWind Holiday Classic comes every year right about the time we are all looking for someone, (Santa maybe?), to bring us a gift. This year I got a gift early, and I suspect some others did as well. I know I have said this before, and everyone is most likely tired of hearing it by now, but I have never had so much fun sailing a boat as I did at this regatta. When you can sail with ten skippers in a regatta with near perfect wind conditions in nothing more than an light jacket in December that is a gift, but throw in two of the skippers you respect most in the hobby, Mike Eades and Dennis Desprois, to battle with all day and now you're having fun. There were two things missing from the day that most regattas are sure to have, one skipper who struggles to keep up, and at least one runaway win by a skipper, and this regatta had neither. That meant that every skipper got to battle closely with other skippers around them and the competition up front was very tight. I got to see my Dad win his first race at a regatta, despite trying to force him into a mistake I could not beat him, way to go Dad! The look on Rick Smith's face every time he had a great race was pretty cool as well, all that hard work is paying off Rick. Every Skipper had a top five and most had more than one which says a lot about the level of competition in this club, everyone wants to win! Thanks to everyone for coming out to race with us, travel safe and enjoy your holidays.
Inaugural Dragonflite 95 Regatta
A brand new class introduced to the West Valley RC Mariners this year the DF95 has been exciting in all wind conditions, however it really performs in the stronger winds, and this time the God's brought the wind and we brought the boats. It seemed we'd all been fooled into believing the forecast once again when the 11 skippers arrived on South Lake, Estrella on Saturday November 19 hoping for big wind. The wind was light as the skippers readied their boats for competition, however, by the time the course was set up and the skipper's gathered for the morning meeting the wind was already in the 5-10mph range and climbing quickly. RD Mike Eades called for boats in the water for race one and the wind kept climbing, reaching the 10-15mph range as the first races were being run. Barry Donaher and Kelly Martin came out swinging with Graham Johnson mixing it up at the front of the fleet with them. Kelly won three of the first four while Barry had a win and three top threes. Graham hung in there with 3 top three finishes and one DNF. The rest of the fleet were trying to hang on as best they could. Race 5 saw a big leap in the wind conditions as it peaked over 15, gusting to 20. Skippers who had the option went to B rig, while those that didn't struggled on, including Kelly Martin whose A rig held him back, Sort of, as the racing went on. The middle part of the day was run in B rig by some while a few sat out the worst part of the wind. Graham Johnson and Barry Donaher continued to sail well with a win a piece and top three finishes in the next four races, while Kelly Martin "struggled" with a DNF and a fourth before finding a way to make the A rig work, winning races 7 and 8 and finishing second in race 9. The wind finally peaked in race 9 and started falling off to a manageable 5-12mph for the final three races, allowing a change back to A rig for the whole fleet. Kelly had two fourth place finishes along with a win while Barry and Graham had a win a piece and top three finishes in the two remaining races. The score looked to be close among the top three, could Barry finally bring the Kryptonite to topple Kelly, something none of us had done for quite some time? The final scores had Kelly Martin and Barry Donaher tied at 18 points, although Kelly had the tiebreaker by virtue of his 6 wins to Barry's 4 wins. Graham put up a very respectable 22 points with two wins of his own. Allan Vinson finished fourth, Jim Tarr fifth and Buria Vinson sixth. Daryl McGraw, competing in his first regatta with the club came seventh while Robert Parks and Mike Valabek suffered through boat troubles to finish eighth and ninth respectively. Special thanks to Mike Eades for sticking around to RD the event after discovering race-day electrical gremlins had disabled his boat, we appreciate the help Mike and thank you to all who came out and participated in the first of many regattas for this exciting new class of boats.
Micro Magic Region 5 Championship Regatta
The Micro Magic Region 5 Championship Regatta was held on Saturday November 5, 2016 at Estrella's South Lake. The wind started off out of the East at about 5mph and held through the early morning, however those skippers hoping to break out the small rigs were left disappointed. Through the first five races the competition was closely matched at the front of the field with three skippers trading wins, Al Stiewing, and Allan Vinson, had two wins each, while Graham Johnson picked up a win as well. Mike Eades and Greg Norris were also right in the mix with top five finishes in the early races. As the wind got lighter it quickly became a four man race between Allan Vinson, Al Stiewing, Greg Norris and Mike Eades. Allan was able to win five of the next seven races while Al Stiewing and Hal Birkey claimed the other two. Peter Jennings, Hal Birkey, and Dave Nydell fought it out for the mid fleet rankings finishing in sixth, seventh and eighth respectively at days end. Al, Mike and Greg were all very consistent, Mike and Greg only finished out of the top five once all day, and Al only twice, however Allan's seven wins gave him the overall victory by a slim 5 points after throw outs. The competition amongst the members of the green fleet was exciting as well, Bob Peterson headed up the Green Fleet with two top five finishes, Buria Vinson continues to improve with a high finish of 6 and consistent sailing most of the day. Gary Wollenhaupt, in his first Micro Magic Regatta had a high finish of 8th. Well done to all who sailed in the regatta, a great time was had by all. Special thanks to Hap McGill, Clarissa Vinson, and Al Stiewing for running the event and scoring, your hard work is much appreciated.
