|Wayfarers on Wamplers Regatta Ends
2020 in Fine Weather
updated 4 November 2020 at 1122 hrs
Billed as a last blast for the Michigan season (such as it has been with COVID), the Annual Wayfarers on Wamplers - better known as the WOW because well, “WOW - what a great time!!!”- was held Oct 24th and 25th out of the McCreedy family cottage on the shores of Wamplers Lake.
The day before the regatta when some of us were able to bring our boats and get set up, the weather was an unseasonably warm 70º+ F. Then THE STORM blew in. The wind howled all night and temperatures dropped like a rock. Saturday morning, I looked over my boat and in the cover was this clear solid stuff - yes, it was ice. :O
But the sun was shining, the winds were reasonable from the North. Eight entries from across southern Michigan were set to go: Fleet racing on the Saturday, Team Racing on the Sunday (something Wayfarers have nor seen since the heydays of Lake Orion during the 1970s. We slowly made our way to launching and Saturday's series of six two-lap, windward-leewards that would constitute the fleet racing portion of the regatta.
The winds were variable - (perhaps an understatement) - as 60º degree shifts, heavy puffs (5-7 knots), followed by spotty holes (<1 knot) ruled the day. One moment you can lay the starting line, the next you can’t. But given time, the winds shifted back for a remarkably square course for the entire day. There was lots of starting line drama with port tack starts (Yeah to Marc and Dan - they are the masters at this) and tack-ya shifts so you tack five times, but still head straight for the windward mark. Four of the boats carried spinnakers and four competed for the JAM (Jib and Main) division.
Living up to her very high seed of 7th among North American racing Wayfarers, Peggy Menzies with crew, Kai Dolan (above), was unbeatable in her mark 4 Blew By You. Kai and Peggy in fact accomplished the rare feat of using a first as their discard. Impressive. The fight over the runner-up spot was much more of a contest as host, Dave McCreedy and Tom Dawson duked it out. In the end, it was the regatta's 3rd-seeded team of Tom Dawson and Katie Porter, sailing another mark 4, W10861 Jamaica Blue, beating out Dave and his crew, Jan Wedemeyer in W911, a rebuilt wooden classic. By placing 2nd overall, Team Dawson/Porter captured the event's Most Improved honours. Rounding out the Spinnaker Division and placing 5th overall were Dave Wilpula and Aradhna Mayalall in Woodwind W453, another rebuilt wooden classic.
Winning the four-boat Jib And Main Division were Carey Jones (above) who finished the day single-handed when crew, Sarah McCreedy became too cold to keep sailing. Carey and Sarah also won by a sizeable margin over the other three teams in their division (JAM) but those three were closely matched in exciting races.
Sam Durbin and father, Mike, went into the series finale tied with Mike Austerberry and son, Robin, for JAM runner-up. The Durbins then took JAM 2nd by scoring a 6th in the finale ahead of the Austerberrys' 8th. And Team Austerberry ended up a mere one point up on the team of Marc Meyer and Dan Shock.