Lake Eustis SC
George Washington’s Birthday Regatta

to see the deBoers' photos from this event  and from their trip to Florida in general,  click here

Lake Eustis, located in Central Florida, was the location for the 31st Annual George Washington’s Birthday Regatta Feb. 17-18, 2001. After 2 weeks of 80 + degree weather and calm winds we awakened to a breezy high of 71 degree weather Saturday morning with sun and winds from the SSW between 10 – 15 MPH.   This being a multihull class regatta the Seven Wayfarers were one of 7 Classes entered, 3 of them miltihull, sailing a different course then the single hulls.  The skippers meeting started at 11 a.m. with the announcement that all races were postponed for one hour due to a severe rainstorm going through the region (the first rain in 2 weeks).

After a 15-minute delay, the racing was started with winds from the SSW at 6mph. The Wayfarers were the third start after the Flying Scots and the 2.4 mR/N3 keelboat class.
Race 1 - Course # 3, Triangle windward leeward. All 7 Wayfarers started on starboard along the line with the committee boat favored.  Joe and John tacked quickly to port for better air.  Winds were shifty and lifts needed to be sailed well in order to maintain a lead.  John was first at the windward mark, closely followed by Joe, Geoff, Peter, Bob Hart, Bob Brown and Mike.  Joe tried every possible way to pass John and Dolores but he was well covered all the way.  It was agreed not to use spinnakers in this regatta, which proved to be an advantage for the local sailors.

Race 2 - Course # 3.  Winds SSW at 7 mph.  Except for Joe and Peter all boats started on starboard, which was an advantage for both Joe and Peter who did well, clearing the fleet quickly.  Realizing the gain, John tacked to Port ASAP to make up for lost water and was first at the windward mark, closely followed by the fleet.
On the second reach Joe passed John when there was a wind shift of 80 degrees which caught John by surprise. Bob Brown also noticed the shift coming and used it to his benefit.  It was a close battle for first to the windward mark on a reach. Joe was still 5 boat lengths ahead of John.  On the way to the leeward mark, the start line had to be avoided. Joe chose the Committee boat and John the pin side.  Joe was ¼ boat length ahead at the leeward mark, John had gained space but Joe covered to perfection with John and Dolores trying hard to the finish.  Joe got a well-deserved 1st, John 2nd, Bob Brown a nice 3rd, Peter 4th, Geoff 5th Mike 6th and Mike 7th. 

Race 3-Course # 1.  Winds 6mph from the North after the wind shift.

Since this was the last race of the day, the race committee was wise in sailing this Windward-Leeward course once around with very effective race committee work getting the 4 fleets on their way.

All Wayfarers started on starboard, from close to the committee boat down to the pin.  There was close competition with no room for errors, since the course was only once around. John, knowing this, covered the competition well with being first at the windward mark. Joe was close to follow as well as the rest of the fleet.  The run became hairy since all boats did excellent work with the whisker pole, which made it difficult for Dolores who was not using a pole. (No excuse but we did not have one)

Sunday, race 4 - Course 3. Winds from the North at 12mph gusting to 14. All 7 Wayfarers were rigged to start, with the start line being in the middle of the lake and the first mark located near the North shore.  With gusting winds, it was calm on shore, 6 crews went in to the race area.  After considering the weather (Who says it does not blow at Eustis!!), two crews, Robert Hart and Peter Hylen returned to shore.  Eddy Kraft decided to observe the racing from his bass fishing boat at the leeward mark.  Four boats started on starboard tack, but with port favored, Joe and John tacked quickly for the advantage.  It was a close battle to the windward mark.  John rounded 1st with Joe 2nd, Bob Brown 3rd, and Mike 4th. 
After that, Mike developed rudder problems and dropped out (he sailed single-handed).  Bob Brown, sailing one of his best races with crew Candi, swamped his boat between the last leeward mark and the finish. Unfortunately for Bob, his problems were not noticed by the rescue boat, and he was drifting towards shore.  A crash boat from the other race area come to the rescue. (Yes, there are alligators in this lake, we saw one close to shore at the club.)  John and Joe finished first and second in this race.

Race 5. Same conditions as in race 4, but only 2 Wayfarers started, both on starboard.  John covered Joe all the way around.  But Joe threw in a scare when he made a very long port tack on the last windward leg, causing John to think he was going in for the day.  On the runs, Joe showed his talents with the whisker pole, closing in on John and finishing in second by only about 7 boat lengths .

It is needless to say that all of us enjoyed the sailing this weekend with excellent committee work from Jim McIntyre, overall chair, and Gale Shoemaker, race committee chair.  Thanks for a job well done with your committees, fellows.

On a personal note:
  Both Dolores and I wish to thank Bob and Joyce Brown for their hospitality and showing us around the area, with the highlight being a trip to Titusville seeing the shuttle launch and a sight seeing trip around Mount Dora.  Also to Mike and Dotty Murto for taking us to the store for supplies, etc.  Thanks to Gale and Mona Shoemaker for supplying us with fresh citrus fruits from their own grove, to Tom Kidd for supplying us with the race results, and to John Schneider for passing on information on Mount Dora.

See you next year,

John and Dolores.

Jim McIntyre reports