SeaWind Fall Classic Regatta
The SeaWind Fall Classic Regatta was held on Saturday October 15 at Estrella South Lake in light to medium winds with 15 skippers in attendance. The day started off with a northeasterly wind coming offshore which gave the skippers a fast reach to the first mark. There was a great deal of jockeying for the windward end of the line which favored a port tack start and rewarded the brave skipper with an uninterrupted run to the first mark. The unusual wind conditions and the port tack start gave an advantage to the more experienced skippers who won most of the races, however that didn't mean there wasn't great racing throughout the fleet. Notable battles were waged between Hal Birkey and Dave Nydell who finished six points apart, Robert Parks and Stephen Cooper three points difference, four skippers who finished the day tied on points, Gary Spendlove and David Lamb finished with 85 points each, and Buria Vinson and Rick Smith both finished with 116 points which put them head to head in many races. Gary Wollenhaupt finished the day with a tenth and two eleventh place finishes in his first ever regatta. In the front of the fleet Mike Eades, Graham Johnson, Barry Donaher, and Allan Vinson traded blow for blow, Graham had three wins and Barry had two, while Mike Knocked out six second place finishes, however Allan's seven wins helped him to edge out Barry for the win, Graham was third and Mike finished fourth, just three points behind Graham. Hard fought racing, with some serious competition was the theme of the day, add that to the excellent sportsmanship this club is famous for and you have the makings of a very memorable regatta. Thank you to Hap McGill for volunteering to RD the event and acting as course marshal, we all appreciate it Hap.
Micro Magic Early Bird Regatta
The Micro Magic Early Bird Regatta was held at the Estrella Communities' South Lake in light but steady winds, mostly, with a few shifts throughout the day to make it interesting for the ten competitors lucky enough to have the day to sail with their club mates. If you missed this one you missed a day with very competitive racing throughout the fleet, excellent sportsmanship among the competitors, and our first two Green Fleet skippers earning their way into the Red Fleet. Richard Campbell and Gary Spendlove will be moved into the Red Fleet at the end of the season based on their fourth and fifth place finishes today, excellent racing guys. This small group of skippers had some real tough battles from the front to the back of the fleet, every skipper in the fleet except one had a top five, and Bob Peterson, racing in his first regatta ever, first time sailing the boat, had two sixth place finishes. Five points separated fifth to seventh places with Gary Spendlove finishing fifth, Stephen Cooper sixth and Buria Vinson seventh. At the front of the fleet Mike Eades kicked off the day with four wins in the first five races, with Allan Vinson winning the other one and Hal Birkey biting at their heels. As the day progressed Allan won four straight and five of the last six to edge Mike by four points, Hal Birkey finished in a close third. It was the toughest day of racing I have ever been a part of, well done everyone and thank you for coming out. A big thank you to Gary Wollenhaupt for coming out and helping call the start and finish lines, also a big thank you to Jed Korthals for helping us find a new location on South Lake. I appreciate the help guys.
SeaWind "it's a dry heat" Regatta
The SeaWind "it's a dry heat" Regatta lived up to its name as the heat reached a sizzling 109 degrees by the time racing concluded for the day, however the heat wasn't the biggest story, as the racing overshadowed the heat by far. Nine hearty skippers showed up to sail despite the heat and the competition ramped up, right along with the temperature. Richard Campbell and Dennis Manning, both sailing in their first regatta with the club came out in the first race with something to prove, finishing second and fifth respectively. In race two Buria Vinson brought home a second place, nearly taking a win from his stunned but proud son. As the day went on there were many personal bests, notably from Rick Smith who had two thirds in his second regatta, well done Rick, and Walt Thomas who sailed consistently throughout the day to tie for sixth on points, as well as Robert Parks who finished fourth overall after a very consistent day as well. Allan Vinson, Dennis Desprois, and Mike Eades had a great battle all day trading wins back and forth between them, which prompted the comment from Dennis, "I used to be good at this." Glad I wasn't racing then. In the end their were seven points separating first through third places and Allan edged Dennis by four points while Mike was just three points behind in third place. The regatta will be remembered by all who participated for the level of competition and the battles between skippers all through the fleet. Well done Richard Campbell, and Dennis Manning, both performing well in their first regattas, Rick Smith, Walt Thomas and Buria Vinson continue to improve, and everyone who pitched in to help keep the regatta rolling, I appreciate the help.
