Clark Lake Fall Regatta * Sept. 25-26, 2004 * Clark Lake Yacht Club

Regatta Report by Uncle Al

2004 Clark Lake Fall Regatta gets great weather!


The Clark Lake YC's annual Fall Regatta attracted 37 entries September 25-26 to Clark Lake SW of Jackson, Michigan. With temperatures in the low 20's Celsius (70F) and benign winds mostly at 5 to 10 knots, the sailing was ideal for beginners and experts alike. Tim Dowling and his Committee ran the five-race series smoothly, getting us back in plenty of time for the excellent meals supplied by Cheryl Hockenberry and her team of hard-working helpers. And of course, there was the free draft beer from Friday through Sunday afternoon. The competition was good and the people were friendly. All in all, an ideal way to spend a weekend which was once again worth making a trip of several hours.

From a Wayfarer perspective, attendance was very disappointing as only defending champions, Bob Frick and Peter Every were able to return from last year's group of 5 Wayfarers, and Bob and Peter were joined by new Wayfarers, Chester and Gail Javis in their lovely, very well preserved W739. It was a tough way for Chester and Gail to make their regatta debut as they never did beat the veteran team of Frick and Every.

Another disappointment was the small Buccaneer fleet which had been expected to produce 15 entries and fierce competition like last year. In the end, only four boats made it out, and Clark Lake's Larry Schmida with his son and Patti Long sharing the crewing duties, had little trouble cruising to victory with five straight firsts. The real battle was over series second where team Frisbie and team Callis entered the deciding 5th race tied with Frisbie taking second by beating Callis in the finale. The team of Angell and Piekorz in the lone Mutineer - a smaller version of the Buccaneer - once more raced with the Bucs to have at least some company out on the course.

A very competitive Sunfish fleet of nine boats saw three boats still with a realistic hope of winning the series going into the final race where Dan Norton removed all doubt with a first-place finish while his closest rival, Ray Steely could do no better than 5th.  Meanwhile Dan's wife, Linda, moved into a tie for series second with a 3rd in the finale but lost the tie-breaker to Ray who had scored two firsts.

In Interlakes, the battle over series first also went down to the wire before Ty and Felicia Cathey held on to edge out the senior Bradleys by a single point. And the fight for series third was even closer as two of five boats still in the hunt for the third-place plaque ended up tied. The tie-breaker went to one of two junior Bradley crews on the strength of their one second-place finish while Tim and Brent Marriott's best finish had been a third.

As always, the competition in the Rebel class was very close and exciting, perhaps never more so than in the first race where the top eight of 11 boats finished within one minute and boats 2 through 8 crossed within 15 seconds or so. After placing 4th in that exciting first race, Clark Lake's Dan Hockenberry and Wayfarers' Uncle Al came back to reel off four straight hard-fought firsts to gain Dan his first-ever Fall Regatta victory. Steve Cummings, meanwhile, got excellent crew work from his young daughter, Lyndsie, in scoring a convincing series second. It was youth hanging on to win out over experience in the battle over series third as the Junior team of Jim Quiniff and Theresa Stoodley from Chicago held on to beat the wily Clark Lake veteran, Woody Woodruff, by a mere single point despite placing last in the finale. A good series for Woody though, considering the fact that he much prefers a more substantial breeze.

2004 Clark Lake Fall Regatta
on shore pics
on the water

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