|2018 Tim Dowling Memorial Regatta
Clark Lake YC * Sept. 22-23
Uncle Al's report
a supplement to Rick Belcher's picture-filled beauty
updated 3 Oct 2018 at 0856 hrs
Days at Clark Lake's Fall Regatta
Another lovely Clark Lake Fall Regatta weekend has come and gone. The as-forecast light, patchy winds (above) were the only flaw in an otherwise perfect weekend. Our fine Race Committee, directed by Bruce Nowak, gave us a pair of races on the Saturday afternoon and one more in slighter healthier breezes on Sunday morning. After that, Bruce felt we'd had enough fun and declared racing ended for 2018. Some of us were happier about this than others ...
Friday afternoon the breeze was perfect!
By Saturday morning the high pressure area had ...
... settled in.
Waiting for Saturday's noon competitors' briefing and ...
Ghosting along in a patchy easterly wind on Saturday afternoon.
Our much appreciated Race Committee.
Wayfarers: Uncle Al and Shannon Donkin win Clark Lake again
Marc Bennett and wife, Julie, (11221) have just erased Uncle Al and Shannon Donkin's (3854) huge
race 1 lead. The latter are annoying and annoyed by a pair of Rebel including Dave Nickels (4176).
At six entries, Wayfarers were the 2nd-largest fleet behind the 8-boat Rebel fleet this year. Not bad considering that all six were visitors to the fine Clark Lake YC hospitality. With decades of Clark Lake experience under their belts, Teams Bennett and Schonborn were in a class by themselves, each scoring a first and a second on Saturday. Marc and Julie pulled off a miracle finish in race two as Al and Shannon were one boatlength from winning their second straight race about 50 yards ahead of Marc and Julie when they lost the wind. In their very own slant of wind Marc and Julie slid past Al and Shannon to leave both team scoring 1-2 that day.
Lady Luck turned against Team Bennett on Sunday when their attempted timed start away from the line and back saw them hit a big hole while Al and Mike Codd crossed with the gun on port at the pin end in a nice firm breeze. Shannon and Al pulled away throughout the race in a bit of a horizon job to take the Wayfarer division.
By the start of the final beat to the finish, Mike Codd and Kirk Iredale of Toronto and Pembroke, Ontario were being hotly pursued by Marc and Julie. Feeling their weight disadvantage, Mike and Kirk decided to play the north shore after a tempting shift instead of covering Marc. That was a costly mistake but the Codd/Iredale 3rd in the finale left them in a solid series 3rd.
Well matched with Mike and Kirk in these light conditions, were three relatively local boats from Michigan's American Sailing Institute:
Ending up series 4th were Dave McCreedy and his Interlake-experienced crew, Peggy Menzies, after finishing 3-5-5 for 13 points. Like Uncle Al and Shannon, Dave and Peggy beat their seed by one place and tied for Most Improved honours. Peggy pronounced herself impressed with the Wayfarer and its sailors and is looking into buying a Wayfarer. Welcome to Wayfarers, Peggy!!
Fast repair work by Toronto's Patagonia Boat Works on his wooden W453 enabled Dave Wilpula to sail Clark Lake where he and crew, Art Christiansen, placed a respectable series 5th, scoring 5-4-6 and ending up one point up on Matt Dailey and pick-up crew, Bill Kindt whose sparkling final-race 4th saw them fall just short of passing Dave and Art.
Steve Cummings and daughter, Lyndsie, capture Clark Lake Rebel crown
Rebels start their deciding race 3
(l to r) Steve Cummings, Mary Reif, Dave Nickels, Scott Wright, Tom Marriott
In the 8-boat Rebel fleet, Steve Cummings with daughter, Lyndsie, broke a tie at 1-2 finishes with Scott Wright and Steve Middlebrook, with a decisive win in their Sunday morning finale as the two host-club entries topped the chart. Many times National champion, Dave Nickels of Lake Fenton, and crew, Chris Eder, could manage no better than 3rd in this fleet.
Finishing in series 4th were Nickels' Lake Fenton clubmate, Jay Topping and his wife, Pat, who ended up just a single point up on Ohio Interlake orphans, Tom Marriott and Natalie Hill, who borrowed the "club" Rebel when no other Interlakes showed up due to a scheduling conflict.
Fenton's (fairly) newly weds, Tim and Hanna Nickels, won a 6th-place tie-breaker with another past National champion and (relatively) newly weds, Mary Reif and Aaron. Rounding out the Rebel fleet were Port Huron's Scott Mccandless and wife, Tracy, who brought along their ancient Rebel (below) for a guest appearance.
Jim Richter tops trio of Sunfish
(l to r) Jim Richter, Gail Turluck, Richard O'Boyle
The three 'fish established a pecking order in race 1 and never departed from it as Jim Richards of Indianapolis beat out the Sunfish-Worlds-bound Gail Turluck, and Sunfish rookie, Richard O'Boyle.
Only two Buccaneers at this year's Tim Dowling - Aaaaarrrrgh!!
a Buccaneer start
Clark Lake's world-travelling Larry Schmida got back to Michigan in time for the Tim Dowling Memorial which he sailed with Tim's son, Scott. This series, too, came down to Sunday's race as both teams had scored 1-2 on the Saturday, and it took Larry and Scott's Sunday win to nail down series first ahead of
Geoff Moekl and John Baumgartner.