SeaWind May Flowers Regatta
The SeaWind May Flowers Regatta was held on Saturday May 14 at the Estrella community pond with forecast winds expected in the 5-14mph range, and we all fell for it, again! Mother nature toyed with the ten participants in the beginning as the expected winds failed to show on the course. The wind slowly filled in from the west and Allan Vinson was able to win the first five races of the day before Hap McGill put an end to his shenanigans with a win in race 6. After a lunch break and the arrival of shifty but stronger winds, and one race that had everything from a hurricane force downdraft, to choppy waves which threatened to make the skippers seasick just from watching, Mike Eades turned on the switch. Mike was able to win four straight races in the afternoon, however Allan was close on his heels and by staying consistent was able to prevail. Allan Vinson was first, Mike Eades second, and Hap McGill third only three points behind Mike and Dennis Desprois was fourth just four points back. Rob Shaw, Hal Birkey and Tom Woods battled all day in the mid fleet, finishing fifth, sixth, and seventh respectively. Ron Spitz and Buria Vinson continue to show improvement, and continue to build a friendly rivalry as they learn, while Rick Smith participating in his first regatta started improving his numbers before being sidelined by rudder problems. A big thank you to all who came out, there was plenty of spirited competition, battles throughout the fleet, and no one had to be forced to have a good time.
Micro Magic April Showers
SeaWind Spring Fling Regatta
The SeaWind Spring Fling Regatta was held at the beautiful Estrella community lake, home of the big winds, although on this day light to moderate winds moved in and took hold leaving the 15 skippers taking part with some tricky conditions. The day started off with moderate winds from the east that suited Rob Shaw perfectly and he took two bullets to start off the day. The winds continued to be light from the east and after a slow start Allan Vinson was able to take advantage of a few lucky shifts which helped him win a total of 5 races and with consistent sailing he was able to win the event. Mike Eades had a mostly consistent day as well and finished second, with Barry Donaher coming in third, continuing his fast improvement on his march toward the top of the fleet. There were many battles throughout the fleet among skippers of all skill levels with only nine points seperating places 11 to 14 and four points seperating 3rd through 5th places. A big thank you goes out to Al Stiewing for scoring the event, and to Dave Nydell for helping set the course as well as helping with the scoring. Thank you as well to Robert Parks who stuck around after his boat broke down to help call the line and record the finishing order. A regatta cannot be held without boats and the volunteers to help run the event so thank you all for showing up and being willing to help make this event a success.
Micro Magic Winter Blast
Sailing consistently all day, Mike Eades won a hard fought battle with Ray Dagenais and nine other competitors on a warm bright sunny day in light conditions. While the morning breeze was predominately from the east and southeast it did switch to the west south west after lunch, there were more and enough shifts to the north to keep everyone on their toes. But everyone had time to relax in the many holes that graced the course and kept the racing interesting. Dennis Desprois captured third two points ahead of Al Stiewing who spotted the fleet with his two throwouts in the first two races when his sail servo failed before the 1st start. Dave Nydell, winning the last two races, finished fifth just two points behind Al, and with Hal Birkey nipping at his heels. Tom Woods won the first race and continues working his way up the fleet. Jim Tarr, with his infectious enthusiasm, and Dwain Watson, sailing for the first time, having just finished his boat this week, travelled from Grand Junction, CO for the event. In the spirit of friendly competition Mike and Ray spent time between races helping Dwain with his boat tuning. Richard Campbell, continuing his climb up the learning curve, edged Jim Tarr for seventh on a tie breaker. Buria Vinson was sailing strong until a failed rudder servo ended his day. A special thanks to Jack David and Buria was assisting with race committee duties.
