the 2019 U.S. Wayfarer Nationals
Tawas Bay YC * Sept. 7-8
report by Uncle Al

updated: 14 September 2019 at 0916 hrs

Girls Rule at U.S. Nationals
Michigan's Peggy Menzies and daughter, Maggie, make history as first
"all-girl" team to win major Wayfarer championship in North America

Peggy and Maggie on their way to winning the decisive 5th race of the series.

(190913)  Peggy Menzies and daughter, Maggie Helmen (above), made history on Sept. 8-9 at Michigan's Tawas Bay YC as they became the first all-female team in the North American history of the Wayfarer Class to win a major title. The ladies won the five-race U.S. Nationals sailed in cool but ideal sailing winds, making an impressive come-back to take 2019 title by one point over fellow Michiganders, Marc Bennett and wife, Julie. Relative rookies to the Class, Peggy and Maggie, have shot to the top in unprecedented fashion: just a year ago, Peggy - a long-time Interlake sailor - made her Wayfarer debut at Tawas as crew for Dave McCreedy. Since then she has acquired Blew By You, a brand-new Mark IV and become a mainstay of our Class along with Maggie who is nearly 17. Congratulations, Peggy and Maggie!

Saturday's relatively light-air racing was brought to a pre-mature finish when our very capable Race Committee bowed to an incoming thunderstorm after two races - a two-sausage windward-leeward and a triangle-sausage. By then, the nine-boat series had pretty much become a three-boat contest for the impressive Designer's Trophy (below), with Marc and Julie (3-1) holding a one-point lead over Peggy and Maggie (1-4) and Oakville, Ontario's David and Anne Pugh (2-3).

the 2019 U.S. champions

Sunday brought cooler, stronger easterly winds of 10 to 15 knots, and it began to look like Marc and Julie's impressive run-away win in the first race of the day had determined the 2019 champion. But no, Peggy and Maggie scored come-back wins in both of the final two races to end up counting 1-3-1-1 and take a one-point win over Marc and Julie
(below) who also sailed to an extremely fine 1-1-2-3 in the one-drop series.

Marc and Julie, the 2019 runners-up

Bronze went to David and Anne Pugh

5-3-4 finishes in the breezier going on the Sunday must have been a disappointment for David and Anne Pugh (above) who usually shine in those conditions. Still they placed a comfortable series 3rd with 12 points as they counted 2-3-3-4 finishes. David and Anne were also the U.S. Nationals' Most Improved team, beating their 5th seed by two places in the nine-boat fleet.

Uncle Al of Oakville, Ontario was set up
by Peggy Menzies with an outstanding crew, Kai Dolan (16) (above) from Traverse, Michigan, but he did not capitalize on this golden opportunity to succeed on the water and he and Kai finished series 4th. How did Al screw up, let me count the ways: In race 1, Al hit Peggy's transom at the leeward mark, and while Peggy and Maggie went on from that point to win the opener, a tortuously slow "720" left Al lucky to rescue a 4th in that race. Not resting on his laurels, Al was a third of the way up the first beat of race 2, when an RC boat kindly informed him he had been over early, OCS as we pros like to say. That became a 6th at the finish. All good things coming in threes as they do, Al got a perfect start in the finale, only to bang the wrong (left) corner, tack into last place, and discover that one side of our bridle had come undone. By the time I had found a replacement shackle, we were pretty well alone - no pressure, which did let me haul out the waterproof camera to get at least a shot or two of my excellent crew, Kai Dolan, in action. It turned out to be duelling cameras:

But enough of the whining. It turned out that Kai and Al's 6-4-2-4 left them just ahead of another pair of Canadian helms, Mike Codd and Frank Goulay. In addition to being the life of our party, Toronto's Mike Codd (below, hair) and Kirk Iredale scored a fine 5-4-6-2 to end up series 5th.

One more point back  from 5-2-6-5 in 6th overall was our other international team, Ottawa's Frank Goulay (below) with his super-crew, Jennifer Princing, from the host club.

Rats! We missed it!! The blue spinnaker is being doused. When I tried to thrust the water-proof camera into Kai's hands that were already busy, there was a slight delay. Exceptional crew that she is, Kai had been - unasked! - perfecting our jib trim by holding the sheet forward of its lead which is too far aft for proper trim on a reach. Thus, Kai ended up just a split second too late (above) to capture a close-up of Jennifer and Frank's straining spinnaker on their spectacular plane to the leeward mark of one of Sunday's triangles. Taking full advantage of Jennifer's spinnaker skills, Team KGB were one of only two boats to dare the spinnaker for the whole second reach of that race (below)

This was a regatta in which, as is often the case, experience paid off. Our three newer teams from the Michigan Sailing Club, while competitive with the veterans at times, usually ended up in the bottom third of the finishers. That said, it's all relative. Congratulations to our newer teams, all of whom spinnakered in even the nastiest race 5 winds and won the challenge. I'm proud of us all, gang!

The fight for series 7th came down to the final race in which Dave McCreedy and Angela Brazil (above) sailing their Mark IV 10861 Jamaica Blue, broke a points tie with club mates, Sam Durbin and Dave Wilpula (below) who took turns at the helm of their wooden classic Mark I W453 Woodwind. Dave and Angela took a fine 5th just ahead of the 6th-place Woodwind in the decisive finale. No one can say that Dave and Sam did not give it their all - see pic below.

The "balls"-system is designed to prevent this kind of showing off.

Looking delightfully competent in W1389 Gliondar (disguised as W10861) were Detroit's Matt Dailey and Nick Burtka. At this stage of their sailing career, they pronouned themselves quite pleased that they beat at least one boat during this event. Regatta Chair, Marc Bennett, rewarded their spirited particpation with TBYC hats. It was fun chatting and sharing beers with you guys. Keep up the good sailing!

Heartfelt thanks to the members of the Tawas Bay YC for once again sharing their sailing paradise with us, and especially to the volunteers (listed below) who gave up their weekend so that we could race. I am supremely grateful to Jenny Princing who documented our five races  so beautifully.

From: Cristi Gettel []
Sent: Wednesday, September 11, 2019 10:18 PM
Subject: regatta thank you's to?

Hello Al,

Here is what I confirmed:

RC: Matt & Jenny Princing, Bill Coberly, Jenna Princing

Support Boats:
Blue Goose - Rob Stork & Donna Zobel
Eyeore -Rich Main, Dennis Princing, Nick S.
Rampage - Matt Haglund, Chris Princing , Sue Alexander

Platform: sailboat Goose  provided by Chris & Jennifer Princing

Organizer: Dave LaRue