Wayfarer Midwinters
Lake Eustis SC * February 3-5, 2023
Uncle Al's Report: How each boat fared

updated: 20 Feb 2023 at 1823 hrs
Defending champs, Catawba's Jim Cook and Mike Taylor, leave no doubt

(2023.02.18) Our 2023 Midwinter champions, Jim Cook and Mike Taylor of Charlotte, NC emphatically defended the title they won at the last Midwinters in 2021. The top-seeded Cook-Taylor team indeed managed the first unbeaten Midwinters series since Irishman, Trevor Fisher, borrowed Richard Watterson and his W10862 Bubbles in the 2012 Midwinters. In those days, the Mids were a no-drop series, so Jim and Mike (left and right below) this year became the first Midwinters team to "shamelessly" discard a first-place finish after their perfect seeries in Black Skimmer W10873.

A great 3-2-4-3-3-2 series for Michiganders, Peggy Menzies and Chris McGrane left no doubt as to who won the "Silver" this year. Like Jim and Mike, peggy and Chris matched their seed.

Spinnaker Fleet Bronze was captured by Paul Miller and his wife, Dawn, in their beautiful wooden W971, sailing out of the Mystic River Mudheads Sailing Association near Boston, Massachusetts. Their 6-3-3-2-7-5 record left our 3rd-seeded team with a net of 19 points, well clear of both 2nd and 4th overall

Only two point separated the next five teams. 4th overall went to Oakville, Ontario's David and Anne Pugh who scored 32 points (2-RET-2-7-12-9) but might well have been more of a "medal" threat, had they not capsized in a gust during their attempt at a fancy gybe-and-douse routine at the leeward gate in race 2 while they were with the leaders. Sunday's lighter winds did not seem to agree with them, either.

9-5-7-9-4-8 finishes and 33 points left Bea Newland and Grace Moring (above), 17-year-old local high school seniors, just one point back of the Pughs overall in series 5th. The 8th-seeded Bea and Grace ended up being one of two teams beating their seed by three places for Midwinters Most Improved honours after they won a tie-breaker with ...

... Lake Townsend's Ali Kishbaugh and Mike Sigmund, North America's Most Improved Wayfarers of 2022, who scored 5-9-5-8-6-11 at the Midwinters.. 

Lake Townsend's AnnMarie Covington and Gareth Ferguson were one of two teams one more point back at 36 points (11-4-11-RET-2-6). Their 2nd-place finish in race 5 gave them the tie-beaker nod for series for series 7th over USWA Commodore, Richard Johnson and his wife, Michele, of Oriental, North Carolina, whose first-race 4th turned out to be the best result of their series (4-7-8-5-10-10).


Lake Townsend's guiding light, Jim Heffernan, teamed up with son and fellow-pilot, Mark
to finish 18-11-6-11-5-4 for 37 points and series 9th which matched their seed. Lucky for the rest of the fleet that the whole series not sailed in Sunday's lighter airs where Mark and Jim scored 5-4.

The other Canadian boat in this year's Midwinters was the Pughs' Oakville, Ontario neighbour, Uncle Al who teamed up with Toronto's Mike Codd after the latter very kindly suggested a re-enactment of Mike's teaming up with George Blanchard in his "dotage" just when Al had decided his days of looking after his crew were pretty much over and what he needed was a crew to look after Uncle Al. Depending on how you look at it - fleet overall or spinnaker fleet only - Al, Mike and Pat Kuntz in race 4 placed series 10th or 11th.  Fleet overall, 7-8-DNC-4-11-12 left Team SHADES with the same 42 points as Rob Krentel sailing with Craig Yates, expatriate Kiwi and director of the Lake Eustis SC Youth Sailing Foundation who scored an admirably consistent 10-10-10-6-9-7 and lost the tie-breaker due to a 4th that makes Al blush since Al was lounging ashore while Mike helmed with Pat as crew and finished 4th. In spin fleet only results, Craig's first-race 10th becomes a 9th after removal of 8th-place JimBurns sailing in the non-spin fleet, so that Craig and Rob (below) score 41 points for 10th overall, one point ahead of the 11th-place consortium Al, Mike and Pat.