SeaWind Frostbite Regatta
The Seawind Frostbite Regatta was held on January 16, 2016 at Litchfield Park with a record number of boats, at least for my short tenure with the club. The big stories of the day were the 17 SeaWind Skippers who showed up with their boats, and the excellent job done by the two race directors, Hap McGill and Dave Nydell, to keep the show going in the very light winds. There was sailboat racing as well, and Kelly Martin put on a clinic, dominating the day with six race wins, and a second place finish which he threw out, for a perfect score. Kelly's only miss came at the hands of second place finisher Allan Vinson, who had a consistent day as well. Dennis Desprois finished third, only one point out of second place. Ray Dagenais, Hal Birkey, Peter Jennings, and Barry Donaher also had wins during the day. There were several skippers with notable improvements, Ron Spitz finished eleventh with a best finish of fourth and Buria Vinson had a third place finish, narrowly missing his first race win, to finish twelfth. There were too many highlights to list in this summary, despite the light winds, and the racing was close. A big thank you to all who participated, I asked for boats and finally I got all the boats I could handle. Now we have to break this record!
Micro Magic Holiday Classic
SeaWind Region 5 2015 Championship (L to R, Mike Eades Race Director; Allan Vinson Champion; Dave Nydell 2nd; Barry Donaher 4th; Gary Boell, 3rd)
While all the Arizona media attention was directed across town to the Arizona State Sun Devils battling the Arizona Wildcats in the “Duel in the Desert”, the West Valley RC Mariners were hosting their own duel, the SeaWind Region 5 Championship. The media covered the wrong event. The thrilling 52- 37 Sun Devil victory paled in comparison to the suspense as the SeaWind Fleet battled for two days in perfect weather conditions.
The championship was sailed at the picturesque Estrella Mountain Ranch in Goodyear, AZ, November 21 and 22. Thirteen skippers from Arizona, California, New Mexico and Colorado were greeted by clear blue skies and temperatures in the upper seventies. Race Director Mike Eades set a windward leeward course for the 10-12 mph NE winds on Saturday, ideal conditions for the SeaWind. Add a few gusts and shifts to keep the skippers on their toes and you had perfect sailing conditions. As the day wore on the wind and waves began to take a toll on some of the boats and Mike and the other skippers shared spare receivers, transmitters and servos to keep the fleet sailing.
Alan Vinson finished day 1 in first place with 3 firsts and consistent sailing for 25 points. Dave Nydell, who won the first two races and six of the Saturday’s 15 races, held second place with 34 points. Al Stiewing held a slim 6 point lead over the current National Champion Gary Boell. Class rookie Barry Donaher was a mere 2 points behind Gary in 5th, despite radio problems. Hap McGill in 6th held a slim 3 point lead over Hal Birkey (1 first), who also experienced radio problems. Jim Tarr, sailing in his second Seawind regatta, nailed a second and held 8th at the end of the day. The sailing remained tightly contested all day with 6 skippers capturing a first and ten skippers garnering at least one top 3 position.
Following the days racing the skippers and spouses gathered together at Augies Sports Grill to relive the day’s adventures and tell tall tales over refreshments and dinner.
Sunday morning the skippers were greeted with another great day for sailing. Winds were 8-10 mph again from the NE under a cloudless sky. Bullets by Dave, Al, and Gary in the first three races of the day tightened things up to put pressure on the leader, Allan, who continued his consistent sailing by staying in the top three for each of the races. Things began to change in the fourth race as Jim Tarr won his first Seawind race ever, Dave captured second and Allan slipped to 6th to tighten things up. Hap McGill gave Barry a new transmitter and receiver and Barry won 5 of the final seven races. Barry’s lost Gremlins climbed aboard Al’s boat. By the 20th race of the regatta it was a two boat race with Allan and Dave separated by only three points. Dave took a one point lead in the 23rd race but Allan opened up a three point lead again in the next race with a bullet to Dave’s 5th. Dave picked up a point in 25th race and won the last race of the day but Allan finished second to hold on for a one point victory after 26 races the Region 5 Champion. Gary Boell was third, and the hard charging Barry Donaher garnered 4th.
Thanks to all the volunteers without whom this event would not be possible; Rowland Stevens and Walt Thomas in the rescue and mark boat, Howard Thiel, Mike Valabek and Gary Spendlove, mark observers, Clairissa Vinson, scorer. Thanks also to the organizing committee Allan Vinson, Regatta Director, Dave Nydell, Al Stiewing, and Mike Eades. Special thanks go to Mike Valabek and Ron Spitz hosting the championship at what has to be one of the premier RC sailing sites in the country. Last and not least Mike Eades, who as Race Director, sacrificed sailing in the best two days of sailing I can remember and ran a great event.
