the 2017 NC Governor's Cup Regatta/
the inaugural Wayfarer Eastern North American Championships
Carolina SC, Kerr Lake, NC * June 17-18
updated 26 June 2017 completed at 2254 hrs
AnnMarie Covington Takes First Wayfarer Easterns

With the very capable help of ace-crew, Bob Williams, AnnMarie Covington of the Lake Townsend YC sailed Intrepid (W11134) to Wayfarer victory June 17-18 in the 60th annual Governor's Cup and the newly established Wayfarer Eastern Championships. On these two hot, humid days, the water was the place to be and a mixed fleet of 11 Wayfarers, 14 Buccaneers, 12 Flying Scots, 8 Isotope catamarans, 11 Thistles, 7 Jet 14s,  six 420s, as well as a dozen miscellaneous dinghies took full advantage. For racing purposes, classes were grouped into five fleets which appeared to work out very nicely. Wayfarers started with the Jet 14s.

USWA Commodore, Jim Heffernan, presents the Wayfarer Eastern Championship Trophy
to its first winners, AnnMarie Covington and Bob Williams.

The festivities began Friday afternoon with a three-part clinic given by Thistle sailor, Pete Levesque, being introduced below by Regatta Chair, Sara Paisner. After  a fairly brief "chalk" talk in the enticingly air-conditioned "clubhouse" ...

... a sizeable group of boats (above) took advantage of Pete's on-the-water drills and coaching. The session wrapped up with post-sail analysis and snacks.

Most of us Wayfarers camped out in the lovely Henderson Point State Recreation Area.

Saturday morning: Uncle Al's crew and support team, Keith Gunder and wife, Laurie (left), arrived with Asher the dog after park closing but managed to sweet-talk their way in via an exiting camper. By this time, it was pouring down rain and they chose to camp in their vehicle.

Keith (left) admires W439, purchased from Tom Wharton (W600) and delivered by Uncle Al (r). The latter brought his own new sails and rudder assembly to mitigate against the worst effect of having to sail a "borrowed" boat with a rookie racing crew. I expected that there was bound to be at least one or two unexpected hiccups and so it turned out: the centreboard was a fine board but evidently a bit wide for the W439 slot. Brute force finally got the board down, the last third of the way being smooth and easy. But the net effect was that we were (again!) stuck with a board that human strength could only raise a third of the way, so our runs were not going to be sailed at optimum speed.

Turns out the spi halyard that came with W439 was fine quality but six feet too short. Luckily for us, our neighbour in the boat parking lot was Eric Rasmussen who had lots of good rope of the right specs, and with the capable assistance of Uwe Heine (r) and Phil Leonard (pink) we promptly got the replacement into position and functional.

Meanwhile, a wonderful surprise rolled in: W1115, the Maltese Falcon and crew from Detroit, Michigan ...

... Joe DeBrincat and son, Jeff. What a lovely sight for sore eyes!!

The Competitors' Briefing was held at a very civilized 1100 hrs, with the first of as many races as possible scheduled to go off at 1320 hrs.

At the very light-air start of the first race, things looked good for Al and Keith. We looked to get away with one, as we were positioned to get a clean start at the pin end of the line that was nearly uncrossable on starboard. Just us and the top Jet 14 with whom we shared our starts as the last few seconds of our sequence ticked away. Thus it was easy to gybe around for a port-tack start in the very light breeze. Alas, we came out of that slow gybe on a port tack that now barely let us cross the line on port tack. Instead of being the length of a sizeable start line to windward of the competition, we were now a long way to leeward of them. My next error was to tack to the unfavoured tack (port) to clear our air. Before long, I had sailed us into a solid grip on last place. But it's an ill wind that blows no one good. Ali Kishbaugh and Trish McDermott (above) held their starboard tack to Virginia and to the port lay line and rounded with a big lead that they held despite lack of spinnaker until shifts on the second beat did them in.

All things considered, Keith (above) did a much better job than Al in race 1. A fine performance for a spinnaker rookie! On the 2nd beat, the wind picked up a bit and backed after a relatively brief downpour (below) ...

The Coast Guard kindly came out and watched over us.
Many, many thanks to Gerrit Fahr who provided great Saturday on-the-water shots

... and we had caught a few boats by the time we began the final run which the shift had turned into a starboard spinnaker reach. Al decided not to bother with the finer points of teaching Keith the windward spi hoist and subsequent reach. Instead, Keith did yeoman service with the waterproof camera (see Al's album of Saturday pics at 17GovCup_index.html) and a we got a nice relaxed view of ...

... the mess at the gybe mark that began a brief dogleg to a not-hoped-for  downwind finish.

A lovely refreshing dip was just the ticket as we awaited race 2. When the race arrived, things went better for Team Schonborn/Gunder as we discovered good, competitive boat speed after a fine start, and were in the mix for the lead when three horns signalled abandonment half-way up the first beat: Our fine RC had gotten word that severe weather was coming our way.

The wind held up and we all made it back to ...

... before the nasty stuff hit.