Two more North Carolina teams from Lake Townsend Yacht Club were next in line in 12th and 13th overall. Lightweights Uwe Heine and his wife, Nancy Collins, suffered through the early heavier airs but moved up dramatically to a 3rd in Sunday's light-air finale and beat out LTYC Commodore, Andy Forman and Sid Hale, campaigning the freshly acquired Knights of Mayhem, the 2013 World champion Wayfarer (below).

Leading the Non_Spinnaker Fleet and 14th (seeded 16th) overall was Jim Burns (below) who teamed up with Lake Eustis clubmate, Jim "the Elder" McIntyre whom we had not seen at the Midwinters since its early years. It was lovely to have you back with us, Jim the Elder. Scoring 1-1-2-RET-1-3 among non-spinnaker crews, Jim and Jim were clearly dominant in their fleet and impressive as they beat their seed by two places. Spinnaker next year?

One points back of Jim and Jim was expatriate Montrealer, Marie-Lyne Lavoie now living in North Carolina and sailing with the Lake Townsend Wayfarers, the biggest and most active Wayfarer fleet in North America. Marie-Lyne signed up veteran Wayfarer, Phil Leonard, and the pair (below) were very competitive throughout the regatta, completing all six races and in the process moving Marie-Lyne up six places in our overall seeds table - from 64th to 58th.

After making their Wayfarer racing debut at the Worlds last year, Lloyd Weed (below) and his ray-of-sunshine daughter, Shannon Campbell, again came in from the Gulf Coast near Sarasota and sailed to a solid Silver in the White Sail (Non-Spin) fleet scoring 4-4-3-1-3-5, their first among the Non-Spin boats coming in race 4, perhaps the windiest of the weekend's races. In the overall standings, the 19th-seeded Team Weed finished 16th and thus shared Most Improved honours with local supergirls, Bea and Grace.

White Sail Bronze went to North Carolina, specifically the Western Carolina Sailing Club as Frans van Zeeland and Mark Grinder (below)
put together a  2-3-6-DNF-2-4 series in their lovely composite (glass hull, wooden deck) Wayfarer 2435 Carolina Dutch.

As if she needed more pressure, LESC Commodore, Pat Kuntz (practising above with Mike Codd in Craig Yates practice session) lost her intended crew, June Howell, to hypothermia after a Friday pre-race capsize. Brazil came to the rescue when Bill Zeuli, Rob Krentel's friend and annual houseguest from Brazil, lept into the breach - as the Limeliters once said in a semi-risqué folksong 60 years ago - and ended up helping Pat (below) to good results in three White Sail races: 3-2-1. When Bill was unavailable to crew on the Saturday, Pat was snapped up by Mike Codd for race 4 where the pair scored far and away the best SHADES finish of the series  a 4th.


In the overall fleet scoring, Pat's 16-14-DNC-DNC-RET-13 left in 18th overall with 87 points, three up on our newest Wayfarers, Hollis Caffee and Doran Oster (above) of the host club who scored DNC-DNC-13-RET-19-14 for 90 points. Hollis and Doran in turn managed to edge out local, John Cadman who splits his Wayfarer life between Wayfarers in Eustis and in England. Below, John can be seen Buffy Moring, our Chief Scorer, and with Jim Ward we had to borrow from the 2022 Worlds. In the overall fleet Hollis beat John by one point while in White Sail, John lost a tie-breaker to Hollis who won White Sail race 3.


Our only solo sailor of the 2023 Midwinters was Dave Hepting (above) who unfortunately got lousy conditions for single-handing what with below normal temperatures
and nastier than normal winds. In the end, Dave sailed and finished only race 3 where he avoided placing DFL. Nicely done sailing solo in those conditions, Dave.