SeaWind Early Bird Regatta 09/19/15
The Seawind Early Bird Regatta was held on September 19 at Tierra Verde Park Lake in Litchfield Park, with ten skippers in attendance in mostly light and variable wind conditions. The top three skippers were locked in a tight battle all day with 12 points separating first to third place. Rob Shaw, traveling from the East Valley captured fourth edging out the fast improving tom Woods.Tight racing was the hallmark of the day throughout the fleet. Sixth through eighth were separated by only 2 points. The fleet continues to climb the learning curve. as demonstrated by David Lamb winning the first race, newcomer Barry Donaher showing good speed on his first time out . Robert Parks and Ron Spitz also had their moments in the sun.Thanks to all who attended, it was a day well spent.
SeaWind May Flowers Regatta 05/16/15
The Seawind May Flowers Regatta was held on May 16 at Tierra Verde Park Lake in Litchfield Park, with nine skippers in attendance in mostly light wind conditions. The top three skippers were locked in a tight battle all day with six points separating first to third place. Mike Eades finished in first just two points over Dave Nydell, a couple of mistakes by third place finisher Allan Vinson had him four points behind Dave in third place. The real story these days however has been from the skippers moving up from the back of the fleet. Stephen Cooper has continued to improve with consistent finishes in the mid field, while Dave Lamb had a third and two fifth place finishes, edging out Tom Woods, our newest skipper, through a tie break for eighth place. Thanks to all who attended, it was a day well spent.
Micro Magic Spring Flowers 03/21/15
On a beautiful spring day 7 skippers gathered for the MM Spring Flowers Regatta to be greeted by even more shifty, light variable winds than usual. A course was finally set and held for all except one race when the course was reversed. David Lamb and Tom Woods, sailing Hal Birkey's second string MM for the first time, had an epic battle at the back of the pack with David edging Tom by 1 point. Hal Birkey, Dave Nydell and Warren Tobey, sailing Mike Eades' second string boat #15, fought tooth and nail for 3rd place honors separated by only 4 points. Dave Nydell found his groove with a string of 3 bullets only to be sidelined for the last 2 races by a failed sail winch leaving Warren to take 3rd place. Allan Vinson and Mike Eades were often neck and neck near the top of the fleet but Mike's goofs (getting so immersed in a close race with Hal that both sailed past the finish line forgetting the course had been reversed and losing out to three others skippers) and Allan's steadiness saw Allan take his first Regatta.
Well done Allan, an apt reward for steadily improving performance!
SeaWind Winter Blast 02/21/2015
With temperatures in the high 60's to mid 70's the Winter Blast Regatta did not quite live up to its billing. 12 Skippers braved the elements to find the usual light and shifty winds starting out from a north by northeasterly direction which necessitated Mike Eades, RD, setting the weather marks well out towards the far shore and the leeward gate close in shore to get any degree of windward leeward for a course. That seemed to work out OK until after lunch when the course required a complete reversal. The first 3 races saw three different skippers take bullets which set the tone for the day. In all 7 skippers took bullets out of the 12 races completed. While Dennis Desprois took most at 4 the more consistent sailing of Allan Vinson and Hal Birkey netted them first and second places respectively. A good reward for their recent steady improvement! Stephen Cooper was delighted with his first ever bullet in a club regatta and followed it up with a second and third. Now if only he could eliminate those disasters! Tom Woods, who bought the club boat only a week ago, produced a steady performance for 8th place showing he will become a force to be reckoned with.
Micro Magic Frostbite 01/25/2015
It's been a long time since Mike Eades totally dominated the fleet the way he did at Sun City winning 10 of 12 races for a perfect score of 10 in the 12 race two throw-out regatta. All the more impressive as he sailed the whole day with his "B" rig long after most competitors switch to "A" rigs and the wind lightened and the water slowly flattened. Originally scheduled for Litchfield Park, the location was changed when the competitors arrived to find a fishing tournament in progress with every square inch of lake front covered with fishing poles.
As it turned out this ended up being a good thing as Litchfield Park was dead calm and Sun City was offering a 12-15 knot nor'easter with a chop.
"B" rigs were the order of the day for the first race. By lunch time the wind began to switch to the east with the hill and trees of Lakeview's park interfering with the wind flow creating swirls, gusts and calms, made all the tougher with the residual chop. By the end of the day the winds were light and variable and the waters flat. It was only then that Dennis Desprois (2nd), also sailing a "B" rig, and Al Stiewing (3rd) managed to save Mike from having to discard a bullet. Ray Dagenais sailed very consistent for fourth. Hap McGill edged Dave Nydell for 5th one point ahead of Allan Vinson.