Your Uncle Al, who loves to get weather photos, braved the conditions and got the following:

A beautifully placed gazebo was the perfect spot for me and my water-sensitive camera.

The sacrifices Mom will make: A broken-down, new motor boat had had to seek shelter with us,
and this fine lady went back through the (warm) rain to their boat at the dock in order to ...

... warmer clothes for the kids.

A fine idea: The regatta organizers, the Carolina SC, had the day's top helms ...

... explain how they coped so well with the day's conditions.

We all appreciated this.

Well ... nearly all of us.

And then the delicious, plentiful dinner that came with regatta entry.

Afterwards, we adjourned to our campsites on the shores of Kerr Lake (pronounced Carr).
Surprisingly, it had been a tiring day, certainly for Uncle Al who adjourned to his tent at the ungodly hour of 9:30 PM.

Sunday arrived with more substantial winds (above) and perfect sailing conditions for all.

With no needless delays, our RC got three races in before the 12:30 guillotine came down.

How we Wayfarers finished

As mentioned earlier, the Lake Townsend YC team of AnnMarie Covington and Bob Williams took series first as well as the title of East Coast Wayfarer champions with 2-1-2-1 finishes. To hear AnnMarie tell it, crew Bob was a good influence as well as a very capable crew in W11134, one of the newest of the new Wayfarer Mark IVs. The team sailed well and smart, taking few risks while letting their light weight help their speed. Having entered this event as the 6th seed of the 11 helms, AnnMarie spectacular performance made her by far the Most Improved Wayfare helm of the regatta. Congratulations, AnnMarie and Bob!

Winning the other two races were the 4th-seeded Jim Heffernan and wife, Linda, (above) also of the Lake Townsend YC. With no drop race available after only 4 races were completed, consistency was crucial and this is where Team Heffernan was truly outdone, scoring 1-4-1-5 in the series. Despite being over 50 years old, W1066 Dawn Treader and their light-weight crew had no boat speed issues. In fact, in the only Saturday race that was completed, Jim and Linda spotted both Ali Kishbaugh (W1392) and AnnMarie big early leads before managing to steal victory from AnnMarie right at the finish.

Top-seeded Richard Johnson and wife, Michele, (above) now sailing out of the Blackbeard SC near their new home in New Bern, NC, scored 3-5-3-2 for 13 points and third place overall. Quite possibly Black Skimmer (W10873) suffered from boat speed loss in comparison to the super-light-weight teams sailing the top two finishers. Or again, I seem to recall, the W10873 starts were not always the best.

Compiling a 5-2-5-3 record and 4th overall with 15 points was the 2nd-seeded team of Uwe Heine and Nancy Collins of the strong, new Lake Townsend Wayfarer Fleet (#15). Nancy and Uwe (above) had their sleek MK IV Impulse II looking very good most of the time.

5th place was a tie between two lovely old wooden classics, Keith Gunder's newly delivered W439 and the storied W864 now being campaigned by Phil Leonard and wife, Cathy. Their best finish was a 3rd while Al's best was a 4th, which gave the tie-breaker nod to Team Leonard who made it four Lake Townsend teams in the top five. Above, Phil and Cathy complete a nice light-air spinnaker gybe in race 1.

Despite falling short his 3rd seed by three places, Uncle Al (above) was pleased with his and Keith's performance. In almost his first racing ever, Keith Gunder did very well, and our boat speed was very competitive. We regularly got excellent starts and had fine upwind speed. Indeed, we had race 3 won until Al's brain fart in the course-to-be-sailed department (rounding an unnecessary mark near the finish) lost us three boats.

As mentioned earlier, the team of Ali Kishbaugh (Catawba YC) and Trish McDermott (LTYC) got off to a spectacular lead in race 1 which they held for the first sausage before the gods of chance brought the ladies back to earth and 6th place at the finish. Nonetheless Ali and Trish beat their 8th seed by one place, and displayed good sailing form in doing so. Well done, Ali and Trish!!

Lake Townsend Wayfarer newcomers, Evan Trudeau and Mary Zeng sailed their fine Mark IV Sea Eagle (W10945) to 8th overall which beat their seed by one spot. I have to love other guys who also stand in their boats (above) upwind in light airs where you can get a better angle on seeing where the next wind might come from!

Ken Butler and crew, Jeanne Allamby, beat their 10th seed by one place as this Lake Townsend pair sailed Ken's beautifully restored W449 to 8-9-9-9 placings and series 9th. Fine spinnaker form for Ken and Jeannie above.


Making a much admired appearance was Detroit's historic wooden W1115 Maltese Falcon in the hands of Wayfarer legend, Joe DeBrincat, and his son, Jeff. Things looked great for the DeBrincats after a first-race 4th but in the next race Joe's knee suddenly gave out and he had to retire from further racing. Great having you with us again, Joe and Jeff!!

Rounding out the Wayfarer fleet for the Easterns were 2017 Wayfarer newcomers, Kim Durack and Pat Morris, who sail a British-built Mark II Little Miss Magic out of the Carolina Sailing Club. Welcome to Wayfarers, Kim and Pat! See you again soon.